What does a group of students from different universities, who don’t know each other, do when they have to put together a business plan in a week, without even having a clear idea about it at the beginning? At BBS Budapest LAB’s Business Plan in a Week course, students work in small groups using two of the world’s perhaps coolest business methodologies. The fast-paced, training-style course is unlike any other classroom experience. The intensive work provides students with the possibility to develop not only professionally but also personally, to test who’s got it in them to be a future entrepreneur. Last but not least, it is a great experience. It’s so enjoyable that most people would sign up for the next week straight away.
Business Plan in a Week is an intensive, training-methodology course for undergraduate students from different majors, which, in addition to introducing them to two trendy business methodologies, also provides an opportunity to develop other important entrepreneurial skills such as teamwork and creativity.
What is it?
During the Business Plan in a Week course, organised by Budapest LAB, BBS’s entrepreneurship development centre, participants will experience the attitude that is needed for setting up a business. During the intensive 4–5-day training, young people from different professional backgrounds, who have not been acquainted with each other until the first day of the course, work together in small groups. During the hands-on programme, the groups will use design thinking methodology to identify and explore a problem in depth and find innovative solutions to it using creative tools. The idea is then developed into a business model using the business model canvas methodology. Throughout the course, there is continual mentoring support for the teams. During the development phase, they also receive feedback from potential customers and the final plans are evaluated by external experts.
The two modern and popular methodologies, the experience of using them and the useful tools provided during the course, in addition to helping to learn the thinking behind entrepreneurship, have been shown to be a great inspiration for entrepreneurship. In addition, the group work, the time pressure, which is unusual for an undergraduate, and the continuous instructor/mentor feedback during the course are all new and stimulating experiences for the participants.
The syllabus of the course, the integration of the two recognized methodologies, is a joint innovation of BBS Budapest LAB and MOME experts, which has been continually developed by the staff of LAB. In addition, one of the most important innovations of the course is the creation of a community out of young people coming from various professional backgrounds. In spring 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the course was entirely digitalised, with the introduction and use of innovative online training tools.
Over the 6 courses so far, 154 students have participated in the small group training sessions. There has been a waiting list since the second call for applications, and the 30 students for the spring semester of 2021 filled up in less than a quarter of an hour.
The results of the feedback questionnaires completed after the courses: in the last two sessions, all and 83.4% of the students who responded to the questionnaires respectively considered the course to be better than the courses they had completed in their university education. All students rated the course as very useful in terms of both content and professionalism in one feedback round, and 91.7% of students rated the course as very useful in the next feedback round.
The following student feedbacks from the experience-sharing round at the end of the training also give a good idea of the results:
“It was shockingly useful.”
“It was as if the two halves of my brain suddenly fit together. Not only did I grow in knowledge, but also as a person.”
“Earlier I didn’t think I would want to be an entrepreneur, I thought it wasn’t my thing. But now I’m almost sure I want to be one!”