Small business institute opensNews Monday, January 30th, 2012
Small business institute opens
ULM’s Risk Management and Insurance program recently launched the Small Business Risk Management Institute to conduct research and provide guidance for small businesses.
The institute took three years to develop. Students enrolled in Insurance 3008 in fall 2011 surveyed over 280 small businesses throughout Louisiana, according to Christine Berry, director of insurance studies. The businesses analyzed included oil and gas industries, retail stores, financial service businesses, restaurants and construction companies. Students also trained these small business owners during their studies.
“Students collected data through their coursework such as demographics, business characteristics, risk management and insurance,” said Berry.
Berry said plans are being made to branch out to other states. Research gathered by students is currently being applied to small business education workshops Berry is conducting in south Louisiana.
Beaux Duhe, a senior majoring in risk management and insurance from Houma, conducted surveys last fall mainly in the southern part of Louisiana. The survey topics explored common types of small business insurance coverage such as flood, wind and liability insurance.
“[Students] surveyed to get an idea of what businesses are not taking advantage of, what they are lacking or what they are not aware of,” said Duhe.
ULM’s Small Business Risk Management Institute uses resources pertaining to risks and damages that are usually designed for large corporations; therefore, they are not pertinent to small businesses.
“[The institute] allows small businesses to think outside of the box and to consider what if something happened,” said Duhe, “they would then be able to keep running and not go under.”
Risk management and insurance students continue to research to be integrated into small business education and training efforts.
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