16:48 PM

Business Students Serve as Small Business Consultants to Honduran Entrepreneurs

As part of fall 2023 Cameron School of Business courses, UST-Houston global marketing students served as effective small business consultants to entrepreneurs in Honduras. Under the leadership and management of Assistant Prof. Dr. Cassandra Ditt, the students partnered with Global Business Brigades, an international movement of university students and professionals “building economic opportunities in remote, rural and under-resourced areas of Honduras and Ghana.”

Fourteen students from Ditt’s MBA 6355 and MKTG 4393 classes attended relevant Global Business Brigades sessions each week. They learned about global marketing, applicable marketing strategies, best practices, and specific needs and considerations around the Honduran clients — a small supermarket and a barbershop entrepreneur.

“They did an excellent job on this project,” Dr. Ditt said. “I am very pleased and proud!” 

Students Proved to be Outstanding Business Consultants

Cameron School of Business students in a class led by Dr. Cassandra Ditts and Global Business Brigades instructorsDivided into four groups, each containing at least one bilingual student and each guided by a Global Business Brigades instructor, the students supplied business “gold” to their Central American clients.

Group No. 1:  Three MBA students worked on the supermarket/convenience store, delivering logo design, strategy and calculations for determining price to ensure profit and account for inflation. They also provided a promotion plan, phone credit sales plan, and seasonal and promotional sales plans.

Group No. 2: Four MBA students focused on helping the barbershop entrepreneur. In addition to providing the traditional business start-up deliverables, they included a special section that connected UST’s four core values — goodness, knowledge, discipline and community.

Groups No. 3 & No. 4, comprised of seven MKTG 4393 students, split their attention to the supermarket/convenience store client. Both groups aimed to improve the owner’s offering to the community as well as his financial ability to support his family.

Some of the marketing collateral produced by CSB students for Honduran small businessesGroup No. 3:  This group’s noteworthy deliverables included three logo options; business cards; a loyalty program & punch cards; a WhatsApp business account; Excel spreadsheets for daily sales inventory, general inventory, monthly reports; and strategy for monthly deals and brand identity.

Group No. 4:  The consulting from this group included a retail floor plan and contact information for any future client inquiries.

A Win-Win Collaboration

While the Honduran business owners were extremely pleased with the fantastic business resources, Dr. Ditt observed that the students also benefitted.

“Through the semester-long collaboration with Global Business Brigades, our students greatly improved their critical thinking skills, became more effective communicators, built marketing knowledge, and gained hands-on experience within a very mutually rewarding professional environment,” Ditt said.