Combining advice and advantage for London small business leaders

Combining advice and advantage for London small business leaders

Fanshawe’s Kinlin School delivers a savvy consultant service for success


SEEKING TO SHARE its insights with local business leaders, Fanshawe’s Lawrence Kinlin School of Business is celebrating ten years of success offering its Community Consultancy an experiential learning program aimed at providing real-life consulting services for small and medium-sized businesses and organizations. Proving the value of public-private collaboration over the past decade, more than 100 client companies have gathered fresh insights across a wide range of business disciplines, including accounting, marketing and human resources, while scores of savvy students have learned through real-world scenarios. Engaging the collective knowledge of Kinlin’s top graduate-level business students, a series of diverse community consultant teams meet with various business owners to provide feasibility studies, targeted marketing plans, research and analysis, and much more

According to Kinlin’s Research and Community Partnerships Coordinator Mike Tucker, the goal of the consultancy is to alleviate challenges and solve problems for small business owners, Who may not have access to such resources in-house. “It is a win-win situation, as these bright business students evolve individually and as teams – during their 14-week term project, while wowing clients with the quality of their insights and output adapted to current times.”

As one London business owner who has benefited from the service, Al Desrochers agrees, “This is an amazing opportunity for a new startup like ours, with huge items to address in its first few years of operation. The eager consultants listened to our needs and then worked together to help identify our target demographic and create a dynamic business plan, pitch deck and digital marketing plan to reach our audience.” Al and Laurie Desrochers share a passion as Canadian Treasure Hunters who help source unique, vintage and industrial items for clients. Seeing momentum driving Canada’s second-hand economy, the Desrochers recently founded their start up called iHasta DIY Online Auctions – as a great solution for those wanting to downsize, liquidate an estate or clear clutter. through this innovative enterprise, someone selling used items now has the power to host their own online auction – with support from iHasta – while local buyers gain access to abundant deals on repurposed pieces and unique treasures. Statistics indicate the second-hand economy is on the rise. According to Kijiji Central, this sector grew by $1-billion between 2015 and 2016, translating to a total value of $29 billion. Meantime, finding new homes for still-useful items is environmentally mindful – annually saving more than a billion products from landfills.

Answering many community needs, iHasta has also found a way to give back, “We are proud to leverage current technologies, repurpose goods, be environmentally responsible, solve everyday problems and be an affordable lifestyle option for everyone,” notes Desrochers. “Nonprofits and charities can also benefit from our online service through a new fundraising option called iHasta Support, where we sponsor the hosting of selected online fundraising auctions.” As consultancy coordinator, Tucker applauds iHasta’s work with nonprofits and says it further demonstrates the value of cross-sector collaboration. “From Fanshawe’s perspective, we love keeping companies apprised of what the college system produces. with faculty delivering a stellar educational framework for business students. which enables them to flourish as advisors and content creators for their clients in business and nonprofit.”  How encouraging to know that Fanshawe is both a fine educational institution and a valuable resource for the greater London community.