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Small Businesses Were Suffering During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Northeastern Came Up with a Way to Help.
Over a three-day weekend in March, Ivy put together a virtual event BE-EDGE Consult-a-Thon, that connected four small businesses — a hair salon, a gym, an eco-friendly cleaning service, and Rosas’ bakery — with young volunteer consultants who offered suggestions to help attract new customers and bring the community together.
The IMPACT Consult-a-thon: East Boston, addressed problems the businesses were facing that went beyond COVID-19. The neighborhoods of East Boston have been gentrifying over the past decade. The new residents—drawn to the neighborhood’s waterfront access and proximity to downtown Boston—haven’t necessarily become aware of Rosas’ bakery.
Ivy wanted the consultants to fully explore the issues before offering solutions. She asked them to go through a discovery process as detailed in her 2019 book, Crafting Your Edge for Today’s Job Market: Using the BE-EDGE Method for Consulting Cases and Capstone Projects. At the end of each step, the volunteers were asked to deliver a product to help push the mission forward.