Welcome to the quarterly MOBI newsletter! As winter begins to give way to spring here in North America, we hope you stay healthy and safe in the challenging times we are facing today. Each quarter we reach out to our alumni and readers to share important highlights from Santa Clara University's MOBI program. We hope you will enjoy these updates and continue your relationship with MOBI on your path toward entrepreneurship!
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Thank you from MOBI!
A note from MOBI Executive Director Drew Starbird, Ph.D.
We would like to send a special message of support during this difficult and uncertain time as communities all over the world work to contain and mitigate COVID-19 and care for those who are suffering. Our hearts go out to all as we are impacted by this illness. As Santa Clara University President Kevin O’Brien, S.J., communicated to the University, “Clear-headed, calm, and generous in spirit, we will get through this.”
Our mission to support small business development, job creation, and community growth through entrepreneurial learning remains our highest priority. We will be making some changes in the coming weeks to provide new content and accelerated learning pathways, and we will be excited to share these new learning opportunities with you. Stay tuned for further updates.
As an online program, MOBI is always available, and our offices remain open remotely to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. We also welcome your suggestions, experiences, and ideas.
We wish you, your families, and your friends stay healthy and safe.
Drew Starbird, Ph.D.
Keeping Your Business Strong During COVID-19
MOBI partner San Jose-led BusinessOwnerSpace.com shared some recommendations to help small businesses keep their businesses running and minimize problems during this unprecedented time. We share those with you below:
Plan for absences by cross training employees and ensuring they understand how to step into new roles if required.
Implement policies and practices to increase the physical distance between employees and between employees and the public (e.g., telecommuting and teleconferencing).
Establish lines of communication among employees, clients, and business partners.
Allow employees to call in sick without a doctor’s note. This avoids burdening the healthcare system.
Research ways to further protect your employees based on your industry or operations.
Consider the impacts on your workforce if local schools close and parents are away from the office.
Recognize that employees who are well may need to be away to care for ill family.
Identify your most important business functions and adjust staffing to maintain them.
Keep track of and respond to changes in customer behavior and prepare to change how you do things to maintain your most important operations.
Identify key business functions, jobs/roles, and elements in your supply chain. Think about how to operate if these are impacted by the pandemic.
For businesses with multiple locations, allow local managers to act on what is happening locally.
New Curriculum for Home-Based and Freelance Businesses
MOBI has updated Session 3 of its Starting a Business 2020 course to include new content for Home-Based and Freelance Businesses. Students will find helpful information for starting a business at home, working as an independent contractor, or pursuing entrepreneurship in today’s Gig Economy. New content also includes a Home-Based Business Readiness Template so you can see if you have what you need to start your business. The template is organized in two sections: minimum recommendations and additional recommendations. The Home-Based Business Readiness Template can also be downloaded from MOBI’s resource documents list, located on the Resources & Tools page. The Home-Based and Freelance Business session also includes tips for creating a work-life balance while working out of your home.
We continue to review our content to ensure the curriculum is relevant for today’s entrepreneurs. We will be introducing a new session about Microfinance later this year, so keep an eye out for announcements. Feel free to send us an email with entrepreneurship topics you would like to learn more about, we always love to hear from our students. We might feature your topic in an upcoming blog or perhaps a new session.
Digital Badge Ease!
We have made it even easier to access and showcase your MOBI digital badges! Now when you earn a digital badge by completing your 2020 course and passing the final exam with a score of 80 or higher, you will be able to access your badge directly from your MOBI account. As you continue your entrepreneurial learning with MOBI, all your badges will reside in the same place on your account. After downloading, you can display your digital badge to demonstrate your achievement on your website, social media, in documents, and more!
For instructions to download your digital badge, click here. If you earned a digital badge prior to MOBI’s 2020 courses you can continue to access them through your Credly account. Feel free to contact us with any digital badge questions, just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MOBI partners are an important part of the MOBI program! By forming partnerships with diverse communities of students around the world, MOBI can inspire entrepreneurship in ways that best meet the specific opportunities of each group, and always for free.
Helping Ordinary People Bring About Extraordinary Change
Operating for over 17 years in Ohio, Collaboration Station is our featured partner this quarter. Collaboration Station is a nonprofit organization that aims to use entrepreneurship to stop the cycle of individual and intergenerational dependence on public benefits. Collaboration Station prepares low-income populations for self-sufficiency through self-employment training and vocational activities offered in three parts. These include entrepreneurial education, business coaching and mentoring, and the opportunity for access to capital. Collaboration Station’s programs build upon the focus, determination, and leadership all their clients possess.
* Why you chose MOBI? Collaboration Station’s clients are determined to decrease their dependency on social services. Our Small Business Guru program starts with education and it was important for us to find a free program with low barriers to participation. MOBI is a great fit for Collaboration Station because it’s free, it’s affiliated with an accredited university, and it’s user friendly. We can monitor progress and guide our clients along the way as needed. They learn business essentials as well as elements of business they hadn’t considered before. In the end they earn a Certificate, which provides a tremendous sense of accomplishment and propels them to the next steps.
* How is MOBI making a difference for your students?MOBI is benefitting our students in several ways. As the first part of a three-part program, the MOBI curriculum provides entrepreneurial education and prepares our students for the following stages. For example, it’s easier for them to write their business plans because they have templates for each section. They pitch their ideas for funding with more confidence because they understand the fundamentals. MOBI provides an open opportunity for our participants to gain an educational experience through an accredited university that they otherwise could not afford due to their current economic situation at home. Regardless of their backgrounds, the obstacles and barriers they have faced, they have an opportunity to gain the knowledge to start their own businesses and step forward on a road to self-sufficiency.
* (And anything else you would like to add?)In January Collaboration Station was approved to partner with national nonprofit organization NDC. NDC has worked for almost 50 years to increase the flow of capital for investment in low-income communities. This collaboration will direct approximately $10,000 to help Collaboration Station’s entrepreneurs start and maintain their businesses. This new partnership was made possible in part because of our affiliation with MOBI and its strong educational program.
Do you know an organization or school that might be interested in partnering with MOBI?
Celebrating connections and recognitions from the past few months.
Lunch with the Mexican Consulate of San Jose
In December MOBI Executive Director Drew Starbird, Leavey School of Business Dean and MOBI Advisory Board Member Caryn Beck-Dudley, and Associate Provost for International Programs Susan Popko joined Consul General Alejandra Bologna and other leaders from the Mexican Consulate of San Jose for lunch here at Santa Clara University’s Adobe Lodge restaurant.
Celebrating MOBI Students!
Thank you to Mark Anthony for sending us his Certificate selfie from the Philippines! Congratulations to you and all our MOBI students who completed their courses this quarter! Well done!
Partner Certificates Around the World
AIMIT (St. Aloysius Institute of Management and Information Technology), St. Aloysius College (Autonomous) in Mangaluru, India presents MOBI Certificates to students from its 2020 Entrepreneurship Development Programme in early March.
MOBI highlights one theme every week on our social media platforms. We post blogs, videos, lists, and articles on a variety of topics relevant for aspiring entrepreneurs. Based upon reader activity, here are some top stories from the past quarter.