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 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 economic ecosystem 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.
  • Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) works collaboratively to provide businesses with the tools necessary to navigate the complexities of the government marketplace. Contract specialists are available to provide no cost technical assistance on government contracting matters, through seminars and one-on-one advising.

  • The Alaska Center for Rural Collaboration (ACRC) supports the success and growth of businesses in Rural Alaska by leveraging from within our community of rural businesses resources at the UAA Business Enterprise Institute.

  • The Technology, Research and Development Center (TREND) is a catalyst for the high-tech economy in Alaska through bridging the gaps between innovators, industry, and financiers.
  •  The Center for Corporate and Professional Development (CCPD) provides non-credit executive and professional development trainings to individuals and employees throughout Alaska. These customized courses cover a broad range of competencies including supervisory, management and leadership development, Lean Six Sigma, as well as soft skill development such as conflict and change management as well as business writing. Classes are delivered onsite at customer locations as well as in open enrollment format.
  •  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 the Executive Director of the University Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute. She leads the University’s economic development suite of programs, plans the engagement of BEI, and manages the center’s personnel and budgets. Over the years, Ms. Bell has provided leadership to technical assistance activities throughout Alaska including: Business Retention and Expansion, Cluster Development, Local Grown, as well as Tourism Planning and Marketing initiatives for communities that are predominantly small remote, rural and strong in indigenous leadership.

Bell holds a CEcD (Certificate in Economic Development) from the International Economic Development Council as well as a Master of Business degree and a Master of Science degree in Resource Management, both from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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