UVic Entrepreneurship Program receives international recognition

The University of Victoria's Faculty of Business has won the prestigious Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award presented by the Academy of Management, a leading management education and research body, Faculty Dean Dr. Roger Wolff announced today. The UVic program was recognized over entrepreneurship initiatives at Harvard and 17 other universities internationally.

"Students today can no longer expect to walk into lifelong jobs. And our economy needs new business start-ups to feed economic growth," said UVic President Dr. David Strong. "We are thrilled that our Faculty of Business has been recognized for a groundbreaking program which creates venture-ready students. These students won't just take jobs when they graduate, they will create jobs for themselves and others."

The award was presented today at the annual conference of the Academy of Management in Chicago where over 5,000 business leaders, educators and researchers came together to exchange ideas, best education practices, and research findings.

"Last year's winner was Stanford University and this year Harvard was among the entrants. That puts us in some very good company," said Wolff. "Our bachelor of commerce entrepreneurship program is already working with business leaders across Canada and the U.S., and from China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Korea--but this international recognition for our efforts will certainly help put Canadian schools on the world map for business education."

There were 18 award submissions judged from universities around the world including Harvard Business School, Colorado State University and George Washington University. The finalists included Vaxjo University in Sweden and the University of Arkansas. The award was judged by leaders in entrepreneurship education and sponsored by Irwin McGraw Hill publishers. The $1,000 prize will be used by the teaching team to further develop innovations in the program.

The award was accepted by the faculty teaching team that includes Mr. Brian McKenzie, Dr. Ron Mitchell, Dr. Eric Morse, and Dr. Brock Smith. "Statistics suggest that current methods for teaching entrepreneurship do not go far enough in preparing students to create and sustain successful new businesses," said Mitchell, the program's co-designer. "At UVic, we have redefined entrepreneurship education. Successful entrepreneurs have specialized expertise. We have identified these key expertise components and we help students master them for themselves."

Students enter UVic's full immersion summer entrepreneurship program in the fourth year of their four-year business degree. The award-winning features of the program include:

¥ A student focus which recognizes individual learning styles and personal goals;

¥ A full immersion program which integrates five courses as one class taught by an interdisciplinary team of experts so students learn topics in the order they would encounter them when starting a business;

¥ A business portfolio so students have a tangible tool kit of resources to show to investors and advisors when seeking financial or other support;

¥ A venture capital conference to cap off the term giving students the opportunity to present their business plans and seek funding for their ideas;

¥ Innovative interactive software tools which speed student proficiency with their newly acquired expertise;

¥ Real world immersion through industry tours, networking sessions, start-up experiences, mentor matching and case studies;

¥ An eight-month cooperative education work term designed to allow students to kick-off their new business ventures.

As an example of the innovative approach taken at UVic, students are asked to start a company with only $5 to operate it for ten days. This year, a group of students parlayed their "investment" into a laminated calendar company that earned a $2,500 profit.

Founded in 1990, the UVic Faculty of Business is an established leader in entrepreneurship education and is home to the International Centre for Venture Expertise. Students receive international business experience at both the bachelors and masters levels. Areas of specialization include entrepreneurship, international business, services management and hotel/hospitality management.

The Academy of Management, with 11,000 members worldwide, comprises business executives and management professors and researchers in universities, colleges and research institutes. The Academy is committed to advancing the science and practice of management.

Irwin McGraw Hill is part of the McGraw-Hill group of companies--a global publishing, financial information and media services company that provides information via various media platforms. They are a leader in developing programs for curricula at the forefront of educational trends.

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Keywords: uvic, entrepreneurship, progr, receives, international, recognition

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