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ENVS 195- Environmental EntrepreneurshipSample Syllabus
| Summer 2013 | Thursdays 12:50PM – 3:50PM | TBD
Instructor: Todd Comen
Phone # - (802) 229-2781Email –Todd.Comen@jsc.edu Office Hours: By appointment only on Thursdays
Course Description
Entrepreneurial activity is a major source of innovation and job creation around the world. Anenvironmental entrepreneur is someone who is driven not only by the possibility of making a profit, but isalso driven by environmental and social concerns. Environmental entrepreneurs want to make the world abetter place by improving the environment. Large and small private sector businesses, non-profitorganizations and even government agencies are increasingly concerned about the impact they have onthe environment and on communities in which they operate. Innovative activity within existingorganizations is often initiated by intrepreneurs while innovative new organizations are often started byentrepreneurs. In this course, students will explore how the growing trend in socially andenvironmentally conscious management is reshaped by both intrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. Theconcept of sustainability will be woven throughout the readings, class discussions, and individual andgroup activities as a way of knitting together the various concepts of managing organizations discussed inthe course.Environmental Entrepreneurship is designed to meet individual student interests as well as tointroduce broad management concepts that will help every student make informed entrepreneurialdecisions. The course is organized around topics derived from student interests, including but not limitedto tourism, the built environment, and agriculture. In this course, students will learn how organizationsstrive to minimize their impact on the environment and make meaningful contributions to society.Students will study environmental entrepreneurship at a variety of organizational scales, conductingindependent research and learning from case studies. The building blocks of environmentalentrepreneurship will be introduced so that students without a business background will understand thekey components of creating and operating a successful organization, with emphasis on the businessplanning process.
Since summer classes are typically small this course will be customized to meet specificareas of interest of the students. For example, in the summer of 2012, the students wereinterested in community and international development, and agroecology. To meet the specificinterests of the students, the class project revolved around developing an ecotourism destinationon an agroecological farm in Haiti where degraded ecosystems and poverty are prevalent.Field work is also a part of the summer course as the weather is perfect for visiting farms andother sites where entrepreneurism is active. Sites visited during the summer of 2012 includedYestermorrow Design School, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Associates in RuralDevelopment, and the Intervale Center as well as a variety of farms on the Intervale landscape.
Course Learning Objectives
Students in this class will:
Gain an awareness of the impact organizations have on the environment,
Understand how organizations are employing talented intrepreneurs to develop new strategies andproducts that are environmentally responsible,
Develop the skills and knowledge to mitigate the negative impacts organizations have on theenvironment,
Learn how entrepreneurs are successfully developing new business models and organizations that areenvironmentally friendly.
Learn to develop a business plan with an emphasis on environmental responsibility
Work in a team to refine teamwork and communication skills
Course Grading and Criteria for Success
Reflection papers on guest speakers and reading assignments 15%Class participation and attendance 15%Mid-term research project 30%Final business plan 40%
Course Materials
Course text:
There is no assigned textbook for this course.
Course readings, as assigned:
Readings will be assigned frequently and will be available on the course’sblackboard site as a PDF file. Otherwise, handouts will be provided.
Other materials
: Students will occasionally be asked to bring a laptop to class in order to engage ingroup activities. Other group materials, such as poster paper and markers, will be provided.
 Homework, Project Descriptions and Instructions
Reading Reflections & Homework
: For many of the reading assignments in this course, you will berequired to write a short (2 page minimum) response to the reading. Students must hand-in a hard copy of their reflections at the start of class.
Mid-Term Research Project
:Choose a business that has been founded on or has introduced environmental and social responsibility. Tobe successful, students must:1.
Make a personal contact with someone at the company and discuss their sustainable initiatives2.
Analyze each component of the business for its environmental and social responsibility:a.
Mission statementb.
Business conceptc.
Market and locationd.
Supply chain/ Life cycle assessment
Use of environmental assessment and certificationsf.
Marketing tactics (Please include examples of advertisements, logos, or other marketingmaterials)g.
Human resources/ job structureh.
Finances (Where do profits go, etc.)3.
Provide a brief description of the areas with the greatest leverage points for continued change.4.
Present their research in written format, 5-7 pages, double-spaced with 1” margins. Reportsshould include relevant images (such as marketing materials) and must include a list of references.
The Business Plan (Final Project)
*Option 1 (Entrepreneur):
This semester-long project engages students in a business planning process.The business plan should include at least the following components, each addressed in a separate section:1.
Mission statement of the organization.2.
Description of the business concept3.
Product/Service description.4.
Market assessment and location description if relevant.5.
Description of how the product/service will be produced including input and supply chainanalysis. This is an operations plan.6.
Environmental impact assessment criteria. How will you measure and monitor environmentalimpact of your organization.7.
Marketing plan including image design ideas, promotional ideas, and costs of marketing.8.
Human resource plan describing needs and job positions as well as compensation plan.9.
Financial plan including initial start-up costs, cost of inputs, overhead and administrative costs,and revenue projections.10.
Time-line for building the organization and meeting specific goals.11.
Realistic assessment of the likelihood of success of this specific business/organization.
The plan must adhere to responsible environmental practices as well as socially responsiblepractices so that outside evaluators would consider your business an environmentallyresponsible organization.
*Option 2 (Intrepreneur):
Alternately, for those students who are disinterested in creating their ownbusiness, you may play the role of the intrepreneur. Here’s the premise: A business of your choice hassubmitted a
 Request for Proposals
for “greening” their business. After collecting as much information onthe current state of the business, create a proposal for that increases the environmental and socialresponsibility of the business. The proposal should have the following components:1.
Mission Statement: Current mission statement of the organization, how you might state itdifferently, and why2.
Business concept: Current business concept, sustainable initiatives, and clearly outlined goals forchange.3.
Product/Service description: current and updated.4.
Market: How these changes would impact the market and location description if relevant.5.
Supply chain & Inputs: A very important part to the project. Describe the current inputs andsupply chain and then what changes would be made. This is an operations plan.6.
Environmental impact assessment criteria: How is the company and will you measure andmonitor environmental impact of your organization?7.
Marketing plan: Analysis of current marketing and recommended changes including imagedesign ideas, promotional ideas, and costs of marketing.

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