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Table of Contents Introduction Summary Lessons Learned How these lessons will help future entrepreneurial pursuits Conclusion Introduction Social Enterprise for a day is a two-day conference that teaches students the importance of corporate caring. It is a core component of the introduction to entrepreneurship course. This year, the event took place at Mount Saint Vincent University and was held on Thursday 30th January, 2014, and Friday January 31st, 2014. The event brought together students from Mount Sinai Vincent and Dalhousie Universities. Together, we brainstormed ideas on how to plan and run social ventures. Summary The event started with an introductory speech on social enterprise by Dr. Peter Mombourquette. In his speech, Dr. Mombourquette noted that students can put their entrepreneurial skills to good use by improving the local community. Four entrepreneurs were also introduced and each one of them gave a speech on the experiences of an entrepreneur. Besides recounting how they had ventured into entrepreneurship, the speakers also highlighted the lows and highs of venturing into the business world. In addition, the entrepreneurs shared with the students useful guidelines on starting a business. Some of the important keys to business success that the entrepreneurs highlighted include: need identification and developing cordial relationships with your customers. Later that evening, the Hope Blooms team, a group of successful entrepreneurs, were invited on stage to share their experiences and insights on social entrepreneurship. Hope Blooms are involved in the manufacture and sale of salad dressing and because the business is a social outfit, the entrepreneurs use most of their profits to organize cooking classes, fund scholarship classes, and neighbourhood gardens. The students were impressed and motivated by the testimonies given by the Hope Blooms team. Students from Mount Saint Vincent University also promised that they would give the profits generated from their business venture to Hope Blooms. Once the speakers were done with their speeches, the students were divided into thirteen groups. Each of the thirteen groups was to develop a business idea which would be presented to the panel. Our group consisted of thirty two members. We brainstormed for about 1 hour and came up with the idea of selling Hand Warmers with suckers. Our individual investment would be $ 5 meaning that as a group, we would have to raise $ 160. We compared the prices of hand warmers from different stores such as Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, and Dolaram. Eventually, we decided to buy from Wal-Mart because the store had the cheapest prices. A pack of ten pairs of hand warmers was retailing at $ 9. We decided to sell a pair of hand warmers and a sucker for $ 2. Therefore, for every $ 9 invested, we would make a profit of $ 11. Our selling point was strategically located near the Halifax public garden, Scotia square, The Emera Oval Public Skating, professional centre, and on Spring Garden Road at the entrance to the public library. The following day, we advertised our products on posters with the message: “Warm Your Hand, Warm Your Heart. All profits go to Hope Blooms!! Mount Saint Vincent University”. Our group was assigned the location next to Starbucks and near the professional centre. This proved to be the best location as we sold 30 pairs of hand warmers in one hour. We made a profit of $ 72. We also assisted the other group sell their products at our location because there was less traffic at the Halifax public garden where they were stationed. As a group, we made a net profit of $ 306. Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Lessons Learned Our business venture taught us valuable lessons in entrepreneurship. One of the lessons that we learned was the need for teamwork as it is very difficult to succeed alone. The experience also taught us the importance of asking for help. For example, the other group was not doing too well with their sales and had to request for our help. Team members had to align their individual efforts for the greater good of the team. This taught us the importance of location in business. We learned that hard work pays, and that although there are numerous challenges that are likely to face a business, we should never give up. We also learned that in business, nothing ever goes according to plan and as such, it is important to be flexible. Resilience is also an important character trait of an entrepreneur, as the dips and setbacks of a business venture are part of being successful. How these lessons will help future entrepreneurial pursuits The lessons that we have learnt from our business venture would be of immense help to future entrepreneurial pursuits because we now know where to turn for help. These are the entrepreneurs who have been there, and done that. We also know that entrepreneurship is all about taking risks, and that we should not be daunted by setbacks as they are part of the entrepreneurial journey. Conclusion The event was both a success and an eye-opener. We got to hear first-hand testimonies and experiences of successful entrepreneurs. We benefited from tried and tested tips on entrepreneurship by successful business personalities. The experiences also taught us that entrepreneurship is not just about making a profit and keeping it; giving back to the community part of that profit is equally important.


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