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NU undergraduates learning to become entrepreneurs

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NU undergraduates learning to become entrepreneurs

More than 500 NU undergraduates completed NU GSB’s BUS 101 Core Course in Business where they learned key concepts in accounting, finance, entrepreneurship and management.

Provost Adesida believed that all NU students should develop basic business and entrepreneurship skills as part of their undergraduate education. He should be congratulated for his vision!

There are 4 main reasons why it is important for all undergraduate students to have some understanding of business fundamentals:

● Business plays an important role in society and most students will be dealing with businesses in their careers. Understanding the language of business can help equip students for their future careers.
● President Tokayev indicated that Kazakhstan needs to create a diversified and technology-based economy. Developing a new generation of entrepreneurs is one of the basic principles for Kazakhstan’s future. Kazakhstan needs more entrepreneurs!
● Contrary to common perceptions, entrepreneurship is something that can be taught and it is wrong to think that you cannot be an entrepreneur. A combination of strong technical skills plus an understanding of entrepreneurship and business is an excellent foundation for any student.
● As the COVID-19 pandemic has so profoundly demonstrated, we live in an era of great volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. An understanding of entrepreneurial principles can help to navigate the uncertainties that we face in our lives and in our careers.

Student feedback on the BUS 101 Fall semester 2020 course was very positive, which was gratifying given that this was the first time that the course was run, it was conducted completely online. The uncertainties and technical difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic represented a good learning experience for the students since it reflected the challenges and uncertainties that entrepreneurs face every day.

Students worked in teams to develop their own entrepreneurial opportunity. Starting with an idea and then building this into a ‘pitch’ to potential investors, that covered value proposition, target market, business model, financial projections and forecasted returns to investors.

At the end of the semester, students voted for the entrepreneurial opportunity which they believed to be the best in a “Champion’s League” competition, with the winner being offered a spot in the Incubator Program which is run by NURIS.

The entrepreneurial opportunities developed by the student teams are all high quality. The winning opportunity, “BosPlace”, involved the development of an App for detecting the occupancy of restaurants in order to reduce waiting times.

Congratulations to BosPlace and to all the student teams for the entrepreneurial opportunities they developed as part of the BUS 101 Core Course in Business! Aldiyar Omirbayev, Mechanical Engineering 3rd year student, and one of the team members of “BosPlace”, shared his perspective: “The critical thing that I learned during BUS 101 was building an almost finished startup from just an idea. The steps that were presented in the course were immensely helpful in easing the process of creating the business plan, things like customer segmentation, value proposition, etc. Also, it was a unique experience for most students who have never participated in building a startup. Our idea to create an app for restaurant customers where they can see real-time occupancy has received a lot of support. At some point, we will add options like reservation of table and ordering food 10-15 minutes earlier, so you can go to the restaurant and start eating right away.”

Over 500 undergraduate students are currently taking the BUS 101 course during the current Spring 2021 semester and we will also be offering the course during the Summer Semester.

We look forward to the opportunity to teach the course in a live classroom environment at some point, as this will allow us to more easily engage with students.

We are also looking forward to expanding our cooperation with NURIS. This connection benefits everyone - NURIS, NU GSB and the university as a whole, as well as providing students with the opportunity to develop their ideas into real entrepreneurial ventures.

We believe that the BUS 101 course can play an important role in helping Kazakhstan to achieve its national goals. The BUS 101 Core Course in Business equips students with fundamental skills and knowledge which can prove useful in their future careers.