Author: Monica Serrano
On August 27th, 2015 ten micro-entrepreneurs were invited to Boccardo Business Complex room 324 to meet forty-six students from Dr. Marilyn Easter’s Integrated Marketing Communications (BUS 134B) class to learn more about the Marketing Smarts program. Marketing Smarts is a program for micro-entrepreneurs who could use creative marketing ideas for their business. Each entrepreneur was assigned a group of marketing students from the Lucas College of Business at San Jose State University. Over the course of the fall semester the students made an assessment of the business and formulated marketing ideas aimed to improve the business’ profitability.
The entrepreneurs were asked to attend three sessions, each for two hours (August 27th, October 1st and December 3rd). On the first session the entrepreneurs presented their business goals. Dr. Easter broke down her class into teams of 4-5 students and assigned them to a micro-entrepreneur to work together for the next 4 months. Once the teams were formed, students got to work right there and then. Eagerness filled the room. There were many questions to be asked: What is your business? Where is your business located? Who is your market? The entrepreneurs were more than happy to answer all the questions the students had for them.
During the second session students and entrepreneurs met at the Joyce Ellington Library Community Room. In a two hour window the teams discussed ideas to create more visibility in their market such as online presence through social media and business websites. Profound discussions between the students and entrepreneurs were exchanged and resulted in various great ideas. After the tension, there was a sense of relief. The teams seemed more comfortable with their entrepreneur and they were determined to help them succeed.
On December 3rd, 2015, after long hours of extensive research, students came prepared to present their complete IMC plan to their classmates, judges, CommUniverCity staff and the micro-entrepreneurs. Each team had 10 minutes to give their presentation.The creativity that the teams brought to the table was impressive. Teams designed tangible items to hand to their entrepreneur such as nifty company memorabilia for the small businesses to boost their appearance. After the teams made their presentation, the micro-entrepreneurs were called up to the front of the classroom and were presented with a certificate of completion of the program by CommUniverCity. One of the entrepreneurs expressed,
“I had a great experience and time working and sharing with them. 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.”
At the end of the event the students and entrepreneurs exchanged thank-yous, hugs and handshakes.
Over the course of the fall semester the marketing students worked diligently to construct the IMC plans for the micro-entrepreneurs. Relationships were built, small businesses were helped and the success of this program was made possible with the hard work and dedication of Dr. Marilyn Easter and her Fall 2015 BUS 134B class. Dr. Easter prepared a group of highly talented and intelligent students. These students were able to apply their marketing knowledge learned in class directly to a real life situation and helped to improve small businesses in the marketing aspect.