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: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: November 8, 2017
Myanmar has recently opened to greater acceptance of democracy and capitalism. After years of economic stagnation and repression, entrepreneurs have a much brighter future for viable growth as well as helping to revitalize the economy. Nevertheless, change cannot happen overnight. This field class will explore craft-based entrepreneurship in Myanmar, where artisans can practice their skills through marketing craft products to tourist customers and beyond.
The class will visit Pomelo (www.pomeloformyanmar.org), a Fair Trade company in Myanmar. This site visit will include meeting with artisans and management, observing their business practices and considering their entrepreneurial practices.
1. Observe first hand entrepreneurship in a developing country context.
2. Consider the viability of Fair Trade as an entrepreneurial strategy.
3. Evaluate the impact of social entrepreneurship on a local community.