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Consulting and Business Development Center

The Consulting and Business Development Center (CBDC) defines what it means to be a publicly-engaged business school. By accelerating student careers as they engage in solving complex challenges and delivering world class executive education the CBDC is growing business that build wealth for under-represented minority entrepreneurs and businesses in under-served communities.

Innovative programs provide lasting benefit to businesses and students alike. In its first 25 years, the CBDC has helped small businesses in Washington add more than $250 million in new revenues while creating and retaining more than 200,000 jobs. More than 5,000 Foster School students have leveraged their experience with the CBDC to help secure that all-important first job after graduation and outperform their peers due to a proven track record in finding solutions to real-world business problems.

See why donors are supporting the CBDC

The CBDC has developed an M3 model addresses structural barriers that disproportionately affect under-represented minority owned businesses as well as businesses in rural, urban, and suburban communities with historically high unemployment rates.

  • Management: Improve skills through business management education
  • Money: Create greater access to loans and investments
  • Markets: Gain access to markets by reaching new customers and clients

For students, the M3 model is transformational:

  • Management skills are developed by solving complex challenges that require cross-disciplinary strategic thinking
  • Money in the form of scholarships and paid internships
  • Markets by developing professional networks and mentoring relationships that lead to career success

The CBDC’s M3 model is the backbone behind the Ascend entrepreneurial support ecosystem network which is the largest initiative to grow the next generation of businesses owned by people of color in the country.

The CBDC is open to all. Learn more about opportunities for students, businesses, and supporters.

Student Consulting Programs
Undergraduate and MBA studentsstudent consulting programs

Get real-world experience in solving business problems, do meaningful work that transforms businesses and nonprofits, and creates lasting impact outside of the classroom. Open to both undergraduate or graduate students.

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Business education & consulting programs
Professionals and businessesBusiness education & consulting programs

The Center offers a range of consulting and education programs to serve businesses throughout their growth cycle. Classes are offered in Seattle, Yakima, the Tri-Cities, and on Tribal lands while drawing business owners regionally and nationally.

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Support the ProgramDonate

The donations of our supporters fund operations and contribute to the successes of students, local business and the community overall.

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Students in the Community
Nicole Bryant, ’21, is getting a real-world business education and playing a key role at TheWMarketplace, a women-led e-commerce site, via a CBDC partnership. “There’s just something different about applying your knowledge to a real project,” she says. “It feels so much more rewarding instead of a test at the end of the quarter.” Read her story.

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