Consult Your Community University Student Volunteers Mobilized Nationally to Help Women- and Minority-Owned Small Businesses Pivot and Survive During the Pandemic

Consult Your Community Small Business Assistance Program

​​​​During a time of acute economic loss, heightened inequity, and racial injustices, Consult Your Community (CYC) enabled its network of student volunteers from top universities to launch an inaugural internship program serving local entrepreneurs devastated by the pandemic. As a national nonprofit consultancy dedicated to empowering women-owned and minority-owned small businesses since 2013, CYC details the impact they made in their new exclusive Covid-19 2020 report:

In 10 weeks, 50 volunteers dedicated nearly 6,000 hours of work to ensure 14 women-owned and black-owned entrepreneurs stayed in business. Since many businesses faced reductions in their workforce due to furloughs and layoffs, our volunteers gave these entrepreneurs helping hands they no longer had. Their work effectively added 3 full time employees to these businesses. Some of these entrepreneurs were sole proprietors, meaning that CYC contributed to a 300% temporary increase in their capacity.

According to H.T. Major, the owner of Excellent Presence, CYC's "assistance freed a LOT of my time, affording me the mental space that allowed me to clarify our focus. ... The past few years have been a rough period for Black lives. Even more so in 2020. I found that just having other caring, diligent humans to work with in such a difficult social climate really helped lift my spirits, motivating me to enhanced productivity — shaking me out of my reverie a bit, if you will."

CYC volunteers were students and young professionals with full time jobs who, when faced with the option of taking it easy over an already difficult summer, instead chose to help those in need. This summer report is a story of how they helped two communities find meaning and purpose during a historic pandemic.

“Tragedy after tragedy has unfolded in 2020: some of them have hurt our small businesses, some have hurt our interns, and all have shaken our communities. Yet through all of this, we have held together and leaned on one another for the support that we all needed,” said Anne Chen, a member of the CYC national planning team.

About Consult Your Community:

Consult Your Community’s vision is to empower every entrepreneur to have the economic freedom to pursue the American Dream. CYC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been inspiring university communities across the country into action since 2013. Through skills-based consulting projects, they mobilize college students and young professionals to leverage their education, digital fluency, mentorship networks, and knowledge as customers to empower business owners. With about 400 active student consultants across 26 chapters and 11 states, CYC has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs in college towns surrounding UC Berkeley, UCLA, UPenn, Columbia, Emory, Georgia Tech, NC State, and more. In 2019, CYC provided over 60,000 hours of pro bono assistance. Follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn to hear stories of our everyday impact.​

​​Media Contact:
Kiron Chandy

Source: Consult Your Community

About Consult Your Community

Consult Your Community is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit consultancy that provides pro bono consulting to women-owned and minority-owned small businesses in 26 communities across America. Support our latest effort: