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“The BEE/Sanlam Challenge forms a key part of our BtC Leadership Programme which is designed to help students understand and develop themselves, expose them to new perspectives, foster reflection and encourage action in their daily lives”

Kim-Marie Elliott, Leadership and Development Manager, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

 

University Employability Portfolio: Curriculum courses or Extra-curricular events

 

Simulation:

Business Enterprise Experience

The Business Enterprise Experience simulation is an introduction to enterprise and business principles demonstrated when participants run a small start-up enterprise.

The simulation can be run as part of curricular course work or as a co-curricular activity.

The simulation is a team-based activity.

The challenge is: Which team can best establish their retail enterprise?

All the basic business principles affect the enterprise’s financial performance.

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Learning outcomes

• Adaptability: gives an opportunity for team members to adopt different roles
• Effective communication: encourages articulation of ideas
• Information literacy: able to locate, evaluate, and effectively use the needed information
• Numeracy: monitoring a simple cash flow & interpreting results
• Collaboration: encourages co-operation with others to achieve a common purpose
• Self-awareness and development: helps identify personal strengths and growth areas
• Career development: identifies interests, abilities, values and transferable skills and how they can impact on career decisions

Content & format

Who:
Curricular course work:
When the simulation is run as part of curricular course work, participants are generally first year students.

Extra-curricular activity:
Where it is run as a extra-curricular activity to give students the experience of running a small enterprise, students can be in their second or third year of study and from across faculties and disciplines.

What:
Participants work in teams of 5 and they run a small start-up enterprise.

Team Resources include:
A comprehensive team briefing, an explanation of decisions to be taken each week, time table for decisions and results, helpful hints & tips including explanation of financial terms, email helpdesk.

Educator resources:
An introductory slide presentation, notification of weekly team results, team mentoring guidance, telephone helpdesk.

How delivered:
On-line:
This simulation is delivered by a combination of on-line and email. All resources are downloadable from the C2C website, results uploaded by email and results sent by email.

How long:
On-line:
Run over 5 weeks with decisions each week.

Live Event alternative:
As an alternative to on-line delivery, the simulation can be run live over one day, facilitated by either C2C or by university educators if preferred.

Simulation benefits:

 highlights the need to plan carefully when running an enterprise
 gives an opportunity for team members to adopt different roles
 encourages effective communication
 shows the importance of understanding the principles of a small enterprise
 monitoring a simple cash flow & interpreting results
 highlights the need for a rational approach to analysis and decisions
 illustrates that marketing strategy is important
 gives an opportunity to apply taught theory in an experiential activity

Examples

Co-curricular activity:
The Business Enterprise Experience simulation can be run as it is or customised as we have done with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) for The Sanlam Business Challenge.

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In association with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and employer partner Sanlam, the Business Enterprise Experience simulation has been customised as The Sanlam Business Challenge.

The objectives are to give students across faculties working in teams an introduction to the principles of running a small enterprise.

The objectives of The Sanlam Business Challenge among students at NMMU are as follows:

 encourage enterprise thinking
 give experience of decision-making
 try new positive things that they had not tried befo
 create an opportunity to learn more about business management
 to aspire to turn knowledge into a career

Over 30 teams of 5 students per team from many different faculties (business economic sciences, engineering & built environment, health sciences, arts & law) make decisions on running their enterprise over a 5 week period and see the results week-by-week.

Enterprise Day activity:

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In addition to NMMU in South Africa, Southampton Solent University in the UK has used the BEE simulation as an enterprise skills development activity with teams of students and managers from graduate employers, who acted as mentors. Campus2Corporate can advise and provide a turn-key service on this module design as they do with NMMU.

Facilitated by C2C, the objectives are to:

Stimulate enterprise thinking
 Engage with employer partner organisations