The goal of this survey course is to prepare students for the world of entrepreneurship. Broad principles will aid in understanding the context in which entrepreneurs operate (e.g., social, political, economic), while specific tools will empower students towards their own start-up aspirations. We will further explore the entrepreneurial mindset including such factors as idea generation, opportunity identification, risk assessment, assembling resources, and building a team.
The shipboard experience provides an excellent environment for this topic. As the voyage unfolds, we will have natural opportunities to study and compare entrepreneurs in contexts as varied as Europe, Africa and Asia, enabling a thoughtful reflection on our own practices in North America. The experience will also emphasize the importance for entrepreneurs to think internationally from the very start of their operations.
Students will learn by doing, as a major component of this course will involve the evolution of an actual business idea, conducted within groups. Using Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup methodologies, students will hone their entrepreneurial ideas during the course of the voyage, helping develop essential skills such as promoting creativity, making presentations, conducting customer discovery interviews, and problem solving.
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Date: September 27, 2017
The field class will visit entrepreneurs in the Hub Accra (www.hubaccra.com), an incubator that serves as a co-working space for aspiring business owners. The students will be able to work together with (future) entrepreneurs on their business models that aim to solve societal problems in the social entrepreneurship sector.
This experience will allow students to apply their knowledge on business modelling and entrepreneurship principles that they acquired during the course. Students will work with locals in the area to learn about the critical social needs that they are facing to better connect with the entrepreneurs and their ideas to address these social needs.
1. Observe a business incubator in a developing country context.
2. Consider the adaptation of business models to low-income economies.
3. What can we learn from entrepreneurs in Ghana?