University of Kentucky alumni experts are now only a click away for Kentucky small business employers and entrepreneurs who have a business or technical question. The UK Alumni Expert Network connects tens of thousands of Kentucky small businesses with alumni who have expertise in hundreds of areas from business operations to new product development.
“The idea came from listening at Dean Lester’s advisory council meeting about how we could support President Todd’s goal of making the University a basic tool for business in Kentucky,” said Duncan. “UK alumni can feel they are giving back to Kentucky and Kentucky can benefit from UK graduates, regardless of where they may be living now.”
“The UK Alumni Expert Network is an innovative initiative designed to be a tremendous resource for Kentucky’s small businesses which are the backbone of our local communities,” said UK President Lee T. Todd, Jr. “This is another great example of how UK alumni are dedicated to giving back to the Commonwealth.”
Already, more than 100 alumni, each with at least 10 years of business experience, have completed an online profile and been approved to participate in the network. Each expert has agreed to provide up to 10 hours of free consulting each year with a maximum of two hours of free telephone and e-mail consulting per business. After the initial two hours, the expert and the business may enter into an extended agreement.
Any of Kentucky’s small business employers and owners or any Kentucky-based entrepreneur can find an alumni expert by searching the more than 2,100 expert topic areas at www.ukyexperts.net and filling out an online request.
“It is critical to the economic prosperity of Kentucky, especially in our current economic climate, that entrepreneurs who are starting new businesses and existing small businesses succeed,” said Len Heller, UK’s vice president for Commercialization and Economic Development. “We believe the UK Alumni Expert Network will be a major component of making small businesses across the Bluegrass State successful.”
According to the latest Kentucky small business profile published by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, Kentucky had 70,785 small business employers in 2006, representing 97 percent of the state’s employers. Small businesses in Kentucky created 60 percent of the state’s new net jobs from 2004-2005.
The UK Alumni Expert Network is a partnership between the UK Office for Commercialization and Economic Development and the UK Alumni Association.
For Kentucky’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, the UK Alumni Expert Network makes it easy to connect with a volunteer alumni expert for free business and technical consulting. Log on to www.ukyexperts.net
- Select an expert topic area
- Fill out request
- Connect with the alumni expert
The UK Alumni Network is seeking more experts to join and help to fill out the ranks. Any qualified alumni can volunteer as an alumni expert by logging on and filling out an expert’s profile online. Volunteer experts typically have graduated from the University of Kentucky at least 10 years ago and are willing to provide up to 10 hours of free telephone or e-mail consulting each year. Experts in all professional and technical fields are welcome; engineers in all disciplines, marketing and accounting executives, lawyers, medical and pharmaceutical professionals, experts in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, and experts in regulations such as EPA, OSHA, FDA – just to name a few- are all welcome to join the UK Alumni Network.