http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0404120089apr12,1,1771460.story

OWNER'S MANUAL

Class helps firms plan marketing

JOHN SCHMELTZER

April 12, 2004

It isn't often that 22 small businesses and non-profit organizations, including the Paducah Symphony Orchestra in Kentucky, receive an offer they can't refuse.

But that's what is happening thanks to a 10-week Aurora University course to provide consulting teams of students to help the firms and groups develop marketing and other business plans and promotion strategies.

The program grew out of a pilot project conducted last fall by Steven VandeVen, operations management professor at the university, and the Fox Valley Chapter of Score, one of nearly 400 chapters of an SBA program formerly known as the Service Corps of Retired Executives.

A total of 83 students are involved in the project with clients that include a Villa Park restaurant, a maker of solar ovens Elburn and six non-profits.

And the Score chapter is seeking assistance from the student consultants.

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