Katie Toyoshima is a Career Track MBA Student from Seattle, Washington. Her undergraduate degree is from Seattle University in business administration, management. Katie has worked in the state office of the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as a graduate assistant for a year and a half. She has gained experience in database management, process improvement and project management.
Recently, Katie completed a research project and wrote a paper on the Idaho SBDC’s efforts in economic development for rural Idaho. Katie’s paper titled “Aiding Small Businesses in Rural Idaho” was accepted into the Small Business Institute’s Annual Conference in the Small Business Development Center Best Practices category. The category seeks to highlight all of the best practices of SBDCs all over the country and present what makes each of those networks successful. Katie attended the conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 26-27 and presented her paper to conference attendees.
The focus of Katie’s paper is on the Idaho SBDC’s efforts and strategies to serve all small businesses in an overwhelmingly rural state.
“We serve the rural population by using two strategies: marketing, and a distributed staffing model,” Katie said. “As rural Idaho’s workforce becomes even more depleted, it is of utmost importance that the SBDC continues to try to reach out and assist rural small businesses with the limited resources they have in order to revitalize the economies in those areas of the state. By using effective marketing and leveraging community leaders, the SBDC has and will continue to help staunch rural flight and simultaneously help educate the rural community. Increasing the number of rural consultants and furthering our marketing efforts will allow for the SBDC’s services to hopefully become more accessible to our rural population.”
When asked why she wrote the paper Katie said, “I thought that it was extremely important that someone championed what the Idaho SBDC does. Everyone who works for the SBDC believes deeply in its mission and in helping all of the communities here in Idaho. Idaho has an extremely unique landscape and our SBDC operates in a very special way.”
Katie is on track to graduate with her master’s degree in May 2020. She has accepted a position with Atrium, a salesforce analytics consulting company, starting in June.