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Running a company requires a variety of skills and abilities which increasing numbers of young business people are learning via management courses. But chosing the right one is not easy, and it is also important to remember ethics. Even the best business ideas can be sabotaged by bad practice.
Spain: mastering management
Richard Midikira from Kenya is studying in Madrid at the IE Business School, ranked in the World’s Top Ten by the Financial Times: “The MIM programme is very intense, it gives you knowledge in different areas of business from operations and supply management to finance to marketing and accounting. So it makes you understand business from a very broad perspective and it puts you in a better position to give solutions to businesses from a broader perspective.”
The ‘Master in Management’ or MIM course is an international business programme for graduates with up to two years of experience. 93% of graduates from the course are employment within three months, many with large companies like Mackenzie, Google and Facebook.
There are students of more than 40 nationalities currently enrolled on the course but this kind of education does not come cheap. The tuition fee is 30,000 euros.
Ireland: kids in the boardroom
In Tralee, in Ireland, they are experimenting with one of the country’s most ambitious educational schemes – the Junior Entrepreneur Programme. The idea is to talk about business with children aged between eight and 12 years old. Subjects include profits and investment and although no-one is actually making or losing money, the hands-on approach has the children interested.
A good idea is one thing, but the would-be entrepreneurs also have to describe how the company would be set up and financed. The teacher, Evelyn Dore, said: “They realise the value of money, they realise why we are learning fractions and percentages in school. They realise the value of team work.”
The project was set up by internet entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly, who says that business leaders should reach out to the next generation – however young. By 2015, nearly 4,500 children will have taken part in the programme.
Switzerland: the business of ethics
Bert Wolfs, one of the founders of the Swiss Business School, is convinced that business ethics are vital: “In 2001, Enron, a large energy company in the United States, went bankrupt and that also led to the bankruptcy of Arthur Andersen, which was the fourth largest auditing company in the world. This inspired us, due to the misbehaviour of senior management, to really organize an Ethical Business School. And to who could we teach better and where could we start for the change? It was with our students. Companies are doing well by doing good and they think they then apply all the aspects of ethics. But in real life you have to apply it in your business. So you have to be fair, you have not to accept bribery, you have to implement a code of ethics in your company. Now we’ve made it concrete and I think that helps to change the behaviour of managers and students.”
More than 300 students have taken this course at the Swiss Business School over the past 10 years, focusing on doing ethical buisiness rather than just on making money at all costs. Honesty and transparency are essential for economic survival.