Facebook Skip to main content

Consulting Programs for Businesses

We offer businesses owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ, and veterans consulting programs ranging from one week to seven months. During these programs students and professional mentors work side-by-side with owners on projects that improve the bottom line and stimulate new growth.


Teams of 4-5 undergraduates, assisted by professional consultants from the nation’s leading consulting firms, major regional corporations, and the Seattle Rotary Club, work over 7 months.
Through more than 500 hours of assistance businesses receive accounting and financial management assistance, mentoring from business executives, and access to cutting-edge business management techniques that solve challenges and capture growth opportunities. This program begins each Fall and runs through May.

Gabriela Michan, [email protected], (206) 543-9545

Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), UW and HPE believe that, together, we can be a force for good, and that technology has the potential to enable greater efficiencies, mitigate social inequities, and drive better solutions to the world’s most complex challenges.

This program begins each February and runs through June.

In this program, student teams of 4-5 undergraduates, assisted by professional advisors and HPE mentors work over 4 months to assess and create a recommendation on how a firm can integrating new technologies to build more efficiencies to allow the firm to grow.
Businesses will receive technology management assistance, mentoring from HPE mentors and Channel Partners, and access to cutting-edge business management techniques that solve challenges and capture growth opportunities.

Previous projects have included: Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) roadmap, Point of Sales (POS) systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, digital twin technology, marketing software, and more!

Learn more about what this program is doing to help SMB’s like yours!

Rebecca Thornton, [email protected], (206) 616-0455

In the Summer Consulting Program, businesses are matched with one undergraduate student and a professional mentor for this 10-week project that typically focuses on business plan development, financial analysis, or plans for expansion to a new market. The business and I would work together to define the project’s scope, and our student consultant would recommend your next steps.

Program: Summer Consulting Program

Cost: $250

Program Timeline: 

  • Now  – April 1stApplication Open
  • April 8th   – April 29thCBDC interview of business applicant and project creation
  • June 17th  – August 16thStudent consultant interacts with business, conducts research, etc.
  • August 19th   – August 23rd  : Student consultant provides a presentation on recommendations to business

Time Commitment: 1.5 hours per week (15 hours total)


Kennedy Cockrel, Assistant Director | [email protected]

Over 10-week period businesses are matched with students who assist in completing loan applications to present to nonprofit lenders including Harborstone Credit Union, Craft3 and Business Impact Northwest.

Rebecca Thornton, [email protected], (206) 616-0455

Through the Consulting & Business Development Center’s Foster Consulting Program, students are matched with business owners for six-week consulting projects to help with a specific business need. Past projects include launching a new product line, developing a marketing plan, market research, pricing strategy, and improving operating efficiencies.

The project is launched with a client kick-off meeting during which business owners meet with their student consulting team and advisors to discuss its scope.

Over the next six weeks, student teams collect data, conduct research, and develop solutions and recommendations. During the final week of the consulting project, the students make a presentation to their client that includes their findings and recommendations for the firm. Team members will also create a final paper summarizing the work completed during the quarter.


Winter Quarter

  • Project Kick-off: Wednesday, January 17, 2024 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm
  • Final Presentation: Wednesday, February 28, 2024 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm



Vy Nguyen, [email protected], (206) 543-3681


The CBDC has teamed up with The Commerce Bank of Washington to lend $1M to businesses owned by people of color and others who would otherwise not be able to secure a bank loan to support their growth. For ten weeks, teams of UW MBA students will analyze the financing needs of small businesses participating in the Center’s programs each year. Foster School faculty and industry experts will guide students through a course that covers business assessment, risk analysis, and an exploration of research related to structural challenges that businesses owned by people of color face in accessing credit.


  • Teams of UW MBA + MPA students, guided by Foster School of Business faculty and industry experts, will analyze the financing needs for BIPOC businesses.
  • Students will conduct a business assessment, risk analysis, and an exploration of research related to structural challenges that businesses owned by people of color face in accessing credit for all accepted program participants.
  • Students will recommend a SELECT GROUP of businesses to the Commerce Bank. After thorough financial analysis, some businesses may qualify for traditional loans, or those who need additional support may choose to secure a loan using the newly created “Foster Ignition Fund.”

Application Deadline: Rolling Application

Start & End Date: January 9, 2024 – March 12, 2024

Time commitment: 1.5 hours per week (15 hours total)

Cost: FREE

Apply now

Kennedy Cockrel, [email protected]