Tourism Deusto looks to the entrepreneurship world

Some years ago, I met a really good colleague, and even better person, who also worked at the University of Deusto. Over the years, the professional relationship, and I dare to say personal, has improved. How lucky I am!

Her name is Ainara Rodríguez Zulaica and she is, among others, a teacher of the degree in Tourism at the Social and Human Sciences Faculty.

Ainara and I share the support for entrepreneurs, the commitment to educational innovation and the promotion of the active methodological approaches. It’s a pity that we don’t have more time to do any of the projects that we had planned. That moment will come.

The thing is that a few weeks ago, Ainara contacted me to make a consultation for one of the subjects she teaches in the 3rd grade of the Tourism degree at the Bilbao campus: “Transport Management and Tourism Intermediation”.

In addition to specific competencies such as analyzing critically business models, this subject has to contribute also to the development of the entrepreneurial spirit competence, whose domain is closely connected to the self-motivation, leadership, initiative, creativity, innovation and the construction of a new world, which at the University of Deusto is described as:

To elaborate projects under their own initiative, with the purpose of enhancing a business opportunity and assuming the risks it carries.

According to the teaching-learning strategy that Ainara follows on the subject, this time she needed a couple of E.P. to explain in about 50 minutes their real experience as entrepreneurs, the steps followed to develop their idea and their business plan and the difficulties found on the way, among others. That’s why she asked me for help.

The student, for their part, have the challenge of creating an intermediary tourism company and elaborating their business plan. Of course, starting from real data. Is that all!

Once the management information was done, last Thursday the 15th of March, at 12:15, both of the E.P. that I recommended (Kristian Svenstrup and Neskuts Arruti from TXOKO NORDISK and Arruti Consulting, respectively) were waiting, not without nerves, for the student body in the classroom 354 to help them with their big challenge.

Sadly, I had to leave before they ended, but I think I wasn’t wrong when I recommended Kristian and Neskuts. Even though their projects (businesses) have been on for a short time, the analysis and the work done for the development of their business plans and their implementation, the clarity and the way in which they gave explanations to the students (and the time they took to prepare for it) and, above all, their willingness to do it and give us their time, they well deserve our gratitude and the applauses for their effort. So, thank you both again, and thanks to Ainara for counting on me once again.

I learned, sessions with entrepreneurs always do me good, and I remembered how important it is to raise some questions whenever we are about to lunch a project:

  • WHY should the business exist?
  • FORM WHOM  am I proposing it? WHO is my target customer?
  • WHAT am I offering that is not already on the market, that meets particular expectations and whose competitive advantage is worth it for every person involved in the business?

Oh, and of course it was very clear to me that we have to think a lot about the benefits for our customers, not forget about our competitors, do a risk analysis, do numbers, test, plan and move forward with the decision you’ve made.

Thank you, lastly, for demonstrating us that a business plan doesn’t have to be a lot of paper that once presented to the possible investors and has received the timely funding, we’ll forget in a drawer.

Enjoy the week and, above all, rest and disconnect a little bit during Holy Week. I’ll be back with new E.P. and entrepreneurial projects on the 10th of April.

Translated by María Ubierna Quintanilla and supervised by Arantza Arruti.

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