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Entrepreneurship and Management (Build the Sustainable Enterprise) (Bachelor of Science Degree)

Residing within The McCormick Division of Business is the Southern Vermont College Build the Sustainable Enterprise (BTSE) program. BTSE is a highly focused, innovative, four-year degree program designed to provide learners with leading edge preparation for building and managing the vital organizations of the 21st century. 

The program provides learners the chance to accomplish the following: (1) create innovate, entrepreneurial organizations, with an emphasis on sustainability and the green economy, and (2) manage organizations in a highly competitive, global environment, which is infused with technological innovation. The program works from the premise that all managers in contemporary organizations operate in highly competitive environments and, therefore, they must constantly reinvent their products and services. Hence, all business managers must be highly entrepreneurial. As a result, SVC's BTSE degree is in Entrepreneurship and Management.

SVC's Build the Sustainable Enterprise program is built around an integration of three critical managerial and entrepreneurial competencies: globalism, innovative management practice, and the workplace of the 21st century.

In BTSE, students acquire (1) a deep understanding of what it means to live and work in an interconnected, global world (including the opportunity for a valuable, extended internship experience in China, (2) a thorough preparation in the establishment, expansion and management of contemporary organizations, and (3) comprehensive preparation for the workplace of the 21st century, from knowledge management strategy to the use of innovative communication devices like the iPad to working in virtual distributed teams.

Further, BTSE is built upon the educational philosophy that we learn best while doing, by literally trying, practicing and improving upon what we are learning. After acquiring a sound foundation in finance and organizational practice, a student begins to put to work what he or she has learned by creating his or her own enterprise as part of the BTSE degree program.

A clear illustration of BTSE's emphasis on successful, contemporary managerial and entrepreneurial practice is the way in which SVC's program works. Students spend their first two years of study building a foundation, a "knowledge and skill platform," upon which their subsequent studies are based. In the student's third year, he or she actually defines and creates his or her own enterprise, and that venture is used as a learning laboratory through which the student tests and practices what he or she is learning for the rest of the degree program.

The student's last two years in BTSE contain a mix of opportunities, from participating in a two or three month, high-level internship in China, to exploring the creation of "green and creative enterprises," to examining workplace innovations in information technology like the iPhone and iPad, to individualizing the study around the student's own interests through four different Guided Inquiry seminars.

Importantly, hands-on practice is at the center of these last two years of study. With extensive support from the student's professor and external mentors, the student will literally build his or her own enterprise and then use it as a laboratory in which to study how programs and organizations grow, how they become sustainable, how to manage growth and crises, and how to develop transition and exit strategies by actually trying out those ideas and strategies themselves. Students will be shown how to define, create and operate this enterprise on a step-by-step basis.

There is no better way for a student to learn than through active participation in his or her studies. In response to the question: How is a new program or enterprise established? Students will actually establish an enterprise. How is it funded and operated? What happens  when there's a need to grow or change strategies? Students explore the answers to these questions in their last two years in BTSE using their own enterprise project.

Southern Vermont College's BTSE program is rich in innovation. Some of the recent innovations in the program include the following:

·    Creating an iPhone educational application named Pluto and using both iPhones and iTouches to test and improve the design (Be248 - eMobile Learning Strategy and Development);

·    Designing and developing the resources for an iTunes University Web page (Be225 - Entrepreneurship in Virtual Environment);

·    Distinguished two- and three-month-long Management, Marketing and Law Internships (Fall 2010) in Qingdao, China (Be324  -  Doing Business in China);

·    Examining educational and business applications of the iPad and iPad2 (Be370 - iPad Development and Be445 - Guided Advanced Inquiry);

·    Developing and testing applications of the Kindle, an eBook reader, in order to enhance learning both inside and outside of the classroom, provide hands-on professional practice in the digital world and minimize textbook costs (Be120 - Working and Learning in Virtual Environment); and

·    Exploring reduced operating costs and creating new revenue streams by utilizing real estate limited partnerships as part of an organizational development strategy (Be280 - Social Entrepreneurship).

Currently, students in the BTSE program are developing new enterprises as part of their education in sustainable agriculture, sports facility development and college preparation initiatives, sports camps and marketing through portal device applications.

In order to view current information about BTSE’s latest innovations, please view www.mybte.org/iPadindex.html and  www.mybte.org/KPindex.html and watch a video introduction below. In order to learn more details about this exciting program, please contact the Director of Build the Sustainable Entrepreneurship at bte@svc.edu.

The program offers students the chance to learn by doing: To apply the concepts learned in their study of the marketplace by creating and running a business of their own. The enterprises could be, for example, in retail, computer software or health care. Successful proposals will be funded through a Venture Fund with a $100,000 minimum in capitalization.

SVC President Karen Gross describes Build the Enterprise as one of several new academic initiatives designed to animate classroom instruction with real life experiences. You can listen to an interview with President Gross talking about Build the Enterprise during a segment on Skye Radio, broadcast on American Airlines flights. Listen to Skye Radio interview now.

The program has also earned the endorsement of local businesses and business leaders. Each year the Bennington County Industrial Corporation (BCIC) will award $1,500 to the enterprise deemed by a panel of the BCIC leadership most likely to succeed.

Expert Mentors Will Guide You

Business leaders will support your efforts through ongoing advising and mentoring. Local and national business leaders, including SVC alumni, will share their expertise with you. Mentors will help SVC students grow their businesses through active involvement and hands-on instruction.

Voices of Experts

"Theory is fascinating. Experience is priceless. Combining the two of them into an undergraduate business education is a rare and special opportunity. And that's the opportunity offered by the Build the Enterprise program at Southern Vermont College." - Fred Poses, Chairman and CEO, American Standard Companies

"SVC's experiential learning approach will allow the students to see how theory is applied and they will leave college with 'real world experience' that will allow them to become more successful...faster!" - John Max Miller, SVC Class of '83, Founder and General Manager @utoRevenue

"Do your research thoroughly and figure out your strategy as best you can - but then as Tom Peters says, 'do it, try it, and fix it' - and don't be afraid of the uncertainty along the way." - Ira J. Wagner, SVC Class of '81, Chief Operating Officer, American Capital

Program of Study Requirements Credits
General Core Requirements 48
Professional Core
  • Ac101 Accounting
  • Be245 Organizational Finance OR Mg220 Sports Finance
  • Ec200 Macro-Economics
  • Mg/Be150 Organizational Management
  • Mg207 Marketing
Entrepreneurship Core
  • Be135 Current Environments of Globalization
  • Be225 Creation and Management or Virtual Enterprise
  • Be230 Systems and Systems Thinking (2 cr)
  • Be231 Organizations of the 21st Century (2 cr)
  • Be235 Design and Functional Knowledge Organizations (2 cr)
  • Be240 The Networked Organization (2 cr)
  • Be248 mLearning Strategy and Development
  • Be275 Technology an Enterprise
  • Be280 Social Entrepreneurship
  • Be326 Reconstructed Globalism, China
  • Be340 Rebuilding Local Economic Communities
  • Be385 Mentored New Venture Practice
  • Be410 Assemblage of Tools
  • Be480 New Ventures I - Operations
  • Be480 New Ventures II - Sustainability
  • Be324 China Internship (8 cr)
Total Credits 128