Hundreds of MBA students from top business schools nationwide are tackling the ongoing challenges facing small businesses

: August 16, 2021

For Immediate Release–   The Small Business School, in partnership with MBA students from 10+ top universities nationwide, are responding to meet the needs of small businesses by hosting the second Small Business School Challenge, a 48-hour virtual design thinking workshop and challenge to help strategize and guide small businesses to succeed over the coming year.

What started as a grassroots effort to help connect small business owners reeling to adapt and make changes to their business in response to the pandemic has turned into a nationally coordinated campaign and nonprofit effort bringing together hundreds of MBA students and business leaders to team up with small business owners and put their collective business acumen to work on their behalf.

Commitments of support have already come in from prestigious institutions such as Rice University, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon. The MBA students are being challenged to focus on preparing these businesses to thrive through the coming year, not just survive. The students are in competition to create the most viable and innovative strategies for their business owner clients, but it’s the business owners who truly benefit from awarded prize money, resources from corporate sponsors, and personalized support over the 2-day event.

The first three SBSC events hosted nearly 400 small business owners who were supported by 1200 MBA students and 300+ business leaders and mentors, including a keynote from Seth Godin. The individual case studies and strategies that resulted from the events are available publicly on the SBSC website at

Carolyn Schyuler, Founder of Wildrock, participated in the second event in Fall 2020 and shared this about her experience during and after the Small Business School Challenge: “SBSC helped us to think creatively so we were able to quickly pivot and find new ways of meeting the growing need for outdoor time for mental health.  Thank you SBSC!”

The SBSC-IV is scheduled for Sept 23-25th and plans to host 200 new small business owners from across the country. Applications are open through Sept 13th. Learn more and apply at, or nominate a small business in your hometown that you want to see receive free support to succeed. 

For more details about the challenge or to explore participating as an MBA student competitor or small business client, visit the SBSChallenge website at, the SBSChallenge page on Facebook ( or follow @TheSBSChallenge Instagram and Twitter.

About The Small Business School Challenge

The SBSC was conceived to support small business owners in crisis due to COVID-19 and the associated economic fallout. The SBSC team and events are designed to connect SMBs, MBAs, mentors, and sponsors in a 100% virtual environment to maximize opportunities for impact and improve the small business ecosystem nationwide.

Katrina Cobb
The Small Business School Challenge