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Courses

Programming for Entrepreneurs 

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of programming so you can start writing web applications that can potentially be used in non-profit or public sectors. The course will be very hands-on and you are expected to code during the class. The topics will include–fundamentals of computer science, programming basics, data structures, client-server architecture, javascript, application programming interface, LAMP stack and web frameworks, design tools, scalability issues and infrastructure for application deployment. We will discuss some of these topics in the context of agile development methodology for startups. If you are interested in building a startup as a social entrepreneur, the tools and methods you learn in this course should help you in coding the first prototype of your application. As part of the final project, you are expected to build a fully functional web application. No programming background is required. Students are expected to complete all the reading assignments before the first day of class.

Strategic, Organizational & Entrepreneurial Management 

This course will provide the analytical ability and practical skills to build the right strategy, organization and entrepreneurial culture for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. The methodology of this class is to learn from case studies, leading management texts and insights from practitioners. Students will learn to recognize and develop entrepreneurial skills by examining and analyzing the strategies employed by practicing entrepreneurs in building new ventures. Particular attention is given to the criteria used in analyzing the strategies of international and non-profit new venture ideas. Further focus on negotiations, managing people and organizational culture will be emphasized. Each student is required to develop an entrepreneurial venture focused on a social/non-profit, emerging market or private sector opportunity.

Creating a Social Enterprise

The course will focus primarily on the knowledge and skills required to launch a social enterprise.  The class will include an overview of Social Enterprises around the globe and will look at various enterprise models (for profit, non-profit) and their role in the broader market economy.  Class time will focus on the analysis of Case Studies and the vetting of real social enterprise business plans.  The course will center on a Group Project where teams of three (3) will work together to build a plan for launching their own, new Social Enterprise. In the process, students will learn how to define, design, market, sustain and scale their concept.  At the end of the course, students will submit a formal business plan and budget and will present their plan to a panel of experts in the field.

Project Management

While it is generally thought of to be related to construction, the truth is that Project Management can be applied to any field. It is defined as the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of the particular project. A project is an endeavor undertaken to achieve a particular aim. Project management knowledge and practices are best described in terms of their component processes. These processes are: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Closing. Knowledge Areas include Scope Management, Time Management, Cost Management, Quality Management, Risk Management, and Change Management. We will discuss all of these elements in the course.

Micro & Small Enterprise Development

The objective of this course is to understand the role of micro and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing economies and to identify and assess a range of policies and programs to promote their development. By tracing the evolution of development thinking in finance and SME development, students will be exposed to the intellectual underpinnings of–and practical tools used in–a wide variety of approaches to SME development. Students will also become familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the most common private sector development approaches currently being used by donor organizations and committed private sector actors.

Capstone Workshops 

Spring 2017 AXA Strategic Ventures Cyber Security, Big Data, Infrastructure, Mobile Marketing, Social Media—IT Spending Changes Bruce Taragin
Spring 2017 Inter-American Development Bank Improving Supply Chain Performance with New Digital Technologies Ulrike Zeilberger and Tim Meyer
Spring 2017 LA Mayor's Operations Innovation Team Reimagining Economic Development for Los Angeles in the 21st Century Seth Pinsky
Spring 2017 Solar Sister Exploring Pay As You Go Solar as a Means to Combat Energy Poverty Ellen Morris
Spring 2017 United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Digital Financial Services in Africa: Using Partial Credit Guarantees to Promote Financial Inclusion Hans-Martin Boehmer
Spring 2017 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Development Financing: Exploring how new Financing Trends can Impact the SDGs Hans-Martin Boehmer