Please note that as we strive to keep our electives as up-to-date as possible, the exact courses on offer are subject to change and different courses are offered at each of our campuses.
This course aims to educate future entrepreneurs about the importance of a solid business model. Even today, business models remain poorly understood. A business model is a set of planned assumptions of how a firm will create value; it is the result of the business design process. This model includes the selection of its customers, its offerings, the activities it will conduct itself and those it will outsource, and how it will capture profits. Increasingly, business model innovation is the most critical form of sustainable competitive advantage. Yet all too often, companies attempt to compete and bring new products and services to market with outdated business models, a certain recipe for failure. Enabling technologies such as mobile, web 3.0 and big data analytics serve as catalysts, which are rapidly accelerating the need for existing companies and startups to constantly monitor and refine their business model lest they be rendered irrelevant. Superior business models do not arrive by accident; rather, they are the result of a highly disciplined and systematic process of build-learn-adapt.
Despite trillions of dollars in development aid, the majority of the world’s population (over 4 billion people) still lives on less than $2 a day. Why are the poor still poor, and why have so many been excluded as potential consumers and entrepreneurs? Does business ingenuity provide a more viable option than aid to solve the complex problem of poverty and reduce the greatest economic challenge of our time: growing income disparity? This course introduces students to the concept of socially-driven innovation and the potential of business to creatively and proactively address some of the world’s greatest sustainability challenges, yet remain true to its mission as an economic entity. Topics include theories of change, design and sustainable systems, behavioral change communication, effective partnering, and new business and finance models, such as multinationals’ ‘intrapreneurship’ efforts, social entrepreneurship, digitally- driven, socially-focused innovation, and the growing trend towards public/private partnerships.
This elective is for students with entrepreneurial intentions looking to explore the startup environment. It is also useful for students who want to apply a practical and proven integrative methodology for marketing new and innovative products and services across a wide range of organizational types, from global corporations to NGOs to family businesses. The best product or service rarely wins on its own merits; inevitably, it is the best-marketed product that takes a dominant market position. This course will draw on and integrate the practical aspects of primary and secondary research in early markets, community management, inbound and social marketing, best practices in establishing thought leadership (eg., blogging, marketing from the podium, influencing the influencer), media relations, analyst relations, strategic partner marketing, and leveraging national and industry award competitions, and relevant company and product launch venues etc. It will also cover marketing automation and web analytics systems as well as “lean budgeting” to achieve highly leveraged marketing returns. The capstone project will be to develop and present comprehensive team-based marketing plans for a chosen set of innovative institutions, based on recent or current market data.
Acquire all the knowledge, tools, and skills you need to start your own business. You can further focus your studies on social entrepreneurship to fully understand how to make change happen.