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Student Business Plan Competitions: Who Really Does Have Access?

June 21, 2011View for printing

Student business plan competitions no longer resemble a classroom project, initiated at the start of a semester, often based upon a student's original thought, and hastily submitted to a competition, more likely than not, within driving distance of your school. Today, competitors and competitions have morphed into year-long strategic initiatives reliant upon high-technology, or even bioscience research projects sought by out zealous MBA team members.

Today, institutions are driven by the peer, community, and donor recognition they garner should a student team win one or more of the many prestigious competitions available. So where does that leave average schools where resources are little or non-existent, curriculum changes or expansion are not available, students lack entrepreneurial experience, access to top flight advisory boards for teams is limited, and technologies are difficult to come by, or exceed team member capabilities? Are the days of the original classroom idea or the "startup" restaurant gone?

Joe Bell, University of Arkansas--Little Rock

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