Doing business online in Corona times! “Need a Gift?”

I got a Whatsapp message from a colleague of mine, and of course, clicked to see what he was selling. And I was overjoyed to see that he was advertising the student companies that we’ve been coaching since February.

But before I tell you what the heck I’m talking about – let’s give you the link to the Student Marketplace! https://www.marketcceamsib.nl/ – Check out all the different companies. Want to know which ones I’m coaching? Fine! I’ll tell you – but first, let me tell you about this fun project.

Lots of students at AMSIB (Amsterdam School of International Business), an English speaking, International part of HvA (Hogeschool van Amsterdam) join our study for two main reasons: obligatory Exchange abroad (cough, when there’s no pandemic), and the first year Co-creative Entrepreneurship course, which isn’t really a course – but rather an opportunity for all students to team up and create real companies selling real products and services and hopefully even making a profit and working towards making the world a better place in the process.

Last year, in March, we were a third of the way through the project when Covid hit. Both lecturing coaches and students were panicked. “We’ll never be able to do this online!” we all complained. But many late night zoom meetings later – we gave the students the opportunity to choose: You can try to do it online or do it next year (not believing for a second that we’d have 2 years of this pandemic!) Most students chose to “Keep calm and carry on,” and I was personally pleasantly surprised when both of the student companies I was coaching managed to make a profit (with a lot of guilt about it, as people were losing jobs, family members and their health).

This year, it was clear from the start that 1. The project would continue – online, 2. Everything would work out. And, so far, so good. After the first 6 weeks of research and feasibility studies, my class decided to go with three different company ideas. We voted literally three times, and each time, all three won the vote. So, I had no choice but to allow them the pleasure of starting up not 2, but 3 student companies. It’s a little bit more work for me, and less coaching time for them, as I jump back and forth, but they are doing a great job, have set up their websites, their instagram accounts, and tik-toks, and are already making some sales!

Go, students! I’m so proud of you!

The three companies I’m coaching are these:

https://studentmarketplace.nl/ – selling summaries to stressed students, specially suited to AMSIB courses.

https://www.foodversity.nl/ – selling ebooks for low budget, quick to prepare meals for students. (there’s free recipes too!)

and there’s this one too: https://toter.shop/ – selling tote bags with customized cool designs to help save the planet while you’re shopping.

But there’s tons of more very interesting ideas – if you go to the https://www.marketcceamsib.nl/!

It’s quite amazing what students (and people in general) can do when they are motivated and put their mind to something. I have to say, I learn a lot by coaching these students. I wish I was so clever at their young ages!

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