Entrepreneurship in Forestry Class in Colombia, a Reality December 9, 2019
9 diciembre, 2019
By: M Sc. Liz Villarraga Flórez
(Professor at the Francisco José de Caldas District University, Colombia. Guest Author)
Learning about the Young Forest Entrepreneur contest, the work carried out by the Civil Association Reforestamos México with forestry students, and the Colombian government’s commitment to entrepreneurship motivated me in 2018 to propose a syllabus for an elective academic space in the Forestry Engineering curriculum. Today, at our University, we call it “Forestry Entrepreneurship.”
The course is focused on producing a Business Plan as its final product. In Colombia, there is a financing source called the Entrepreneurship Fund that seeks to “support productive projects that integrate the knowledge acquired by entrepreneurs in their training processes with the development of new companies.” Therefore, a significant part of this class’s time is dedicated to developing the Entrepreneurship Fund’s business plan guide, based on the Canvas model and the Jobs to Be Done methodology, among others. Additionally, the Forestry Entrepreneurship class addresses administrative functions such as Planning, Organization, Direction, Control, and aspects related to the types of companies and requirements for their creation in Colombia. Graduates of Forestry Engineering, who are carrying out their own ventures or are already in the entrepreneur stage, also participate in the course, sharing their experiences of successes and/or failures with the students.
Thanks to Reforestamos México’s Young Forest Entrepreneur Contest, a group of students under my guidance presented their proposal for the 2018-2019 call, we were finalists, and we attended the training sessions offered by the contest for a week at the end of May 2019. I was able to develop better competencies, particularly in relation to the Canvas model and in conducting a pitch. So, at the end of the Forestry Entrepreneurship course, students present, in addition to their business plan, a pitch in which they introduce their entrepreneurship proposal to a jury composed of teachers and program graduates.
This is a very recent academic space offered for two semesters, still in the construction process, but it has generated great expectations among Forestry Engineering students at the Francisco José de Caldas District University in Bogotá, Colombia.
Video of a product created by students from the Entrepreneurship class: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14INQpMyew9O7CP6VB3E9G_FauD0UhAEs/view