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ERIC Number: EJ857609
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0912
A Service-Learning Initiative within a Community-Based Small Business
Simola, Sheldene
Education & Training, v51 n7 p567-586 2009
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to extend previous scholarly writing on community service-learning (SL) initiatives by looking beyond their use in the not-for-profit sector to their potential use in community-based small businesses. Design/methodology/approach: A rationale for the appropriateness of using SL projects in small businesses is provided, and distinctions drawn between small business SL projects and student internships. A case study involving a strategic management project in a community-based small business is presented. Findings: The findings support the usefulness of SL initiatives in small businesses. Benefits to the students include an enhanced understanding of course material, improved learning through the transparent information sharing and experience of the small business owner, increased confidence in strategic management skills, and greater appreciation of community, environmental, and ethical concerns. Benefits to the small business owner included receipt of customized, onsite services that circumvented opportunity, and financial costs associated with other consultation or training options, an unbiased and well-rounded strategic audit, and receipt of an alternate perspective on the business that would not otherwise be available. Research limitations/implications: Future research should explore the use of SL projects in a broader range of undergraduate business courses and continue to develop pragmatic frameworks for initiatives involving small businesses. Factors associated with small business engagement in SL and outcomes for business owners should also be investigated. Practical implications: Practical information on the implementation SL initiatives in community-based small businesses is provided, along with guidance on dealing with potential risk management concerns related to non-conflict of interest, confidentiality, and liability. Originality/value: Previous approaches to SL have focused almost exclusively on partnerships with not-for-profit agencies. This paper supports the usefulness of SL initiatives in for-profit, community-based small businesses.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Community
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A