An Inside Look: “Entrepreneurship and Business Planning” Course

As the countdown to the new academic year begins, Lecturer Tina Weber discusses what Entrepreneurship students can expect this fall.

As final preparations continue for the new academic year, students can expect immersive experiences and an unparalleled level of engagement this fall. The new semester – which is slated to begin in less than two weeks for undergraduates – will also bring expanded in-course opportunities to classes in the Entrepreneurship minor, the largest undergraduate minor at Tufts University. 

We sat down with Tina Weber, Course Lecturer for ENT 101 – Entrepreneurship and Business Planning, to discuss what her course will look like this fall.

Entrepreneurship and Business Planning, offered through Tufts Entrepreneurship Center (TEC), takes students through the process of creating a successful startup while learning about topics which include finance, competitive strategy, and intellectual property. By the end of the course, students will produce a business plan which they can go on to launch and fund through several of TEC’s competitions.

“My hope is that whenever students come out of my class, they have more confidence in what they’re doing in addition to being more open to spotting problems that need solutions,” said Tina. “What makes a successful business is one that solves a real problem, a real need.”

Tina, who also co-hosted this year’s $100k New Ventures Competition, says she plans to leverage several elements from the event like video pitches and interactive technologies to maximize course outcomes. 

Entrepreneurship and Business Planning is one of the core requirements in the five-course Entrepreneurship minor. In one of the first course activities, students pitch business ideas to each other and create teams based on collective interest. “Whether you have a ‘good’ idea or not is determined by your customers – do your customers like your product or not? Do you have customers or not? That’s the real test,” said Tina.

According to Tina, the upcoming semester offers an opportunity to break down geographical barriers that go into researching the viability of startups. “We’ll have to think beyond the local environment,” said Tina. “If you’re thinking of a solution, maybe somebody in France would want to buy it; maybe you can call someone in South Carolina to interview them – whereas before, you might’ve thought only about people around you.”

Entrepreneurship courses, including ENT 101, are open to students from all schools across departments at Tufts University. In the program, students develop a dynamic and exciting curiosity to discover entrepreneurship and innovation through both commercial businesses and social enterprises.

Undoubtedly, the fall semester brings new opportunities for students and they will emerge with strengthened resiliency. Aligned with the spirit of entrepreneurship, students will be engaging in a real time practice of key skills from the course. Each year entrepreneurship courses at Tufts pave the way for successful ideas impacting many facets of society and this year will be no different.