妮可科比, ’21, is getting a real-world business education and helping a 女性-owned startup — thanks to the Foster School’s 咨询和业务发展中心.

The day Kate Isler launched TheWMarketplace — where you can buy an embroidered pashmina scarf and a consultation with an attorney in one purchase — the 女性-led e-commerce site featured about 700 products.

Just six months later, shoppers can browse 2,300 products and services from 340 providers. But growth came with challenges for this brainchild of CEO Isler and her business partner, 苏珊·盖茨.

There’s just something different about applying your knowledge to a real project. It feels so much more rewarding instead of a test at the end of the quarter.

“We’re a startup, so our resources are limited — and our people resources are 真的 有限,”岛解释道. 是时候制定长期的商业计划了, a welcome solution came in the form of a team of UW undergraduate students in the Foster School of Business, 和学校一起做一个为期四分之一的项目 咨询和业务发展中心 (CBDC).

当妮可科比, ’21, 一个金融专业的学生,热爱数字和解决问题的能力, 仔细研究了一份可能的客户名单, 她被公司的使命所吸引. “I was 真的 into the fact that TheWMarketplace was 女性-owned,”科比说, 我认为这是一个很酷的商业模式.”

在这个由亚马逊和eBay等全球巨头主导的行业, the startup is intentional about the businesses they feature: those owned by 女性 or certified as gender equitable by a third party. “凤凰彩票平台APP下载真正的使命是改变文化,”岛, noting that 女性 are disproportionately bearing the economic impacts of the pandemic. “85%的购买决定是由女性做出的, 如果凤凰彩票平台APP下载能给他们相互购买的选择权, 凤凰彩票平台APP下载有机会创造公平的竞争环境.”

由凤凰彩票官网的三位校友导师指导, Bryant’s team worked closely with TheWMarketplace all winter quarter. 从分析人口统计数据到研究竞争, 他们学会了如何将研究转化为商业决策. 在本季度末, the student consultants walk away with invaluable practical experience, while the business gets critical insights to help it stay competitive.

“There’s just something different about applying your knowledge to a real project,”科比说, whose goal was to help TheWMarketplace carve out a niche in e-commerce. “It feels so much more rewarding instead of a test at the end of the quarter.”


每年, hundreds of undergraduates like Bryant are immersed in the behind-the-scenes work of running a business, 感谢咨询和商业发展中心.

自1995年该中心在福斯特学校成立以来, student consultants and faculty-led courses have helped generate more than 新增收入2.5亿美元 and retain more than 237,000个工作岗位, 主要是在女性和有色人种拥有的企业. 而且好处是双向的. 在最近的一项毕业生调查中, 96% of student participants say their experience helped them land their first job after graduation.

让福斯特团队进来说, “这就是你在市场上的位置, 这就是你的大机会所在, here’s how you can differentiate your offer’ is incredible in terms of value.

The center’s mission — to enhance the Husky Experience and assist local businesses owned by people of color, 女性, ”+人, veterans and others in underserved communities — has been bolstered by a recent philanthropic gift from 凤凰彩票官网摄政乔安妮·哈勒尔 and 布鲁斯·哈勒尔, 前西雅图市议会主席.

Bryant thinks of the CBDC as her second home on the UW campus: “It’s an amazing center with an amazing mission.” An internship her first year with the center’s social-media marketing team led to a permanent job there as an administrative assistant. 去年夏天,她参与了另一个CBDC项目, 分析凤凰彩票官网州轮渡的加班费用.

Bryant is grateful for donors like the Harrells who are “putting their money toward something that benefits people who 真的 need it, 比如有色人种社区和女性拥有的企业.”


For the businesses who work with the CBDC, the benefits are priceless.

From conducting demographic research to studying company financials, Bryant’s team did work that might otherwise have cost TheWMarketplace thousands in consulting fees. But Isler says it’s not just the savings — it’s the invaluable information that will have the biggest impact on the business.

“福斯特团队进来说, “这就是你在市场上的位置, 这就是你的大机会所在, here’s how you can differentiate your offer’ is incredible in terms of value,伊斯勒在谈到科比的战略分析时说, 评估公司的实力, 弱点, 机会和威胁.

For the student consultants, learning what is and isn’t feasible is part of the process. 在任何新想法传达给客户之前, they’re first shared with a team of advisers — three Foster alumni with real-life expertise from working at T-Mobile, 亚马逊和Oracle.

有时,他们的建议是以温和的“不”的形式提出的, like when Bryant’s team eagerly proposed a mobile app to help lure a younger demographic to TheWMarketplace. 知道应用程序的开发成本很高, the advisers warned the team it might not be practical for a client with limited financial resources.

Despite the added challenges of working on a complex project over Zoom, Bryant was grateful to walk away from this experience with useful, 课堂上无法传授的有市场价值的技能, 比如灵活性和创造力. 与初创公司合作, 尤其是由女人经营的女人的公司, 让她看到了另一种做生意的方式.

“Kate and Susan are just so passionate about making it better for everyone and 真的 do want to change the world,布莱恩特这样评价TheWMarketplace的创始人. “It’s 真的 cool to see how driven they are because they created this from the ground up.”



凤凰彩票官网摄政乔安妮·哈勒尔, ’76, ’79, 和她的丈夫, 布鲁斯·哈勒尔, ’80, ’84, 前西雅图市议员, are known for their dedicated civic engagement and social justice advocacy.

“The UW’s commitment to equity and inclusion has to begin with a willingness to invest in programs that drive educational opportunities to develop future leaders and support a healthy economic ecosystem for everyone,” the Harrells say about their decision to support the 咨询和业务发展中心 with a $100,投资000.

They hope the 乔安妮和布鲁斯·哈勒尔 Family Endowment will help advance the center’s mission of serving historically disadvantaged communities, while giving students an in-depth understanding of the complexities of growing and sustaining businesses.



当您支持咨询和业务发展中心时, you help students get hands-on experience — and boost emerging businesses in underserved communities.