SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport welcomed over 60 Harvard Business School students this past week.

The students have helped 11 local businesses, from Rhino Coffee to the Barksdale Airforce Base Child Development Center, working to solve many different issues faced by local businesses and organizations from marketing to daily operations to program outreach.

“But here everything is so close-knit that if, you make a wrong business decision, it has a lot of reputational value, right? That goes beyond just what your business is doing, right? And that’s a context that’s very new to us and I think that’s one of the biggest value adds for cities like Shreveport,” Samrath Oberoi said.

Each of the businesses highlighted during the visit was aided by groups of six Harvard Master of Business students to help facilitate new perspectives and business strategies.

“It’s been a really amazing time visiting. I think the southern hospitality, the community. Everyone here really cares for each other and has such a strong connection and desire to keep building the community up and really commit to this area,” said Harvard student Ashley Reid.

The students also met with Mayor Adrian Perkins, the Downtown Development Authority, and other city officials, and presented their ideas for improvement in the community.

“That outside perspective has been great,” said Perkins. “It’s really going to allow us to solve some problems here that I think we haven’t quite been able to turn the corner on.”