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Northwest Missouri State University

Faculty/Staff Spotlight

May 11, 2017

Lobina offers feedback on high school students’ business plans

Rebecca Lobina

Rebecca Lobina

Rebecca Lobina, director of the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center at Northwest Missouri State University, served on a panel May 10 to critique business pitches presented by students in an introduction to business course at Central High School in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Lobina visited with freshman and sophomore students, who also are aspiring entrepreneurs, to review their business plans. Ideas ranged from specialty bakeries to service businesses.

“I was impressed with the amount of market research the students had completed,” Lobina said. “They truly understood the needs of the market and their customers as well as what would differentiate them from their competition. Each business concept came from the place of a need that exists in the current market.”

The business course puts students through entrepreneurial processes, from developing a business idea to a culminating pitch to professionals offer feedback.  

The volunteer judging panel also included professionals representing Citizen’s Bank, Commerce Bank, the St. Joseph School District, American Family Insurance, Farmer’s State Bank and St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, among others.

“This is a tremendous real life learning experience for our students,” Central High School business teacher Lori Fordyce said. “Students get so much more out of authentic learning opportunities, such as this one, than they would from a paper and pencil test. As a teacher, this process is the perfect way to genuinely assess my students business knowledge.”

The Northwest SBTDC serves an 18-county area in northwest Missouri and focuses on economic development assistance for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. It provides individual business counseling to small business owners and individuals, coordinates and conducts research related to technical and general small business problems, and conducts conferences and workshops on topics of interest to small business owners.

For more information about the Northwest SBTDC and its services, contact Lobina in St. Joseph at 816.232.4461 or visit

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468