EFund collaboration with UMD accounting class connects students with local businesses

Entrepreneur Fund

November 28, 2022

University of Minnesota Duluth accounting students (from left) Luke Osterman, Amanda Paulson and Jordan Vigness present their research and recommendations to Entrepreneur Fund client and Duluth Cider co-owner Jake Scott (second from right) in downtown Duluth in November 2022. (Photo by Sandi Larson, Women’s Business Alliance North Director)

Every fall, University of Minnesota Duluth instructor Loren Erickson teaches an accounting class where he provides students with real-world experience in accounting by working with a local business. Since 2019, he has partnered with the Entrepreneur Fund to connect his students with our Duluth-area clients.

Over the course of Fall 2022 semester, accounting students completed a 3-year historical analysis of a local business, compared the business to others in their industry, developed recommendations based on their findings and created a 2023 budget for that business. EFund clients participating in the course this fall were Jake and Valerie Scott, owners of Duluth Cider, and Karen McTavish, owner of McTavish Quilting.

The students met with EFund staff to get insight into the clients and make sure they were on the right track with their research during the semester. EFund business developer Kyle Dickinson worked with the students on the McTavish Quilting account and EFund credit manager Zach Hoy assisted students on the Duluth Cider account. At the end of the semester, students presented their findings and provided a written report to their client at the EFund office in downtown Duluth.

“The students always talk about how this program really helps them bring together their academic learning in a way that they would not have experienced in a typical classroom,” said Sandi Larson, EFund business advisor and Women’s Business Alliance North Director, who, along with EFund Director of Business Finance Mike Lattery, coordinates the effort with the university. “Working with an actual business owner on real numbers is challenging and adds extra pressure because they want to get it right and they want to help that owner, but they are always glad they got the opportunity and learn so much from it.”

Congratulations to the UMD accounting students on their final presentations. Our staff is proud of your work this semester and our clients appreciate your research and recommendations.

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