Alex Braun is a lecturer at Agrostudies. He has a company that manages projects and industry, develops raw materials, technologies and works with large industry factories relating to the world of agriculture. The company has been operating for 17 years but aside from that he is certified as a lecturer by the Ministry of Finance. He also works with entrepreneurs who want to start their own business but aren’t sure how.
This will be his third year with Agrostudies and he was asked by the team to consolidate and work out a specialized course in entrepreneurship.
Many of the topics learned in this course had been studied through different workshops and courses but this course structures the material under one uniform umbrella.
The mission statement is to have more students initiate their own businesses in their home countries using external funding. Starting a business is risky and many of the students don’t come from rich financial backgrounds. The course aspires to give these students the tools and knowledge to reach foundations, investment funds and government development programs in their home countries and to create strategic collaborations that will enhance their abilities.
So how is the done?
The course is spans five lessons during which the students are divided into groups of up to 10. Each group has to divide the different roles amongst them. A student who feels his forte is in management may take on the role of CEO and one who is better at finances may be the CFO.
The idea is to allow each student to experiment and strengthen his strong points and learn to do so in collaboration.
This is far from easy or simple for either the students or the lecturers who are devoted to this course and have all invested much thought and time into it.
The students learn marketing strategies, fund raising, how to calculate anticipated income, prepare balance sheets and create a cash flow all over a very short period of time, making it an extremely intensive experience for all.
The course is set up as a competition and at the end of it each group must present a business plan and compete for financing from an investor.
“The key”, explains Alex, “is cooperation. To make sure they understand the modular structure of the team so that each one brings his optimal talents to the table. The CEO learns how to lead, motivate the team and maintain a schedule; the designer creates branding and so on. The course forces them to work as a team. The competition makes it real”.
The lecturers involved in this course include: Nurit Iluz, Ortal Dagampur, Geula Biton, Liron Porat, Yoni Bar-Yosef, Ilan Semama, Alex Levin, Ariel Brosh, Beni Rozen, Reuven Bar-Meir, Yaron Drukman.