Perspectives: International Partnerships in Entrepreneurship PERSPECTIVES. International Partnerships in Entrepreneurship

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41 Klaus Tenbergen, Ed.D

California State University, Fresno U.S. Marianne Dunklin, Ph.D

Fresno City College U.S. Geoff Booth, MSocSc

Westminster Kingsway College, U.K. Terry Tinton

International

Partnerships in

Entrepreneurship

Firm Foundations for the Future

The BritCA International Business Entrepreneurs Challenge: A multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial project

International Partnership in Entrepreneurship helps to build positive, creative relationships with people around the world, while learning about each others’ cultures. It enables the sharing of ideas and knowledge and develops additional capacity for innovation, creativity and the achievement of internationalization. International partnerships are vitally important in building an institution’s worldwide reputation and standing in an increasingly crowded and competitive global landscape. Through these partnerships universities and colleges are able to reach out and connect to the world. These partnerships help to demonstrate the creativity and the innovation of the sector as a whole, and draws upon the specific strengths of individual institutions. This program was set up to encourage universities and colleges from the United States of America

PERSPECTIVES

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(US) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain (UK) to establish links with overseas institutions and forge mutually beneficial partnerships. The strength and variety of the collaboration has exceeded expectations, largely through the enthusiasm of the leadership team, who have seized the chance to broaden the expertise in their respective countries. The initiative is set to continue with new sources of funding from the institutions here and abroad and through income generated or raised by the project. The British Council (the UK’s organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities) contributed $ 64,000.00 (₤40,000.00) toward this initiative

from the UK-US Higher Education New Partnerships Fund, to stimulate increased interaction between United Kingdom and United States higher education institutions. The fund is linked to extensive research carried out in cooperation with the Institute of International Education (IIE) in 2009 on higher education partnerships between the UK and the US. The UK and the US have excellent higher education systems, and for many years students from both countries have benefited from the close working relationships that have developed between these two countries. This new partnership, funded through the UK’s Prime Minister's Initiative for International Education, will encourage even links between universities and students across both systems. The relationship between the UK and US is important. Higher education institutions in the United Kingdom and United States have a long history of collaboration for joint research initiatives across many disciplines, as well as an abundance of professor and student exchanges. There are currently more than 10,000 UK/US university staff with research links to the United States & Great Britain and more than 8,000 research students currently working in the UK/US. A few of the joint UK-US research projects currently underway include: exploring stem

cell therapy for macular degeneration, conducting an extensive study of the Earth’s atmosphere, identifying materials that act as superconductors and studying the role of sugar in cell-to-cell communication.

Education links are crucial for increasing long term cultural relations and this new initiative represents a continued investment in the development of transatlantic education partnerships. The British Council’s UK-US Higher Education New Partnerships Fund was introduced as higher education partnerships receive a growing spotlight in U.S. foreign policy. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has emphasized education and higher education partnerships on her state visits. In Russia, Secretary Clinton remarked, “…Part of our approach in the Obama Administration is to reach out to form more partnerships with not just governments but people-to-people partnerships that we think are going to provide a strong foundation for our future cooperation.”

In 2009, the United Kingdom once again took the top spot, rising almost two % with 33,333 Americans studying in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the 2007-2008 school year (14% of overall study abroad students) according to new data released by IIE. Conversely, the United States is perennially the top destination for British students who study outside their home country with 8,701 studying in the US during the 2008-09 school year. International education provides the UK and US with a dynamic, high-skill and

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sustainable industry, estimated to be worth more than ₤ 10 billion. International

education, however, is not merely an export industry. It helps to build affiliations and friendships with people from around the world, enabling each party to understand more about each others' cultures as well as providing opportunities for greater trade, investment and political influence. By internationalizing its education provision, the UK and US are able to attract intellectual capital - enriching the capacity for research, technological growth and innovation. Launched in April 2006, the Prime Minister's Initiative for International Education (PMI2) is a five-year strategy, which aims to secure the UK's position as a leader in international education and sustain the growth of UK international education delivered in the UK and overseas.

International student recruitment to the UK is an important element within the strategy, but the ability to attract students increasingly depends on the reinforcement of the UK’s research and educational reputation in the international arena. Not only is this about the quality and value of the education, it is also about the

contribution made globally and the strength of its collaborative partnerships.

In October 2009, faculty from several UK “Further Education Colleges” (similar to US community colleges and each of which also offered Higher Education as part of its curriculum portfolio) presented a session at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) annual conference in Chicago. One of the objectives of the session was to enable UK colleges to begin the process of planning for activities to support future transatlantic partnerships. This interest in collaborative partnerships is driven by the Prime Minister’s Initiative for International Education (PMI2). Funding in the UK was available to encourage the building of strong strategic alliances and partnerships for the following areas:

• International Mobility of UK Students: encouraging UK students to take up overseas study

opportunities is a key component of the UK’s internationalization agenda. Bids were invited from UK higher education institutions interested in developing and delivering innovative programs to facilitate the outward mobility of UK students.

• Partnership Development Grants: to develop strategic alliances and partnerships with international institutions requires careful planning and communication. The grants were available to UK institutions for this purpose.

(http://artsresearch.brighton.ac.uk/ne ws/pm12-funding-proposals)

• Research Cooperation: to build the foundations for long term

relationships and grow high quality research cooperation between higher education institutions in the UK and agreed priority countries. The

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funding is intended as pump priming to initiate and stimulate projects of excellence that have the potential to be sustainable in the long term.

• Collaborative Program Delivery: to encourage the development of joint / dual awards programs and

collaborative program delivery at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

At the NACCE meeting Fresno City College (FCC) faculty members met withthe Assistant Principal at Westminster Kingsway College and the Director of PACE (Professional Association of Catering Education), who was interested in developing a partnership with State Center Community College District (SCCCD), the colleges involved in the Community College Entrepreneurial Pathway, the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and California State University, Fresno. The primary area of interest for Booth was culinary arts but the PMI2 is a broad program, which includes all disciplines and many colleges throughout the UK. The theme for 2010/2011 is entrepreneurship and will bring together - Agriculture/Farming; Culinary Arts; Culinology®/Molecular Gastronomy; CAD/CAM; Graphic Design; and Entrepreneurship and Business g including Sales & Marketing, Finance and Project Management.

The International Business Entrepreneur's Challenge is a collaborative project between teams of British and California community college students (at Higher Education and Community College levels) and their faculty mentors featuring a competitive Business Entrepreneur's Challenge - to develop an innovative food related product and ground breaking culinary process. The International Business Entrepreneur's Challenge encourages an entrepreneurial approach involving all

technical aspects of the product journey from "Farm to Retail and from Retail to Farm”. The project will encompass every aspect of the product development cycle, various disciplines within business, and focus on the commercial opportunities which exist at each stage. There will be three teams competing to make a food related product - a UK team, a US team and a mixed UK and US team.

The colleges taking part are: Westminster Kingsway College (Food development and business) UK; Norwich City College (Business) UK; Sparsholt (Agricultural) College UK; Leeds City College (Manufacturing) UK; Fresno City College (CAD/CAM, Graphic Design) US; Reedley College (Agriculture/Farming) US; California State University, Fresno (Culinary Art, Culinology®) US; and Bakersfield College (Entrepreneurship and Business) US. The students from the above colleges are from different disciplinary backgrounds - Culinology®, culinary arts, business, design and production and are working together cross college and cross disciplines for this project to succeed. Each team will present their products and the supporting business plans and sales and marketing strategies to a dragon’s den / shark’s tank panel of industry experts in London at Westminster Kingsway College in June 2011.

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The International Business Entrepreneur’s Challenge project encourages an entrepreneurial approach involving all Career-Technical/Vocational aspects of the product journey from "Farm to Retail and from Retail to Farm”. The project will encompass every aspect of the product development process, various disciplines within business, and focus on the commercial opportunities which exist at each stage.

The rationale for the project is to build on existing links between established UK and US consortia groups and their networks and to extend these to develop high quality student experiences through clearly planned strategic partnerships between institutions in Britain and California (BritCA). Students and faculty work to develop innovative, creative, nutritious and tasty recipes, that can be prepackaged for the retail market or centrally produced for the restaurant market. The Challenge will provide students from each of the partnership colleges in the UK and US the opportunity to form a recipe challenge team. This team approach will help strengthen communication links between the US and UK and help develop lasting relationships that will ideally evolve into cross-border international career experiences for students and faculty.

The international culinary challenge project adopts a practical approach to

explore the product cycle which includes food sourcing, regulation of agricultural and food products for domestic and export markets, recipe development, nutrition, food packaging designing, labeling, branding, and packaging prototype manufacture as well as the creation of a sales and marketing plan and a business plan to commercialize the recipe through distribution to either a retail or restaurant market. A recipe must be centered around a “protein based” concept containing food ingredients mainly sourced locally by the partner colleges involved. For the purpose of this competition the concept is defined as: A product using a predetermined ratio of beef and pork, as well as California special crop and flavorings or spices, or other “special signature or theme” flavorings; served hot or cold with any number of savory or sweet sauces or gravies. Simply defined as Comfort Food! The business teams will be exploring markets for the concept products produced - these may include, school food service, airline food supplier, healthy snack sector or restaurant industry.

The culinary arts/Culinology® group will work with agriculture group members to ensure that the product of the recipe meets all nutritional and content requirements of the USDA, FDA and DEFRA with respect to pesticide residues, trace substances and processes for canned or packaged food products. The product of the recipe must be suitable for packaging. The culinary arts / Culinology®, molecular gastronomy groups are consulting with the CAD/CAM, graphic design and business marketing teams to create a package prototype complete with nutritional labeling which meets labeling requirements in the US and UK, product labeling which includes a product name or brand name and logo as well as developing a brand image for a promotional campaign.

In addition, groups must collaborate with the entrepreneurship group which will

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be responsible for creating a business plan as directed by the leadership team. Elements of the business plan will include marketing, promotion, production, distribution and financial plans. Submissions must also meet additional requirements. Recipes will be judged on the following five criteria: 1) Student Involvement; 2) Nutrition; 3) Creativity & Originality; 4) Ease of Use 5) Plate Presentation; and 6) manufacturing process.

Because of the emerging strength and popularity of social and business networking: Skype; Twitter; YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and similar Internet based communication channels will be embraced by the students and faculty

involved in the project. Initial project work has been started through virtual means using Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Ipadio, email, Blackboard VLE and Skype and developed into actual exchange and fact finding visits in order to ensure a clarity of purpose in the project and to promote collaboration between faculty mentors. But the real value of internationalization is in the way it enhances the learning experiences of students from both countries, while sharpening the focus on the development of effective transnational communities of learning, practice and innovation. By incorporating a competition element into the project, the teams involved have responded with purpose and vigor and communication channels have progressed at a greater pace than might have otherwise emerged. It is

anticipated that project outcomes will be achieved on many levels including: the development of international networks; collaboration between multidisciplinary teams, the establishing of online international research and development communities which incorporate both students, faculty and industry partners; the development of a range of food products to engage and entice customers from the markets identified; the establishment of a learning and research foundation to continue the links established through similar entrepreneurial projects; and the establishment of business relationships and partnerships between education and industry, which extend into the world of work beyond the educational institutions involved.

In conclusion, this project provides a platform for continued interaction between US and UK colleges, which includes collaboration between higher education institutions which lag their four-year counterparts with respect to international collaborations. This institutes links between colleges and universities, which will lead to exchange of ideas, methods and new technology in a variety of disciplines; many of which do not traditionally engage in internationalization of curriculum. In addition, the project should spawn joint research on best practices and the impact of innovative pedagogical programs on success, progression and retention.

We are looking forward to share a summary of this project, what worked and what not, towards the end of 2011, which will include details of the project and it process. The sustainability of this project, through the additional collaboration with industry partners, is of upmost importance to the international leadership team and will be addressed.

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