NAIT’s Bachelor of Business Administration program will be placing an increased emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation as it aims to further NAIT’s vision of building a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation stream will be an addition to the traditional business streams already offered in the program. The curriculum has been developed in consultation with entrepreneurs. Like all of the other streams, the curriculum blends hands-on practical learning and real world experiences throughout the coursework.
Associate Chair Keven McGhan describes the stream as “appealing to people who have an idea, that want to start their own entrepreneurial practice but also those who want to develop an entrepreneurial mindset to help existing companies to continually innovate.” After finishing their diploma, students can consider the new entrepreneurship focus for the BBA regardless of what their diploma focus was. Students don’t need to fit the traditional entrepreneurship mould either, as McGhan mentioned, “all kinds of people go into entrepreneurship … there’s a bit of a misnomer that you have to have this huge risk tolerance to go into entrepreneurship and innovation and that’s not necessarily the case.” The curriculum promotes entrepreneurship and innovation as a way of being, so the program is still an excellent choice for students who don’t have a business idea they want to build.
The stream will give students the practical skills and knowledge required to succeed as an entrepreneur while working on their existing ideas or identifying new opportunities. Tabea Berg, one of the program instructors, “[looks] forward to facilitating a process of self-discovery for students. That’s cliché, but because the courses are intended to be highly experiential, students will learn a lot about their strengths, weaknesses, interests – and stretch themselves in ways that enhance their skills as entrepreneurs and innovators.
The courses are rigorous, but also a lot of fun.” If you’re not a business student but are interested in the entrepreneurship and innovation, there are some great ways to get involved with the program offerings and other opportunities on campus. These courses will be offered as open studies and, if students from other programs are interested in some of the course offerings, they will be able to take them.
Some of the courses will be modularized in the future so students could take portions of the course over a weekend in a non-credit format. Also in development is a course on starting a business that will be available to all NAIT students and will be specifically designed for students across the institute. There are other excellent opportunities for students across campus to pursue entrepreneurship, including getting connected with business students for capstone projects, business plan competitions and much more.
Berg encourages students to consider the program because “what they will learn will be relevant, no matter their career path. “Of course, we want to help students test, refine and ultimately launch their business ideas,” she said. “But even if they don’t – or aren’t ready yet – the courses can help them gain a broad understanding of how businesses work and succeed and help them build their innovation tool kit.” If you’re interested in learning more about the program and if it would be a good fit for you, you can contact Keven McGhan at firstname.lastname@example.org.