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Phone # - (802) 229-2781 Email – 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. An environmental entrepreneur is someone who is driven not only by the possibility of making a profit, but is also driven by environmental and social concerns. Environmental entrepreneurs want to make the world a better place by improving the environment. Large and small private sector businesses, non-profit organizations and even government agencies are increasingly concerned about the impact they have on the environment and on communities in which they operate. Innovative activity within existing organizations is often initiated by intrepreneurs while innovative new organizations are often started by entrepreneurs. In this course, students will explore how the growing trend in socially and environmentally conscious management is reshaped by both intrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. The concept of sustainability will be woven throughout the readings, class discussions, and individual and group activities as a way of knitting together the various concepts of managing organizations discussed in the course. Environmental Entrepreneurship is designed to meet individual student interests as well as to introduce broad management concepts that will help every student make informed entrepreneurial decisions. The course is organized around topics derived from student interests, including but not limited to tourism, the built environment, and agriculture. In this course, students will learn how organizations strive to minimize their impact on the environment and make meaningful contributions to society. Students will study environmental entrepreneurship at a variety of organizational scales, conducting independent research and learning from case studies. The building blocks of environmental entrepreneurship will be introduced so that students without a business background will understand the key components of creating and operating a successful organization, with emphasis on the business planning process.
Since summer classes are typically small this course will be customized to meet specific areas of interest of the students. For example, in the summer of 2012, the students were interested in community and international development, and agroecology. To meet the specific interests of the students, the class project revolved around developing an ecotourism destination on 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 and other sites where entrepreneurism is active. Sites visited during the summer of 2012 included Yestermorrow Design School, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Associates in Rural Development, 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 and products that are environmentally responsible, Develop the skills and knowledge to mitigate the negative impacts organizations have on the environment, Learn how entrepreneurs are successfully developing new business models and organizations that are environmentally 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 Class participation and attendance Mid-term research project Final business plan Course Materials Course text: There is no assigned textbook for this course.
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Course readings, as assigned: Readings will be assigned frequently and will be available on the course’s blackboard 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 in group 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 be required 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. To be successful, students must: 1. Make a personal contact with someone at the company and discuss their sustainable initiatives 2. Analyze each component of the business for its environmental and social responsibility: a. Mission statement b. Business concept c. Market and location d. Supply chain/ Life cycle assessment
e. Use of environmental assessment and certifications f. Marketing tactics (Please include examples of advertisements, logos, or other marketing materials) g. Human resources/ job structure h. 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. Reports should 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: Mission statement of the organization. Description of the business concept Product/Service description. Market assessment and location description if relevant. Description of how the product/service will be produced including input and supply chain analysis. This is an operations plan. 6. Environmental impact assessment criteria. How will you measure and monitor environmental impact 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 responsible practices so that outside evaluators would consider your business an environmentally responsible organization. *Option 2 (Intrepreneur): Alternately, for those students who are disinterested in creating their own business, you may play the role of the intrepreneur. Here’s the premise: A business of your choice has submitted a Request for Proposals for “greening” their business. After collecting as much information on the current state of the business, create a proposal for that increases the environmental and social responsibility of the business. The proposal should have the following components: 1. Mission Statement: Current mission statement of the organization, how you might state it differently, and why 2. Business concept: Current business concept, sustainable initiatives, and clearly outlined goals for change. 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 and supply 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 and monitor environmental impact of your organization? 7. Marketing plan: Analysis of current marketing and recommended changes including image design ideas, promotional ideas, and costs of marketing. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
8. Human resource plan: Describe current human resource structure and scheduling. How will this change as you adopt environmental and social responsibility? Describe needs and job positions as well as compensation plan and scheduling. 9. Financial plan: Estimate the costs of and revenues generated from “going green.” Consider cost of inputs, overhead and administrative costs, and revenue projections. 10. Time-line for changing the organization and meeting specific goals. Should these changes be made gradually or all at once? In what order? 11. Realistic assessment of the likelihood of this business to adopt environmental or social responsibility. Barriers and indicators of likely success. Extra Credit: There may be extra credit opportunities presented toward the end of the semester. Students who are concerned about their grades should meet with either Todd or Rachel in order to create a plan for improvement.
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