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December 8, 2011

Louisiana Board of Regents approves ULM’s Small Business Risk Management Institute

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s College of Business received approval on Dec. 7 from the Louisiana Board of Regents to launch the new Small Business Risk Management Institute.

The Institute will provide advocacy, education and research to support small businesses in the area of risk management.

According to Dr. Christine Berry, director of the Institute and the Insurance Studies Program, the Institute will aid small businesses in several ways.

“First, results from the field work that our students conduct will help us better understand how small businesses manage risk, identify weaknesses in the insurance market specific for small businesses, and ultimately help us to improve small business success rates,” said Berry.

“The results will also provide useful information to aid lawmakers and other government agencies in the development and enforcement of legislation related to small businesses.”

Existing resources and programs at ULM provide a unique opportunity for the development of the Small Business Risk Management Institute.

ULM’s Risk Management and Insurance program, one of about 40 in the country, has a reputation for placing students in competitive internships, academic competitions and full-time employment in regional, state, national and international organizations, as well as completing reliable and practical research that enhances small businesses’ resilience to disasters.

“In addition to the obvious benefit of hosting an Institute with a national reputation, the programs of the Institute provide an excellent educational experience for ULM Risk Management and Insurance students,” Berry added.

“Students are working closely with small businesses to collect data on risk management issues. This allows students to gain firsthand experience discussing various risk management options with real business clients.”

A key partner with the Institute is the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, also housed within the ULM College of Business.

The center provides oversight for the statewide network of small business development centers and is currently implementing, with assistance from the ULM RMIN program, an U.S. Small Business Administration grant to develop a business continuity program for small businesses in Louisiana.

“The synergistic integration of resources from our Risk Management and Insurance Program and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center creates the unique opportunity for education, research and service that will provide a national reputation for the Small Business Risk Management Institute, ULM and the College of Business,” indicated Dr. Ron Berry, dean of the College of Business.

“We are very excited to add this new Institute to our existing Centers to continue our efforts in supporting economic development in the state.”

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