BEYOND BOOK LEARNING: The Enterprise Challenge

by Alexander Wang Jr. (H4D)
Logo design by Christian Alexander Yu (3I)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Business and Management program has never been more engrossing. Students of the course will be able to test their management skills and entrepreneurial spirit in a friendly competition dubbed The Enterprise Challenge, from Dec. 2-13 at the grade school and high school canteens.

The students will be able to engage in their own business ventures and experience for themselves the risks and realities of commerce, applying the concepts that they have learned in the classroom. The Enterprise Challenge requires students to conceptualize and manage their own small food businesses, doing all the essential business functions of marketing, human resources, finance, and operations.

Similar to a real company, the startup costs, or the capital for the business, will come directly from the students in order to simulate a situation as authentic as possible, and to keep them constantly aware of the risks involved in doing business. The challenge is to make the enterprise profitable.

The first step is for students to conceptualize their enterprise— any food product—which will have to undergo preliminary screening with the B&M teachers and concerned school coordinators. Afterwards, the students will have to submit a business proposal for the teacher’s approval. This must outline specifically what the group’s business is all about and what the plans or forecasts are for each function of the business, including product and pricing strategies, sales, profit, and even cash flow forecasts. Once the proposal has been approved, the aspiring businessmen are finally ready to spread their wings and show the Xavier community just how well they have learned their lessons.

It will be an exciting two weeks in December. With products ranging from bacon to turbo-fried French fries to leche flan-filled turon, the food booths will offer tempting alternatives to the usual canteen fare.

The journey for these young entrepreneurs has been challenging so far but ultimately looks to be satisfying, in more ways than one. Whatever happens, this activity serves as further proof that learning in the IB program goes beyond what is written in books.

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