The Globe's biweekly business-school news roundup.
Young entrepreneurs are increasingly in the spotlight at business schools, with recent initiatives announced to support them during and after graduation.
At the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business, up to 10 students in the incoming class of August of 2015 will receive scholarships of $15,000 – with half of the award reserved for starting new ventures before graduation.
"Sometimes there are people with concrete ideas that are very defined and some only have a vague idea," says Laura Rojo, director of recruitment and admissions at the Vancouver school. Eligible candidates will be selected from the innovation and entrepreneurship track of Sauder's MBA program.
After five months of academic study, the New Venture scholarship winners will pursue their startup ideas during a four-month period before completing their degree. "We want to build an eco-system around their business plan," says Ms. Rojo, with mentoring by faculty, alumni and outside advisers.
Meanwhile, Queen's School of Business in Kingston has announced a partnership with Venture for Canada, a non-profit that connects recent graduates and Canadian startups. Next spring, the school will offer a five-week "boot camp" to 35 Venture for Canada fellows selected for a two-year paid internship with one of 59 Canadian startup companies.
"The idea here is that they will be that much better at creating successful businesses because of this experience and will have helped a Canadian company do fantastic things in the meantime," says Elspeth Murray, associate dean of MBA programs at Queen's and director of the school's Centre for Business Venturing.
She says Venture for Canada fills a void in the entrepreneurial space. High-growth startup companies are keen to recruit business graduates but may be unable to compete against established firms with large hiring departments. Meanwhile, she adds, "There are students who want to work in these cool new companies and the challenge is to find them."
Prof. Murray says interest in entrepreneurship – a long-time focus at her school – is building among schools, students and employers.
"We see it in our graduates who are doing a variety of different things," she says. "It is such great news from my perspective because it is the lifeblood of any developed economy. We are getting back to the roots of the country, which is to go out there and start to build a business."
Professor offers a child's guide to making wise decisions
For some, the new year is a time for satisfaction (or regret) over past choices or looming decisions. Either way, a lighthearted book by a business professor sheds light on the research behind the sometimes-faulty decision-making habits of people.
Neil Bendle, an assistant marketing professor at the University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School in London, Ont., decided to write Behavioural Economics for Kids to show it's possible to communicate complicated ideas in accessible ways. His 37-page book, now in its second edition and available free, includes cartoon illustrations by his father-in-law Philip Chen.
"In behaviour economics, particularly, there are some fantastic ideas," says Prof. Bendle. "Yet often they have posh terms that no normal person understands."
He praises behavioural economists Dan Ariely of Duke University and Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman for sharing their ideas with mainstream audiences.
In his book, Prof. Bendle explains the social science underpinnings behind decisions, good and bad, noting that grown-ups often behave like big kids.
Take the phenomenon of throwing good money after bad – "sunk cost bias" in economic jargon – as when investors buy more shares in a money-losing company whose stock has dropped. "We all kind of do it," says Prof. Bendle. "Get over it."
Repeating the past, he cautions, is no guarantee of a better future.
Then there's the penchant for "competitor orientation," when someone else's Christmas present (or bonus) looks better than one's own. Prof. Bendle says competitively-oriented people may be happy to receive a bonus of $100 because someone else receives nothing, but would be better off with a bonus of $200 when the other person received $300.
Fairness is a popular topic in behavioural economics, he says. Some of his current research work is focused on how fairness can improve outcomes in internal business relations.
He hopes the book will encourage people to think differently about the way they make decisions.
"What I don't want to do is make people defensive and make them feel I am doing something silly," he says. "Making mistakes is nothing to be ashamed of – it's that you should try to make fewer."
The book is available through Prof. Bendle's website, neilbendle.com.
Corporate donation for international business studies
Lallemand Inc., a Quebec-based yeasts and bacteria production company with overseas operations in France, has donated $1-million to HEC Montréal to expand its international business curriculum.
The Lallemand-Marcel and Roland Chagnon Fund will pay for a professorship in international business, overseas exchanges and scholarships to encourage student international mobility.
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