Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Cave Hill School of Business (CHSB) Dr Jeannine Comma said she was not satisfied that current and aspiring entrepreneurs were willing to do the necessary studies and research to run successful and innovative businesses.
Dr Comma said while the Student Entrepreneurial Empowerment Development (SEED) programme at the Cave Hill campus was reaping some positive results, the CHSB was forced to cancel its master’s and diploma programmes in innovation and entrepreneurship because they were poorly subscribed.
“We can only run programmes when we have enough students; so we haven’t run it because we haven’t had enough students registering for it, which we found interesting because we thought that, granted yes, it is an academic programme, the curriculum is one I would say is innovative and dynamic. I think more young persons would become a target,” Dr Comma said at the official launch of the 2017 Caribbean Innovation Competition (CIC) at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) offices this morning.
That competition provides an avenue through which entrepreneurs can transform their intellectual ideas into profitable business models.
“So we have been doing a number of things to help to narrow that wide open space of just deciding ‘I want to dive in’, but let us look at it in a more systematic way. And there are a number of things that the university is doing,” Comma stated.
However, she said a number of young people were opting not to take up the master’s and diploma courses in entrepreneurship at the CHSB because they reasoned that it was easier for them to “peddle their way” once they finish their management degree studies at the university.
“We have revamped both of those programmes . . . to ensure that they have a lot more experiential orientation and innovative aspects, but I suppose it is the signs of the times. It does cost money to participate in those programmes. Additionally, at the Cave Hill School of Business we have been doing quite a number of other things and get support from the private sector,” the university official said.
She also pointed out that at least one angel investor network programme was not getting enough angel investors demonstrating sufficient interest due especially to a lack of preparation of entrepreneurs.
“A lot of it is also too because they are not advanced enough in the business process in terms of their management structures and having proper accounts. And their ideas in some instances are not innovative enough and so the investors are not interested in supporting them,” disclosed Comma.
She said too many entrepreneurs were diving into business once they had an idea, without sufficient preparation, including how to carry out market research, developing business plans and carrying out market tests.