Community | Spring 2019

Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence: Business development & consulting

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence
Robert Stein, executive director, Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence.
(Photo courtesy of IEE)

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence is helping Western Pennsylvania businesses grow

For Western Pennsylvania business owners and entrepreneurs seeking a boost for their business, the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) is the place to start. The economic development arm of the University of Pittsburgh provides education, consulting and networking to Western Pennsylvania business owners to help them get to the next level.

“Everything we do ties in to five metrics,” says Robert Stein, IEE executive director. “We want to help businesses increase their revenue and their profitability. We want to add or save jobs. We want to increase the amount of investment in a business and we want to increase the number of startups in our region.”

Bevy of offerings

With economic development in mind, IEE works with clients through a breadth of services, including those provided through its Huntington-sponsored Small Business Development Center, which offers no-cost management consulting. It’s also where Huntington teaches first- and second-step classes that teach people how to start a business, write a business plan and better understand the financial aspects of launching, running and growing a business.

IEE also offers peer forums for established business owners, an Urban and Community Entrepreneurship program for minority entrepreneurs in disadvantaged areas, a virtual accelerator that helps businesses diversify their offerings and an Entrepreneurial Fellows class that focuses on business growth. And it offers all of these services under one roof.

“There are a lot of small business centers across the country,” Stein says. “There are a lot of family business centers, a lot of entrepreneurial-based education, but very rarely do they have them all under one roof. And that’s what makes IEE unique.”

It’s also what helps make IEE effective. In 2017, it helped 66 new businesses, secured $14.2 million in client funding, created 528 jobs and logged 7,355 consulting hours.

As it executes its mission, IEE leans on Huntington for assistance.

“They really care about our mission,” Stein says. “They really care about the community and the growth of businesses in the community. They’re accessible and approachable. We really appreciate that. We really need a bank that’s willing to work with our client businesses and give them financing, which helps them grow and add employees and create jobs.”

About the organization

Name: Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence
Website: entrepreneur.pitt.edu
City: Based in Pittsburgh, IEE helps entrepreneurs and businesses in Western Pennsylvania.
Phone: (412) 648-1544
Mission: Offering a dynamic mix of consulting, education and networking opportunities, the IEE strives to be an innovative leader in economic development in the region.

How you can help

IEE looks to people in the community who operate or have sold a successful business to mentor and teach people what they learned through real life experience.


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