Allie Martin

About Allie Martin

Video: Harvard MBA’s on a Mission to Help Area Small Businesses

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI ) -  Wall Street is coming to Main Street in Northeast Mississippi. And some Ivy League MBAs are learning and teaching at the same time.

It’s no secret, small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engines of economic growth. Four Harvard Business School grads are learning that at the street level this week in Tupelo.

They are interviewing tenants at the Renasant Center small business incubator, to get a feel for what makes small business owner ticks.

“We’re hoping to learn a ton,” said Meghin Sherlock, of “MBA’s Across America.”

They are one of eight teams that make up “MBAs Across America.” Each team will visit six cities to learn strategies and concerns from small business groups. They also are offering their own ideas.

“What we want to do is we want to actually leave behind resources for them to actually think about their business in a different way or actually be able to grow their business. Those resources could be as simple as a checklist, as advanced as an Excel tool,” Sherlock said.

In each city, team members also hit the streets in a different way, chipping in on community service projects.

They spent several hours cleaning debris from this tornado-damaged neighborhood.

“Everyone in Tupelo has been extremely warm and hospitable, so the least we can do is to show our gratitude and do our part to help in tornado recovery efforts,” said Namrata Bhattacharya, of “MBAs Across America.”

In just three days, North Mississippi already has been an eye opener for these future corporate leaders.

“Coming here, what’s been really great to see is the really strong sense of community here, everyone knows each other, and helps each other out and we come in with these ideas of, how do you grow, are there ways to reach outside of the Tupelo area, I think we’re starting to realize there’s so many benefits of being part of a business community where everyone knows each other and trusts each other,” said Ryan Eskridge, of “MBAs Across America.”

By the end of the week, these MBAs on a Mission will present their findings and suggestions to the business community. Several other Ivy League Schools are also represented in MBAs Across America. To keep up with each team’s blog, go to www.mbaxamerica.com.