JustWorld is excited to announce that they have been selected to participate in the Busi 505 ‘Consulting to the Entrepreneurial Firm’ class at the Kenan-Flagler School at the University of North Carolina.
Busi 505 ‘Consulting to the Entrepreneurial Firm’ at the Kenan-Flagler School at the University of North Carolina was developed by Professor Pat Garner, who spent decades in the trenches of corporate America helping brands such as Coca-Cola successfully grow and entrepreneurship professor Parick Vernon. The class gives undergrads a chance to tackle real-world business problems for clients with guidance from expert coaches and mentors. The goal of this course is to introduce students to a basic set of relevant entrepreneurial business tools and learning skills that enable students to assist clients in addressing business issues and opportunities typically encountered by early stage companies. Students perform in-depth research and analysis on the organization they select and make recommendations for strategic and sustainable business solutions. More than 60 companies have participated in the class since its inception.
Busi 505 ‘Consulting to the Entrepreneurial Firm’ filled a void at the UNC Kenan-Flagler School. The Business School has a well-established curriculum in ‘Consulting Skills’ that offers an extensive ‘experiential learning’ program called STAR (Student Team Achieving Results). However, the STAR program’s ‘clients’ were typically large Fortune 500 companies. Professor Garner explained, “We were constantly being approached by entrepreneurs asking us if the business school had a program that could help their smaller, early stage ventures. This need was expressed by both ‘for profit’ and ‘not for profit’ ventures. Our class curriculum and client selection process was designed to fill this gap in our outreach to the business community.”
Professor Garner shared that students who have successfully completed this class typically enjoy and grow from the face-to-face exposure to a real entrepreneur. Compared to a case study methodology, this course exposes the student team to real life, real time situations in the early stages of building a business. It is a time for most clients when resources are few and needs are many. Professor Garner proudly pointed out, “Our student teams are challenged to deliver information, insights, and actionable recommendations that will add tangible value to their clients’ business.”
Students not only like the direct interaction with their clients, but also gain valuable experience in conducting secondary and primary research while working effectively in small teams. Individual leadership opportunities exist as the team moves through the three phases of their project: Scope of Work, Research & Key Findings, and Final Recommendations. Many students have reported that the skills acquired in this class have helped them find a job or enabled them to perform at a higher level in their chosen career path.
JustWorld was invited to participate in Busi 505 ‘Consulting to the Entrepreneurial Firm’ this Fall. The JustWorld team made a presentation in August, introducing their organization and sharing their history and future goals. Of the eight organizations that were invited to present, only six were selected by the students to continue to be included in the course. JustWorld is excited to announce that they were one of the six selected! A team of students will work closely with JustWorld over the course of the semester to make recommendations. This valuable partnership will not only benefit the students, but help JustWorld as the organization continues to grow. JustWorld is thrilled to be a part of this experience and looks forward to the findings.