Aug. 19, 2020

Capstone course provides students a field experience with local ventures to put business strategy into practice

Social enterprise Enterprise4Good plans to continue to access student expertise

Adrian Bohach and his organization, Enterprise4Good wasn’t sure what to expect when they initially got involved with the capstone course MGST 715 Strategic Business Analysis at the Haskayne School of Business. He joined on, thinking his organization could be of service by providing real-world scenarios for students to learn from.

“Here we thought we were doing a community service for the U of C but the value proposition is going our way and we couldn’t be happier,” says Bohach, president and CEO, Enterprise4Good (formally known as the Ability Society). “We find ourselves more indebted to you than the other way around.”

  • Photo above: Adrian Bohach, fourth from left, backstage with the broadcast crew after a BNN Bloomberg appearance. Photo by Deon Nel Photography, courtesy Adrian Bohach

Enterprise4Good has participated in five semesters of MGST 715 (now known as MGST 615) using the student resources to explore the feasibility for new social venture opportunities such as: Good4U Store — a venture that recycles used home furnishings and building supplies, Good4U Junk — a junk removal service, Good 4U Beer — a project that brings together cause-related marketing and the craft brewing industry, and Friends4Good — an enterprise focused on international community development.

With students from MGST 715 doing the strategy work, Enterprise4Good can focus on implementation. The plan is to bring all these projects to reality, staging them to balance out the opportunities and organizational resources.

“The deliverables from the students are of really outstanding quality,” says Bohach. “We have to be very cognizant of project scope to provide something meaningful. This includes providing valuable learnings to the student, a useful deliverable to us, while at the same time ensuring it is not so much that the students drown and can’t fulfill.”

screen grab of a capstone course powerpoint, including a head shot of the instructor

Dr. Oleksiy Osiyevskyy, PhD, teaches in the capstone course, Strategic Business Analysis.

In spring 2020, there were 22 community partners involved with projects for MGST 715 including Enterprise4Good. Circular Supply Chains Inc. had the student team develop a summary pitch package the company will be using as they move forward in looking for investors for their cargo carousel system.

“The four young gentlemen that chose us were quick to learn, very professional and provided a summary pitch deck package that any company would be proud to present,” says Glen Munholland, president, Circular Supply Chains Inc. in their evaluation for the course, where they indicated the value for the overall project was estimated to be greater than $5,000 for his organization.

With the business strategies they suggested, the team working with the Animal Support Unit at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at UCalgary helped to address a yearly loss of up to $4,000.

Bohach was particularly impressed with the passion each of the student teams exhibited and he was happy to have the opportunity to introduce the next generation of business leaders to the concept of social enterprise, making sure they understand the mindset of a social entrepreneur.

“If your faculty graduates students like these people into the world and the marketplace, the future is in good hands,” says Bohach, as he looks forward to future projects with students.