Small Business Institute

POY (Project of the Year)

Experiential Learning Competition

 2015/2016  Guidelines

Awarded at the SBI 2017 Annual Conference

Sponsor

The Small Business Institute® (SBI) is the premier professional association of small business/entrepreneurship educators and researchers involved in student analysis projects. Its mission is to strengthen the small business/entrepreneurship sector of the free enterprise system. SBI enhances and improves entrepreneurship education through an extensive network of Small Business Institutes® at colleges and universities throughout the United States and internationally.

Student Projects

SBI encourages its members and other college and university faculty to involve students in practical consulting projects. Consulting projects serve clients who own or operate local small businesses. Supervised by faculty, these projects provide students opportunities to help make lasting improvements in their clients' business operations. As a result, students learn about business, gain a sense of achievement, and earn respect. Student consulting projects culminate in a final written case report which is delivered to the client. The purpose of the Project of the Year competition is to recognize outstanding student work in consulting.

Requirements to Compete

Any college or university conducting student consulting projects may enter their projects in this competition, subject to the following limitations: (1) The work of the students submitted must be their own work without assistance from anyone except the supervising professor; (2) The POY has 3 project types within 2 categories of competition.

Project Types:

  • Comprehensive: deals with comprehensive business consulting analyses that analyze 3 or more functional areas of the business.
  • Specialized: deals with specialized consulting analyses focusing in-depth on 1 or 2 areas such as marketing or accounting.
  • Feasibility Study/Business Plan: is the business plan consulting methodology in which a business plan is prepared for the business client (third party) by the students. This category does not include business plans completed by students as part owners of the business. These hybrid designs may be rejected by the VP of Research & Publications unless they are specifically consulting projects for business clients.

Competitive Categories

A)   Graduate Programs

B)    Undergraduate Programs

Competition Period

The competition period covers the period from July 1 through June 30 for the year previous to the entry deadline date. Entrants must have delivered the original copy of the students' project to the client during this period.

Entry Deadline

The entry deadline for the SBI Consulting Project Competition is September 25, 2016. To qualify, the entry must be submitted to the SBI conference management system on or before this date. In fairness, no exceptions will be made.

Entry Fee

  • Entry Fee is $125 for two (2)entries per Faculty Lead (Faculty listed as leading the Experiential Team) (In addition - SBI membership for remainder of year provided for Faculty Lead)
  • SBI Members in Good Standing at the time of submission (as Project Faculty Lead) are allowed two (2) entries at NO FEE.
  • Only 1 entry per Category & Type allowed per Faculty Lead

NOTE:  Entry Fee is based on Faculty Lead for Projects.  Submission made by University Programs, Students and others will be subjected to entries – per Faculty Lead.  Schools may submit multiple entries on behalf of different Faculty Leads.  Schools & Students submitting entries must ensure Faculty Leads do not have more than one (1) Entry existing within the category/type.  If necessary, the students submitting entries may discuss with their program to enter projects under different separate faculty leads. The first entries per Faculty Lead will be accepted, additional entries over the 2 maximum (1 per category) will be rejected.

Entry Specifications

  • A maximum of one (1) entry may be submitted from each Faculty Lead per category with a maximum of 2 entries per School. 
  • A signed Client Release on the Project of the Year Competition Entry Form Is required and this eliminates the need to disguise the case. If your institution prefers its case to be disguised it may do so but is not required.
    • By submitting to the POY competition, The Project Faculty Lead or SBI member agrees to act as a judge for three other entries as assigned by the VP for Research & Publications. This person will be notified through email with a link to the judging form and the project(s) for review will be attached. Failure to review will mean your submission is subject to being withdrawn. The review must be completed within two weeks of delivery.

Electronic Submission to POY Competition
Submitting to the POY competition is a two-step process; all entries must include the following:

Entry Form: A separate Project of the Year Competition Entry Form (click here for Entry Form) must be completed for each consulting report submitted for competition (subject to restrictions specified above in Entry Specifications). Please note that the signature section may include a photo representation of the Entrant's signature and Client's signature or a typed name will be accepted as an electronic signature.

Submitted Project: The submitted case and all appendices should be submitted electronically as one PDF file (including the release signed by the client eliminates the need to disguise the case; if your institution prefers its case to be disguised, that is optional). Submissions should be submitted to the POY management system POY Entry.

Each submitted case should be named under the following format: School Submitting_Entrant's Last Name_Category (Categories are: Comprehensive, Specialized or Business Plan)_Classification (Undergraduate or Graduate_Project).

Example: ABC_University_Smith_Comprehensive_Undergraduate_Submission Project.

Each Entry is required to have a Client Release on file - if you do not have the release in the 100pg PDF - it must be submitted electronically through afidavit of electronic signature by the Faculty Lead for the Project, or the SBI Director.  Affidavit for Client release

Entry Payment

  • If you are not a current SBI member, a $125 entry fee must be paid prior to entry being accepted for competition.  If paying by Credit Card – you may contact the SBI administration.  Phone: 601-924-3489 If you do not wish to pay by credit card, please make your check payable to "SBI" and mail to: SBI, 134 Fairmont Street, Suite B, Clinton, MS 39056. No projects can be included unless one is a current SBI member or until the entry fee has been paid.

  • Once the payment has been made, proceed to the POY management system POY Entry where you will register and upload your POY document. 

    Competition Levels
    Entries for competition must have the proper classification checked on the entry form to specify how the project is to be judged. Please see the "Submission Standards" on the Evaluation Procedure document to better understand classification. A failure to correctly classify the report may result in the submission being disqualified. SBI reserves the right to not make awards if the quality or quantity of entries is deemed insufficient.

Judging Procedure

Judges for the competition are SBI Directors, former SBI Directors, and college and university faculty members that are SBI members and/or those that submit to the POY competition. Each judge completes and signs a Volunteer Judge Agreement attesting to his or her independence (objectivity) and agreeing to maintain client confidentiality. The goal of the program is to have each consulting report in the competition be reviewed by three judges. All decisions regarding assignment of judges and the decisions on submissions by judges are final once approved by the VP of Research & Publications.

  • POY submission for the 2015/2016 cycle must follow customary SBI paper submissions guidelines below:

    • Electronic submission (through the POY management system)
    • File Format: one inclusive, contiguous PDF document. Any separate files (such as appendices) should be merged into that one file
    • 100 page limit all inclusive. (each page, including title, appendices, etc. count toward the 100 page limit)
    • 12 pt font for report text
    • 1-inch margins
    • Double-spaced report text
    • Each page shall be numbered consecutively

    Submissions that do not conform to the submission guidelines above will not be considered for the POY competition. If you have never submitted a POY before, it is suggested that you review the scoring sheets for the competition  (SBI Judging Form: Business Plan / Feasibility Analysis), (SBI Judging Form: Comprehensive/Specialized)  to familiarize yourself with the characteristics that are looked for in the judging process.

    For questions regarding electronic submission, please contact the Vice President for Research, Publications & POY, Dr. Denise Cumberland:  denise.cumberland@louisville.edu
    REQUIREMENTS

    Follow these 3 easy steps to compete

    Step 1- Read and follow the complete project submission guidelines

    You must first pay for your registration through website if you are not an SBI member.

    POY submission for the 2015/2016 cycle must follow customary SBI paper submissions guidelines below:

    • Electronic submission (through the conference management system)
    • The entire submission must in one inclusive, contiguous file in PDF format. Any separate files (such as appendices) should be merged into that one file.
    •  100 pages limit all inclusive. (each page, including title, appendices, etc. count toward the 100 page limit)
    • 12 pt font for report text
    • 1-inch margins
    • Double-spaced report text
    • Each page shall be numbered consecutively
    • PDF should contain the client release.

    Submissions that do not conform to the submission guidelines above will not be considered for the POY competition.

    Step 2- Adhere to the submission deadlines
    Project Submission Deadlines

    POY submission and entry form is due no later than midnight EST September 25, 2016 . Click here for "POY Submission" entry form.

    Step 3- Follow project submission directions

Project Submission Procedure

  • The POY submission (PDF Format) must be uploaded via the SBI POY management system (POY Entry).

  • If you have questions, contact Dr. Denise Cumberland (denise.cumberland@louisville.edu) or call the SBI office 601-924-3489.

Requirement for Submitting

Each POY faculty Lead submitting an entry agrees to act as a judge for three other entries, but will do so in a different category than that entered. Judging will be assigned by the VP of Research, Publications & POY and is expected to be completed by December 1, 2016

    
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