Business and Economics (2019/2020)
|First Cycle (Undergraduate)
|Business and Economics
The Entrepreneurship program will provide students with a new approach to applied learning, fostering the development of a student-entrepreneurial mindset. This will be accomplished through practice oriented teaching methods by both local and international academics, in-depth and consistent mentorship of students by practicing entrepreneurs, gained practical experience by “learning by doing,” and the use of non-conventional examinations throughout the program.
Through creative problem-solving and results-based solutions, students will graduate from the program with applied skills to enable existing businesses to remain competitive in the market, or will create business start-ups with high growth potential, making a paradigm change into business practices in country. Overall, the program aims to develop young and savvy entrepreneurs into the future leaders of business industry.
The Entrepreneurship program will deliver academic knowledge of entrepreneurship combined with practical experiences in order to foster a new approach to applied learning in North Macedonia. This new approach links academia, private industry, and practicing entrepreneurs, offering students a hands on approach to learning entrepreneurship skills from a variety of actors. Students will be challenged with identifying complex, authentic business problems and through innovation, create real business solutions to change the paradigm of business stagnation. Students in this program will gain eight core entrepreneurial competencies that they will gain to become the entrepreneurs of the future.
Upon graduation, students will have the confidence and ability to:
- Apply entrepreneurial concepts and design thinking tools to provide creative and innovative solutions to complex and authentic business problems;
- Identify business opportunities early on and apply the principles of viability to new business ideas and opportunities within existing businesses;
- Demonstrate leadership skills and apply the principles of entrepreneurial management to lead and organize new and existing businesses;
- Apply the principles of a lean start-up business plan emphasizing core functions such as the value proposition, market oriented research, product differentiation, revenue streams and cost drivers, and avenues for business financing;
- Appreciate teamwork and collaborate effectively with others in a variety of situations to include global and diverse organizations;
- Develop and maintain professional and social relationships and turn your network into a valuable resource to create and maintain viable businesses;
- Demonstrate knowledge of the legal and ethical environment impacting business organizations and use ethical approaches to business growth;
- Effectively communicate in English in both oral and written forms in business-oriented contexts including mastering presentation confidence of business ideas, business plans, and pitching concrete business opportunities to potential investors.
Key Program Features
Ten program features that make the Entrepreneurship program different:
Teaching/Learning Methodology: Modern and fit-for-purpose teaching/learning methodologies focusing on applied and experimental learning to foster an entrepreneurial mindset.
Boot Camp: Off-campus Boot Camp during the orientation week giving students the opportunity to team up with fellow program student to solve real business problems.
Course Delivery: Courses delivered by local and international staff with direct entrepreneurial experience. Courses will focus on learning by doing – not solely on theoretical knowledge. To this end, course work is team based, project oriented, and exams will be non-conventional.
Coaching and Mentoring: Students will receive professional support for their course projects and business ideas by being mentored by real, practicing entrepreneurs that have been identified by the program. These mentors and coaches will meet with students regularly and provide free advice and help students network in order to succeed in their business start-up ideas and prospects.
Summer School: In order for students to be ready on day one of the program, a preparatory summer school will support students to advance their English and IT skills. Upon completion, students will be prepared to begin the program.
Entrepreneurial Experience: Students will be directly exposed to real-life business problems and scenarios. Therefore students will participate in two internships during the program. A short internship early in the program will introduce students to company culture while the second internship is longer and will allow for more depth of identifying specific business problems and proposing the right business solutions.
Learning by Doing: Early in the Program: Early in the program, students will be grouped in teams, given some start up capital, and given a short period of time to sell a product/service of their choice within the University campus. Teams will be assessed based on profits made, their design thinking techniques used, and in-class learning.
Learning by Doing: Later in the Program: Towards the end of the program, students will be exposed to an Entrepreneurship Festival, a competition in which a select number of students are appointed as CEOs and asked to ‘hire’ fellow classmates and volunteers for their company which needs to sell a product through pop-up stands at the University campus.
Business Plan Competition: Students will be exposed to business plan creation early on in the program and throughout the program. However, students will create their own concrete lean business plans in the last year of the program with complete support from their mentors and coaches that will guide students to compete in a business competition, judged by practicing entrepreneurs.
Business Network and Private Industry Program Involvement: The program will deeply rely on private industry and practicing entrepreneurs in order to expose students to the real world of entrepreneurship. As such, many courses will have guest entrepreneurs to talk to students on specific business areas. Field trip visits to successful business start-ups and established companies is also a key focus of the program. Networking events will be conducted throughout the program to foster a triangular link of students-entrepreneurs-business to collaborate.
Graduates of the Entrepreneurship program have multiple career paths to include one of the following:
- Entrepreneur: Graduates of the program will have both the business skills and confidence to start and manage their own companies. Graduates will have prepared their own business idea into a clear business plan with actions needed to enter the market in a timely manner.
- Corporate Entrepreneur: Graduates may choose to become a corporate entrepreneur by leading a department in an existing company such as: product development, business development, operations, marketing, and so on. In growing businesses all over the world, corporate entrepreneurs are becoming change agents to existing businesses, carrying on growth potential with new and concrete business innovation.
- Social Entrepreneur: Graduates may identify significant social problems and provide innovative solutions that drive social change, becoming high impact social entrepreneurs. Graduates may therefore decide to create and manage charitable organizations, non-government organizations, social oriented enterprises and other not-for-profit-organizations, all in the idea of creating social change in their communities.
- Professional Consultant: Graduates can also choose to become a professional consultant to support business start-ups or current businesses in growth strategies. Globally, many businesses fail before proper growth potential exists. Graduates of the program will be able to provide clear insight to existing businesses on how to innovate and make their businesses competitive and succeed in the market.
Knowledge and understanding
Students will gain knowledge and understanding in entrepreneurship principles, drawing from management, marketing, and information technologies, all within a portfolio of knowledge required for entrepreneurs to succeed in the marketplace.
Applying knowledge and understanding
The entrepreneurship program has implemented a structured approach to applied learning from industry best practices and practicing entrepreneurs. Students will be exposed to complex business problems and use business tools to create business solutions.
Students will be exposed to concrete case studies and other applied learning techniques that will allow for entrepreneurial decision making. Moreover, students will challenge their peer’s projects in an objective way in order to create first class skills in making real business judgements.
The entrepreneurship program will build student presentation confidence since students will be accountable for multiple business presentations and simulations throughout the program. Students will be working in teams from day one of the program in the boot camp and will leave the program with lean business plans in formed teams. Therefore, team working and group work will be a key element of the program.
Upon completion of the entrepreneurship program, students will be offered a new approach to higher education learning, coupled with real exposure to practicing entrepreneurs in the marketplace. Students will be part of a program that will taught in a learning-by-doing approach to entrepreneurship, linking academia and practicing entrepreneurs to offer students applied learning of entrepreneurship.
Creativity and Innovation
This course is the first in a series of courses that focuses on the contemporary entrepreneur and the new entrepreneurial mindset. Key concepts will be examined in entrepreneurship while the heavy focus will be on student application of the Design Thinking approach to entrepreneurship. Students will empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test a product/service in real time.
Off-campus Boot Camp giving students the opportunity to team up with fellow program students to solve real business problems. The Boot Camp is a zero ECTS obligatory course organized over 2-3 days during the orientation week.
Economics for Entrepreneurs
The course is oriented in specialized topics of economics that are required for entrepreneurs. It incorporates topics of microeconomics and macroeconomics, with an emphasis on microeconomic principles that entrepreneurs need. The overall course aim is to familiarize students with the basic theoretical and practical understanding of economics.
Management and Leadership
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the basics of management and leadership. This course helps students to gain knowledge on the basic functions of management as planning, organizing, coordinating, motivating and controlling. It is also focused on effective management and leadership techniques, similarities and distinctions between leadership and management and practical skills necessary to improve each participant’s management and leadership skills.
- [6 ECTS] Elective course
- [6 ECTS] Elective course
Entrepreneurship and SMEs
This course treats the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and its practical implementation. The course will focus on the development of entrepreneurship and small business management, characteristics of entrepreneurs, differences between entrepreneurs and managers, identifying opportunities and generating ideas, identifying traditional and alternative sources of SMEs financing, analysing legal forms of organization and preparation of a business plan. The course is also designed to provide essential entrepreneurial skills and instil students’ capability to examine, analyse and evaluate various leadership models.
In this course students will learn about marketing concepts and methods used by start-ups competing in rapidly evolving competitive environments. The course is based on the view that combining the concepts of marketing and entrepreneurship will result in greater levels of market success for a venture. It provides an in-depth understanding of marketing theory, concepts and tools, to include social media, to market a new product offering and/or applicable in an entrepreneurial setting. One key for success for the entrepreneur is to obtain sales (revenue) and profits as quickly as possible upon launching the venture. This course focuses on all the essential elements to successfully achieve the needed sales and revenues: identifying and selecting the market, determining the consumer needs cost effectively, executing the basic elements of the marketing mix (product, price, distribution, and promotion) and competing successfully in the domestic and global markets by implementing a sound marketing plan. The content is enhanced by numerous examples throughout.
Applied Business Math and Statistics
In this course students study the purpose of using analytical tools to make business decisions, including tools such as the use of spreadsheets, tables and statistical/financial calculations to solve problems including percentage calculations, measures of central tendency and dispersion, measures of association and probability. Students investigate the fundamentals of business mathematical functions and are required to use the analytical tools to address a range of mathematical topics. Statistical functions and tools will be used for providing statistical analysis of business problems.
The Practicum is an essential component of the student learning experience. The Practicum is a 4-week off-campus experiential learning activity aiming to provide students with opportunity to become familiar with an actual and prospective work environment, and to connect theory with practice. In this context, the Practicum seeks to transfer knowledge to the students through the experience they acquire and the people they meet during the practicum and to apply skills learned in the classroom in a practical environment. Finally, the Practicum aims to provide students networking opportunities and orientation for future career decisions and placements.
- [6 ECTS] Elective course
- [6 ECTS] Elective course
Market Analysis & Consumer Behavior
The course will examine the fundamentals of market research and the purchasing behaviour of the consumer. It includes knowledge from the field of different types of market research (qualitative and quantitative), as well as complex issues from every stage of the process of Market Research, including definition of major problems supported by research objectives with information, methodology, questionnaire design, samples, data collection, statistical analysis (for example: data/content analysis). Field research will be carried out in North Macedonia to examine consumer behaviour and what drives purchasing from one competitor to another.
Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
The aim of the course is to introduce students with the relevance and importance of ethics and social responsibility in business and explore the concept of how one develops moral reasoning and the interaction of moral judgement. Topics include: an introduction to business ethics, framing business ethics in terms of corporate social responsibility, evaluating business ethics using normative ethical theories; making decisions in business ethics using descriptive ethical theories; tools and techniques of business ethics management; business ethics and shareholders, employees, consumers, suppliers, competitors, civil society, government and regulation; the future of business ethics. The ultimate intent of the course is to leave students better equipped to identify, think critically about, and resolve ethical issues that are encountered in one’s working life at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.
Human Resources Management
Effective management of human resources is widely recognized as a key component of organizational effectiveness, sustainable competitive advantage and the quality of work life. Hence, the aim of this course is to introduce fundamental functions of Human Resource Management (HRM) in the contemporary workplace with particular focus on new business start-ups and SME’s. The course will equip students with the professional knowledge, analytical and operational competencies to manage and address human resource issues within the organization. In order to establish the external and internal context of the management of human resources, the course begins with an overview of the development of HRM and an analysis of current and emerging issues in the contemporary business environment. HRM functions are scrutinized covering domains such as human resource planning, job design and evaluation, recruitment, compensation and benefits, training and development, performance management, and occupational health and safety are examined. While the integration of these functions with each other and with organizational strategy is emphasized throughout the course.
- [6 ECTS] Elective course
- [6 ECTS] Elective course
Corporate Behavior & Psychology
This course entails the study of the behaviour of individuals and groups as part of organizations while focusing on helping managers to get more awareness of issues and opportunities deriving from leadership roles, organizational identity, innovation and corporate governance. In addition, this course treats the influence of the brain function and dysfunction on entrepreneurs’ performance and its implications for venture results. The course also addresses the dynamics of group decision making and understanding of the work stress phenomenon, its effects, and its management by entrepreneurs. Some of the important concepts of corporate behaviour and psychology include: personality traits, employee attitudes, decision-making, leadership, collaborative team working, and corporate culture.
Operations & Supply Chain Management
The course introduces concepts, principles, problems, and practices of operations and supply chain management. Emphasis is placed on managerial processes for effective operations in both goods-producing and service-rendering organization. Topics include operations strategy, process design, capacity planning, facilities location and design, forecasting, production scheduling, inventory control, quality assurance, and project management. The topics are integrated using a systems model of the operations of an organization. In addition, this course enables students to conceptualize, design, and implement supply chains aligned with product, market, and customer characteristics. This course will be focused on managing the flow of products, information, and revenue across supply chains and differentiates the ability of supply networks to fulfil customer needs.
Principles of Accounting
In this course, students will learn the nature of assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity and gain an understanding on how reported financial information can be used to make decisions about the company. The course will focus on special topics in accounting through case discussions, based on analysis of actual company financial statements and is designed to help students understand the accounting process and to develop skills needed to evaluate firms’ actions, financial position, and its operating, investing and financing activities.
This course treats the main aspects of corporate entrepreneurship and explores the concepts, key factors, and practices of entrepreneurial activity within the existing/established companies. This course will focus on the development of culture of innovation, initiating and managing processes for generating and reviewing business ideas, developing and transforming these ideas into real innovative businesses, doing strategic analysis and creating competitive advantages of existing/established companies. This course also provides knowledge how innovation can be funded in already established companies.
- [6 ECTS] Elective course
Entrepreneurial Experience I
This course is one part of a two part series on Entrepreneurial Experience. This first part of the series will create a concrete business plan as the end result. The sequential design of the entrepreneurship curricula from year 1 and 2, will allow students to focus on creating their own business plan linked to an actual business idea that has real potential to create a viable business start-up. Students will decide whether they will work in a team to create their business plan, or, alternatively, students can work on their own individual business plan. The entire course will be mentored by professionals with vast experience in business plan creation. Students will be assessed with a final business plan competition. Assessors will be based from a non-academic and business oriented panel.
Strategic Dilemmas in Entrepreneurship
This course provides a deep understanding of the core strategic choices and dilemmas faced by the entrepreneur. The topics covered include: the timing of entrepreneurial entry, the type of entry (start-up, franchise, acquisition), division of roles in a new venture, equity split, growth strategies dilemmas, exit choices and other dilemmas that have long-term consequences for entrepreneurs, their ventures, as well as for co-founders, employees, investors, and potential acquirers. The course heavily relies on case studies as a primary means of dilemma analysis.
Entrepreneurial Funding and Finance
The course is focused on finance and raising capital of entrepreneurial firms. It is a mix of strategy and operating considerations for early stage businesses. This course is intended to introduce future entrepreneurs to the issues they will face in financial management and valuation of a new venture through its lifecycle. Concepts that are taught include: cash flow planning, revenue forecasts, and financial projections in private and public companies. Furthermore, this course will treat various financing options such as 3F Money (founder, family, and friends), crowdfunding, business angels, venture capital, initial public offering (IPO) and debt capital. At the end of the course students should be able to think critically about business and make critical and strategic evaluations of different sources of venture financing. The course will also treat negotiation techniques and the due-diligence process.
Aims of the course program: • To understand the conditions and specification standards associated with risk management; • To use financial derivatives to hedge portfolio/corporate risk; • To apply risk management analyses in various business industries; • To identify and evaluate investment portfolios.
- [6 ECTS] Elective course
The bachelor project is the end result of the entrepreneurship program. It emphasizes that the entire program’s learning objectives have been met by the student. This course will be purely mentored by the course instructor and the student will prepare a bachelor thesis as agreed between the course instructor and the student. Students can choose to do the project in a topic supporting their business start-up, an existing company, or any other topic relevant to the contribution of the overall program learning outcomes.
Agile Project Management
This course is designed for students seeking to acquire a working knowledge of an agile project management framework and ensures a comprehensive understanding of fundamental concepts, methodologies, tools and techniques. Some of the topics included are: stakeholder identification, chartering, team development, release planning, value assignment, communication, quality, risk, and change management. With organizational strategy as the foundation, students shall be able to adopt a practical strategy that achieves an ideal balance between the standards, stringency and visibility required for good project management in fast-changing environments. Furthermore, the course explores how to blend traditional and non-traditional techniques in order to enhance project success and delivery. The course ends with a practical project, the Entrepreneurship Festival.
Entrepreneurial Experience II
This course is part two of a two series course on Entrepreneurial Experience. In part one, the end product was a viable business plan that students can now choose to use to create their start-up business. Part two is therefore the second series of the internship element of the entrepreneurship program. In this course, students will enter their second internship, either in their own start-up company, or opt to choose to do an internship in an existing company, however if the latter option is chosen, student may not do their internship in the same company. The mentor/instructor for this course will regularly meet with students and the end result of the course will be an oral external examination and a professional written report. This requires that if the student chooses an internship in an existing company, the assessment will be based on an oral examination panelled by both the course instructor and the student’s supervisor in the internship. If the student is conducting the internship in his/her own start-up, the oral examination will be panelled by the course instructor and an outside entrepreneur in the same industry in which the start-up is competing
- [6 ECTS] Elective course