Hourly Nerd Offers MBA Students for Hire for Small Businesses -

If you’re a mom and pop and always wanted a fancy consultant on your payroll for tasks ranging from accounting to building a mobile-social media strategy—there’s a new start-up just for you.

Hourly is an online marketplace that offers MBA students for hire from the nation’s top business schools. Fees range from $10 to $50 an hour ballpark. Those with deeper resumes charge up to $75 to $100 an hour.

The start-up is the brainchild of three Harvard Business School students—all under 30: Rob Biederman, 26; Peter Maglathlin, 27; and Patrick Petitti, 29. And like many entrepreneurial light-bulb moments, the idea was born from necessity.

An MBA degree can be pricey and students have the time to devote eight to 10 hours a week to short-term projects. Meanwhile, small-business owners broadly are at an interesting inflection point in a U.S. economy that’s trying to gain traction.

Most mom and pops have cut costs to the bare bones since the recession. And many have no short-term hiring plans—a traditional driver of past economic recoveries. (Read more: Why Main Street Is Not Hiring, Growing)

Main Street needs to expand business organically again—but can’t afford hires. And they certainly can’t shell out for help from a fancy consulting, accounting or investment-banking firm.

That’s where Hourly comes in.

“Small businesses need to start growing revenue again because there’s no more cost cutting,” co-founder Biederman said. “They need to explore ways of growing revenue without committing to a full-time hire,” he said.

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