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UB Imprint Vol 40: Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UB
Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UB
Students Showcase their Application of Knowledge and Skills at Open Day and Marketing Expos
Open Day for the University of Belize (UB) is one of the most anticipated days on its calendar. This is where the leaders of the University, our staff and faculties and most importantly our students open our University in an effort to build a strong emotive connection with prospective students, their parents, stakeholders and the community-at-large.
This year’s Open Day, held on November 21st at the Belmopan Campus – under the theme, “Empowering Inquiring Minds for Higher Education at UB,” – was no different, and it reaffirmed, once again, why UB is Belize’s national university. It demonstrated our students’ academic excellence, their entrepreneurial spirit and one of the strongest forces of the human mind – their curiosity. They were ably supported by Faculty and Staff.
Equally important was the participation of many of the University’s valued partners. UB strongly believes its partnerships not only strengthen the common interests and missions of all, but also, by leveraging each other’s strengths, it contributes positively to Belize’s national development. Therefore, our partners participated in the Open Day, promoted their businesses or organizations and provided invaluable information on their services and careers in their industry.
The day started with an inspiring opening speech from the President of UB, who reiterated that “whatever we design and build can be done better; whatever we do can be improved upon. And that’s where you – the students – come in. You must ask the critical questions. You must think, seek knowledge, be challenged by the unknown and uncertain and become familiar with the outermost limits of your intellect.”
Once the Opening ceremonies concluded, the Open Day began and UB told its remarkable story. Below are highlights from the day.
Once again, the Belmopan, Belize City and Toledo Marketing students joined the global community in celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week, where in honor of this week, the Belize City marketing students hosted their 11th Annual Marketing Expo on the 14th of November, while the Belmopan marketing students held theirs in conjunction with the UB Belmopan Open Day held on the 21st of November. Students in Toledo had their expo on 15th of November where they displayed their efforts and creativity.
These expos are practical assignments for marketing students as they allow students to put theory into practice. Each year, marketing students compete for prizes and prestige by developing a real-world marketing strategy for a possible new product. They must also create display booths to ‘sell’ their product in a simulated trade show environment to a panel of judges, who take on the role of potential buyers, and they evaluate students according to originality, creativity, customer service, attire, packaging and labeling. This often leads to clever, creative and sometimes unexpected results!
Each team’s marketing strategy must include the ‘Four Ps’, ie. product benefits, price, people (target market), and places of distribution. The process includes:
• Developing an idea for a new product based around a unique selling point (USP)
• Choosing a target market of consumers
• Conducting market testing
• Designing retail packaging
• Formulating a pricing strategy
• Deciding where to distribute the product (retail outlets)
• Deciding how to promote the product (advertising channels).
The events are full of energy and excitement, with around 10 exhibits per expo on display each year. These events garner immense support from the Business Community, who assist with sponsorships for the winners, judging the students and are participants to the event.
As noted by Mrs. Eda Arzu, the University’s Marketing Lecturer, “It’s always interesting to see what creative ideas students can produce when given no boundaries; there are some innovative ideas that are feasible and able to be incorporated into Belize’s market.”