E. J. Ourso College of Business Announces b1BANK Partnership

March 10, 2022

b1BANK will expand opportunities for LSU business students and military veterans through a partnership with the E. J. Ourso College of Business.

The relationship will bolster support for students interested in commercial banking by establishing an endowed scholarship and increasing resources for the college’s Commercial Banking Initiative. Housed in the Department of Finance, this academic program prepares students for the workforce through classroom instruction and experiential learning.

b1BANK will also support the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans, equipping military veterans with the tools needed to be successful entrepreneurs. b1BANK is the newest sponsor for LSU 100, an annual honor that identifies, recognizes and celebrates the 100 fastest growing Tiger-owned or Tiger-led businesses. Both of these entrepreneurial-minded programs are offered through LSU Executive Education.    

“ We are grateful for b1BANK’s investment and vision,” said E. J. Ourso College Dean Jared J. Llorens. “Their support will create meaningful opportunities for our students and their communities. Looking at job outlook and earning potential, we see strong outcomes for LSU graduates working in commercial banking. Their success has a ripple effect benefiting families and communities across our state and region. The same is true for those who complete the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans. The advantages created through these programs will spread far and wide. ”

Student engagement opportunities, including the new b1BANK Day, are part of the partnership. These interactions will allow students to learn about b1BANK and its many career opportunities.  

“Louisiana businesses face a critical challenge. How do we keep and develop talent?  That’s as true for the banking industry as it is for other types of businesses,” said Jude Melville, president and CEO of b1BANK.  “Through our partnership with the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business, we are investing in development of business leaders, some of which we hope will end up part of our team, and some of which we hope to serve as clients or partners as they progress in their careers. We believe this partnership will also contribute to the broader development of the Louisiana economic ecosystem in which those leaders, particularly those that are entrepreneurial, want to stay and operate within, again, either with us or as clients and peers. It’s an investment we feel confident will generate returns for years to come.”

About Business First Bancshares, Inc.
Business First Bancshares, Inc., (Nasdaq: BFST) through its banking subsidiary b1BANK, has approximately $5.3 billion in assets, $6.1 billion in assets under management through b1BANK’s affiliate Smith Shellnut Wilson, LLC (SSW) (excludes $1.0 billion of b1BANK assets managed by SSW) and operates Banking Centers and Loan Production Offices in markets across Louisiana and the Dallas, Texas area, providing commercial and personal banking products and services. Commercial banking services include commercial loans and letters of credit, working capital lines and equipment financing, and treasury management services. b1BANK was awarded #1 Best-In-State Bank, Louisiana, by Forbes and Statista, and is a three-time recipient of Baton Rouge Business Report’s “Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge.” Visit b1BANK.com for more information. 

About the E. J. Ourso College of Business
Since its establishment in 1928, the E. J. Ourso College of Business has continuously improved and expanded its offerings for students and alumni. Additionally, the college has made it a priority to provide its faculty with the resources it needs to further research in every aspect of the business world and to produce industry leaders for a global work environment. For more news and information about the E. J. Ourso College, visit lsu.edu/business.

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