The main focus of the capacity building component is a multi-day interactive workshop conducted by Sauder faculty, Sauder alumni, and members of the Vancouver and Seattle business community. The workshop style is highly interactive and implements many teaching tools and concepts mirroring an MBA style case course. This business toolkit workshop is geared to the development of an understanding of key business tools and then, most importantly, the application of these tools and concepts.
The workshop culminates on the final evening as participants who have solved a business case on the last day and provide their recommendations and rationale in a presentation to the group. This format, with a focus on application, enables the participants to apply their knowledge in a live setting.
The key curriculum elements in the business skills workshop are; business strategy, marketing, finance and accounting. The focus of each of the session is, first; the development of an understanding of the tools; second, the application of the tools in a business decision; and, third the application of the tool in the solving of a case and preparation and delivery of a presentation. In this final presentation participants solve the case using a broad spectrum of business tools from their “toolkit”.
The goal of the workshop is to encourage participants in the community to fuel entrepreneurial energy, learn business concepts and develop management skills. Specifically the workshop focuses on providing training that is not easily accessible in the community. The ARC links with the community through key partnerships with local organizations; for example, in Phalaborwa, it is the Palabora Foundation under the leadership of Malesela Letsoalo. Through these partnerships, community people are identified and invited to the workshop as participants.