This week, the Center for Global Business (CGB) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business celebrates National Small Business Week. For more than 50 years, the US Small Business Association (SBA) has designated this week to recognize the contributions and innovations of America’s entrepreneurs and small and midsize enterprises (SMEs). This year, SBA commemorates the week with a virtual summit including educational presentations by experts, an exhibit hall, networking opportunities, and a mentoring lounge for both established and aspiring business owners to share and exchange knowledge.
“National Small Business Week celebrates the resilience, innovation, and economic contributions of the country’s small businesses and startups,” says Rebecca Bellinger, CGB’s executive director. “While this is a week dedicated specifically to these small enterprises, we at the center recognize the vital role that SMEs play in Maryland's economy every day.”
The center currently spearheads several programs aimed to work with and act as a resource for SMEs, such as the Maryland Global Consulting, Marketing Maryland Internship, and Manufacturing Maryland Internship Programs. This spring, CGB is working with N5 Sensors (a small Maryland-based company driven to keep people safe from environmental hazards through cloud-based chemical sensor technology) in the Maryland Global Consulting Program, with a current goal of expanding its operations internationally to European markets.
From past iterations of the program, small businesses and clients like Parraid and E-Livestock have already begun to implement the proposed recommendations received from a team of Smith School students consulting for the program, including strategies to secure partnerships with government agencies and global market entry landscape analyses.
Upcoming this summer, the center is slated to work with nine companies on the Marketing Maryland Internship Program in various industries, along with three companies on the Maryland Global Consulting Program. Additionally, CGB is introducing a new program to support the global operations of companies in Maryland through the Manufacturing Maryland Internship Program.
The center is one of 16 Centers for International Business Education (CIBE) in the country, and as a recipient of the Title IV grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education, CGB has been able to connect with not only students but small businesses and companies in Maryland as a resource to build long-term relationships and global success stories.
Bellinger notes how “the exporting SMEs that CGB works with – together with others like them all over the country – represent over nine million jobs and 98% of the exporting companies in the U.S.” This emphasizes, she adds, the importance of their contribution to the evolution of the Maryland economy and further highlights the significant impact they have on the surrounding business environment.
The center is a resource for local businesses with goals to internationalize, and their programs allow that connection between the university, the students, and the companies to be forged.
“SMEs are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and we are committed to delivering top-quality programs to support their success and contribute to the region's economic competitiveness,” Bellinger underlines.
The programs mentioned above are supported in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.