A key part of our first course in the Business Major – BU 113 Critical Thinking & Communication – is a group assignment to start a small business. Each team selects a product or service which it will try to market on campus. As part of this assignment, the teams have to prepare and present a comprehensive business plan, including management, marketing, and financial plans. At the end of the semester, each team presents a report to shareholders, analyzing the performance of the business and its impact on a range of stakeholders (customers, investors, the company, and society). Each company also issues stock to investors ($.25 /share), with the class representing the investment community. Shares are bought and sold within the class, with prices rising or falling depending on the performance of each business.
In the Spring 2011 semester, BU 113 was jointly taught by Profs. Joanne Scott, Christine Bauer-Ramazani, and France Nelson. One of the businesses in the class, T.E.A.M. Towels (Tom Fergus Mick Roberto Alex Remy Edouard Garneau) posted a promotional video on YouTube as part of their marketing strategy. Who knows – the next Google?