Each year, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (CEC), in conjunction with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), holds an internal best field case competition, the Charles Matthews Business Plan Competition, to select the top field cases completed by Carl H. Lindner College of Business teams. The competition is supported, in-part, by the generosity of the SCORE Foundation. The competition was originally named after the late Cecil Boatright, Manager of the Cincinnati Branch of the U.S. Small Business Administration and renamed by SCORE in 2013 to honor Professor Charles Matthews, Past Executive-Director and Founder of the Center.
Graduate-level and senior undergraduate-level students enrolled in fall and spring sessions of ENTR7089, ENTR5098 and ENTR5097 work closely with faculty over a 15-week period to develop comprehensive business plans for local area businesses. During the consulting phase, students record a history of the firm, identify goals and objectives, and discuss strategies to achieve these goals. Past projects have included assistance with industry and competitive analysis, venture launch plans, growth strategies, feasibility studies, marketing strategies, company valuations, and more.
The Matthews Competition is part of the intense small business/entrepreneurship curriculum and the Small Business Institute® Consulting program. The competition has been established to enhance student learning of the knowledge and skills required for strategic thinking and decision-making and to fulfill the CEC’s mission by providing practical hands-on advice and council to small, entrepreneurial, and family business ventures. This local competition helps CEC faculty to identify the best cases each year, which are nominated for the National Small Business Institute® Project of the Year Competition.