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James D. Hart

A good storyteller can motivate and inspire others. Stories can help entrepreneurs have a connection with stakeholders, including investors. This award-winning experiential exercise, Have a Classmate Tell Your Story, teaches students how others sometimes interpret, remember and share stories an entrepreneur shares. In the exercise, students share crafted personal stories, listen to a peer recount what was shared, and then hear class feedback on what seems compelling and memorable about the story. This insight can then be used by each student to develop entrepreneurial stories for pitching purposes.

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Classroom Exercises for Entrepreneurship

A Cross-Disciplinary Approach

James D. Hart

Entrepreneurship is a creative act with entrepreneurs creating products, services, jobs, economic stimulation, culture and more. This creatively written book offers a wide array of exercises of varied time requirements for implementation, as well as a complexity of content. In addition to more traditional topics, the book serves to enhance students’ imaginative and creative abilities so they can effectively problem-solve and build their creative entrepreneurial visions. Learning objectives can be directly implemented into syllabi.
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James D. Hart

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James D. Hart

Whether engaging investors, one’s team, board, customers or audience, effective communication is critical. These exercises aid entrepreneurs in developing communication skills and teach students how to inspire others and craft memorable and impactful stories. Students also learn about the power of stillness and finding one’s voice.

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James D. Hart

Identifying competition is important. If there is not competition, it likely means that there is no market or one is doing something stunningly innovative, in which case they will have to engage in the heavy lifting of educating customers about the value they offer. If one cannot compete as an entrepreneur, they cannot excel. These exercises teach students how to understand who or what they are competing with, how to differentiate themselves and how to identify what the status quo is so they can break and re-create it.

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James D. Hart

Whatever endeavor an entrepreneur seeks to create, capital is needed. These exercises teach students how, with visual aids, investors can better understand a new concept. Students develop their pitching skills and learn how to build a true fan base, through which they fundraise and attract capital.

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James D. Hart

Marketing is critical in the entrepreneurial process, as it is through marketing, in part, that an entrepreneur attracts potential customers’ attention. If a potential customer does not know about an entrepreneur’s offerings, there is a strong likelihood that a business will not be viable or sustainable.

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James D. Hart

People like to help those they know, like and trust. These exercises help students understand the potential of their professional network connections so that they can utilize others’ in helping build entrepreneurial concepts.

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James D. Hart

If others do not understand an entrepreneur’s concept, they likely will not support it. Whether an entrepreneur needs to build a team, acquire investors, inspire donors and prospective team members or engage volunteers, pitching is involved and serves as a keystone skill in the entrepreneurial process.

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James D. Hart

The act of planning is far more valuable than a plan itself. No matter how well an entrepreneur strategizes and makes assumptions, customers can surprise by acting unpredictably. In such cases, an entrepreneur may need to adapt quickly, lest their actions and business become irrelevant. As entrepreneurship is a process of adaptation and evolution, the better one is at planning and strategizing, the more quickly one can pivot as necessary. These exercises develop students’ abilities to plan and strategize.