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* This project is not currently active for 2017

Downtown business owners are continually debilitated with numerous unsavory issues such as homelessness, gang presence, drugs, blight, traffic issues, and seemingly never-ending construction projects that deters customers and minimizes their profits. In an effort to cut through the external factors, students of SJSU’s business and marketing programs serve as consultants to local micro-entrepreneurs who need assistance to further develop their business ventures. Students work with the micro-entrepreneurs to learn their products and services and develop a strategic plan to improve business. At the end of the semester, students present a complete marketing communications plan for the micro-entrepreneurs to create and strengthen brand identity and promote their products and services to specific target markets. This year’s Spring semester students hosted the CityLove Festival; an event that enabled businesses of the East Santa Clara Street Business Association (ESCBA) to meet and showcase their products and services to the public in a fun and engaging setting.

By the Numbers | 2015-16

66 SJSU students engaged

235 residents engaged

2,268 hours of service

$52,352 value

Project Impact

At the end of the project, micro-entrepreneurs gained knowledge on how to create better marketing strategies for their business. They also learned how to assess and formulate ideas to improve their products and services while gaining profitability. Students in the business and marketing programs showed improved skills in information evaluation, market and consumer analysis, and presentation to an audience. The City Love Festival was created to help drive business and continue the ongoing revitalization of the E. Santa Clara Street Neighborhood Business District. Moving forward, the marketing materials and concepts provided by the SJSU student’s work should prove to drive more consumer traffic into the corridor.

Community Stories

“I had a great experience and time working and sharing with them [my team]. They are very positive, enthusiastic, very secure and focused about what they are doing, relaxed and happy. They are contagious, or better said– emitters of pure positive energy and great knowledge.” 

–Carmina Rivera, Owner of Emit Market

“Essentially we could not have completed the grant and achieved the level of community outreach and involvement without the students.”

–Patricia Curia, President of ESCBA


In previous Marketing Smarts semesters…

Watch Laurel, a SJSU student and Aurelia, a local Zumba instructor, talk about their collaboration together within the Marketing Smarts program.