Steve Cramer, the UNCG business librarian, led a feasibility workshop with 25 visiting German university students on August 6. They were Fulbright students from all over Germany participating in a month-long entrepreneurship-themed Summer Institute Program. The students are engaging in language development, community service, and entrepreneurship education, as well as enjoying field trips to the North Carolina mountains, Disney World (in part to get a taste of its intern program), and Washington D.C. Only about half of the students are business majors.
Joe Erba, a UNCG Entrepreneurship faculty member who often collaborates with Steve, had been working with the students and introduced Steve. Joe and Steve began by asking each student to describe his/her Germany-based business idea, which they were assigned to come up with over the weekend. One interesting proposed idea was a kangaroo farm in Bavaria to sell the meat (including a kosher herd). Another student was impressed with a recent breakfast visit to Cracker Barrel and proposed opening a German franchise.
The students next reviewed what kind of information or data an entrepreneur wants to find when considering the feasibility of an idea. The final segment of the workshop was having the students find relevant German demographic data using the official German census sites that Steve provided easy access to via a library research guide. Steve also had the student use the library’s subscription-based market research databases to investigate trends and data on German consumers. Steve reported that he enjoyed working with these highly-motivated students, and the students enjoyed the hands-on research into their business ideas.