It’s a concept that Ryan Trainor hopes will disrupt the education sector and provide budding entrepreneurs with the skills to succeed in business.
The name of the concept is “Bschool”, and it provides students with a 12-month online course leading to a Diploma of Business. But delivery is different to the courses available in most other universities.
Trainor’s own educational background was a case of learning on the job. A serial entrepreneur, he has bought and sold many companies beginning with a security firm when he was 23. As a result of that experience, Trainor sees the future of business education through a very different lens than the incumbent institutions. “What we’re doing with Bschool is, rather than being educators, we need to become curators. We need to give people who are aspirational on their journey the experience of those that have been on theirs… If I had known half the things I know now, my own journey might have been smoother.”
The course is co-taught by eight of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs known as the “B faculty”, including Grill’d founder Simon Crowe, Carman’s Muesli founder Carolyn Creswell and Managing Director of 333 Group, Richard Forbes.
Each of the eight faculty members takes a course or “unit” in their area of expertise. “We are sharing the actual journey that the entrepreneurs went on in each of those areas,” Mr Trainor said. “In each of the eight units, the entrepreneur will talk to you about how they solved a problem – then you actually apply that to the virtual business.” As the course is entirely online, the eight entrepreneurs post videos on the internet for their students to watch and direct engagement can take place via online forums.
Students are taught how launch a start-up, commercialise a product, develop a digital marketing strategy and advance their careers. The aim is to prepare students for the practical challenges that might present themselves in the normal course of running a business. For example, one module throws students into the position of a chief executive who is facing declining sales. The task is to turn the business around and get back to profitability. In essence, students are running a virtual business.
At the end of the day, students will finish the diploma feeling more confident to manage the challenges posed by running a business in real life. “We actually feel that you’re not doing this for a diploma. You’re doing this for the experience, you just happen to get a diploma at the end of it,” Trainor said.
The concept is still brand new and was launched weeks ago with Trainor saying he is very happy with student numbers so far. “We’ve have had a terrific response,” he said.