From mathematicians to musicians, students of all stripes are signing up for Entrepreneurship 101, a popular new class offered by the Sauder School of Business that offers a step-by-step introduction to turning ideas into enterprises.
The course, the first at UBC to make entrepreneurship training available to students from all faculties, was launched last September and is expanding this September to meet the needs of a growing number of students keen to explore how they can harness the tools of business to profit from their passions.
Taught by Elizabeth Newton, an entrepreneur herself, the lecturer’s approach is a mix of consulting and teaching, she says. Students in her class complete an entrepreneurship boot camp over the length of the course, which she says is very practical, and often guides fledgling start-ups in real time.
“It’s not an old-school business plan that no one will read,” Newton says. “It’s more about the entrepreneurial lifestyle — from the moment of motivation, to prototyping and pitching, all the way through founding partners, legal issues, and beyond.”
The lectures are bolstered by visits from successful entrepreneurs, many of whom become mentors for the students. Newton says the guest speakers are very generous with their time, which she finds is typical in Vancouver’s entrepreneurial community: “They’ve been through the ups and downs. They know what it’s like to go out on your own, so they really encourage the young entrepreneurs.”
Entrepreneurship 101 has only existed for a year, but its alumni are already making an effect in fields such as biomedicine, fashion and filmmaking.