Business Enterprise Institute

Begin, Expand, Innovate.

Begin, Expand, Innovate.

UAA Business Enterprise Institute

UAA Business Enterprise Institute.



Supporting business and entrepreneurial capacities across Alaska by linking economic and community development programs.

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Business Enterprise Institute (BEI) links economic development programs across the University of Alaska (UA) system and supports businesses and entrepreneurial capacities across Alaska. BEI provides a platform for high-level consultancy between industries and UAA. Providing economic development-related research and technical assistance, high-level professional education, small business development services and entrepreneurialecosystem enhancement for Alaska, BEI serves as a bridge to expertise and talents throughout UAA.

  • The Center for Economic Development (CED) provides guidance and technical assistance to Alaska's communities and public entities engaged in job creation and entrepreneurship. The center develops feasibility studies, regional strategic plans, economic impact studies, and a variety of applied research projects on behalf of municipalities, tribes, regional development organizations, and government agencies.

  • The Alaska Cooperative Development Center (ACDC) is the only organization in the state solely dedicated to assisting and promoting co-ops as a business model. As part of a large, nationwide effort by the Department of Agriculture, it can draw on expertise both inside Alaska and across the nation to assist new and existing cooperative businesses in Alaskan communities.
  •  The Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides resources, advice and assistance to help small businesses grow and create measurable economic impact throughout Alaska. Experienced business advisors and experts guide businesses through on-site and/or online interactions or training, and at no or low cost.
  • The Applied Environmental Research Center (AERC) collects, analyzes, and provides applicable environmental, natural, and cultural resource data to support the optimal management of public lands. All contracting is through the US Army Corps of Engineers.

  • The Center for Strategic Partnerships (CSPR) allows the University of Alaska to readily engage in essential research for a variety of private organizations, as well as state and federal agencies. They have the capacity to conduct basic and applied research using many methods such as point counts, boat-based surveys, and aerial surveys and are skilled in acoustic monitoring, GIS and satellite tracking, and ecosystem studies.

BEI Executive Director: Christi Bell

Christi Bell Headshot.

Ms. Christi Bell is Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of the University of
Alaska Anchorage, Business Enterprise Institute. Through this role, Christi seeks to ignite
a flame of transformation and empower communities and organizations across Alaska.
With an economic development career spanning nearly three decades, Christi has worked
across all sectors and many of the communities of Alaska, supporting both community-
based and private-sector organizations.

Through the UAA Business Enterprise Institute, Christi leads a dynamic team of over 70
professionals, faculty members, and students. The Business Enterprise Institute includes
an array of programs, including the acclaimed UA Center for Economic Development,
the Alaska Small Business Development Center, the Alaska APEX Accelerator (formerly
Alaska Procurement Technical Center), the Alaska Manufacturing Extension Partnership,
the Alaska Cooperative Development Center, as well as the Applied Environmental
Research Center and Center for Strategic Partnerships and Research.

Equipped with a Certificate in Economic Development from the International Economic
Development Council, Christi brings this trusted stamp of credibility and
professionalism. She also holds MBTI and Greenbelt certificates and a Master of
Business degree, and a Master of Science degree in Resource Management from the
University of Alaska Fairbanks. Christi has honed a unique skill set that merges business
acumen, a deep understanding of Alaska, and a passion for building a more sustainable
and resilient economy across Alaska.

Business Enterprise Institute
1901 Bragaw Street, Room 199
Anchorage, Alaska  99508
United States
Tel: (907) 786-5444
Fax: (907) 786-5446