6 June 2012

A Small Price For Huge Benefits

Imagine a specialist application capable of running on a $30 tablet that could help women in Asian and indigenous communities develop and grow their own businesses.

Far from being some kind of technological pipe dream, it’s a concept we proposed at a special workshop as part of Sydney’s VIVID Ideas Exchange last Wednesday night. Intended to be a very simple, highly interactive application targeted at people who will never go to university but will go on to run micro or very small enterprises, this innovation will also complement some of the Business School’s current teaching initiatives, like the Building Female Entrepreneurial Skills for SME in ASEAN Countries and the Remote and Rural Enterprise Program (RARE).

But the potential uses for this easy-to-use application go far beyond educational support. It could also be a kind of e-reference book or a tool that enables the user to access particular case studies or best practice examples. The user will be able to practice simple exercises and learn the implications of particular business strategies in a very visual, experiential manner. Behind the simple graphical interface, the application will be capable of recalling daily sales data or weekly business expenditure. Strongly linked to our learning by doing, enquiry-based learning methodology, this project’s purpose and focus is on visual, tactile, interactive learning – where the learner is encouraged to think and explore answers through leading questions.

Clearly, the development of such an app represents a significant challenge, and our aim is to undertake the hard yards in conjunction with IT software development and creative experts, as well as a student cohort from Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin. With this in mind, I’ll be heading to Germany shortly with the sole purpose of scoping out the challenges for the next year or two.

Author: Richard Seymour - Innovation and Enterprise Program Director

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