In the vocational training system, great emphasis is placed on the preparation of qualified employees. Instead, much less time is devoted for the lessons such as the introduction to entrepreneurship, to show young people that the skills they acquire while studying can also be used when running their own business. It is a more difficult, but the career path is attractive and satisfying.
Young people have the wrong idea of business
Starting a business is not for everyone. School can help in evaluating which student is predisposed to act as an entrepreneur. It should also use all possible tools for practical teaching how to set up and run a business. The Revas Business Simulations Games are one such tools that can be used during the lessons of introduction to entrepreneurship.
A common problem for Polish enterprises is that up to 80 percent of them fall in the first or second year of operation. This happens for a number of reasons, which are particularly important when it comes to misconceptions about business and theory-saturated entrepreneurship teaching programs.
Many young people, when asked what they associate with their own business, list in the same breath: a super car, office, business meetings, trips abroad, holidays on a yacht etc. However, the reality is completely different – in the initial period of running a business there is a lot of work, little free time, unstable revenues and often no profit. Then those who were not prepared for it, most often give up and close their dream business.
Meanwhile, school curricula on the subject of entrepreneurship are full of theory. There is a lack of tools for teachers, adapted to the curriculum foundations, which teachers, as they say, would be happy to use. School practice comes down to supplementing the business plan, or showing young people how to formally register a business. However, there are few tools that give the opportunity to learn by making realistic business decisions, responding to the changing business environment and facing the results of the company, including the negative ones.
That is why we decided to introduce to the school practice Revas Business Simulations Games, i.e. a computer software for learning entrepreneurship, company management and shaping key skills, giving the opportunity to learn by making realistic business decisions in the selected industry. The simulations are available for the automotive, transport, tourist, IT, hairdressing, cosmetics, construction and catering industries.
How does it work?
The simulations give students the opportunity to have a holistic view of business, thanks to which they better understand the principles of the company and market mechanisms, and can experiment with business strategies in a secure, virtual environment. The students, playing during the lessons of introduction to entrepreneurship using the simulations, play the role of company managers and go through a decision-making process in which they:
- receive market information (demand for individual services, the number of man-hours necessary to perform each service, the amount of materials used, the minimum remuneration, costs of marketing activities),
- analyze market data to make decisions in accordance with the strategy chosen,
- make business decisions that are compared with decisions made by the owners of competing companies (classmates),
- send decisions to a server, where market mechanisms are simulated using mathematical algorithms,
- receive the results of decisions taken, which become the initial situation in the next decision round.
Participants make decision in competitive environment. All teams compete directly with one another. Their task is to win the customers by adjusting their strategy in terms e.g. of price and quality and be better that teams run by their classmates. After every round, teams are ranked based on a scorecard and receive feedback on all their decisions. The scorecard presents various aspects of business activity – financial result, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, company development and debt ratio. Thanks to this, students start to realize that running a business is not only about maximising profits but taking care of all business aspects. Apart from the scorecard, students also receive reports on sales, employee utilization time, resources usage.
What is important, participants learn the economic consequences of their actions shortly after the decisions are made.
Their task is to draw conclusions and correct their strategy. All decisions are divided into rounds (months) and the simulation covers 12 rounds. This full cycle represents the first, full year of company’s operation in the market that is crucial for its survival. Headmasters, teachers and students confirm that simulations make their business courses really attractive.
The lessons conducted with the use of simulations are much more interesting, they will be for the students certainly much more interesting than memorizing, because they require interest and involvement in each of the rounds.
Thanks to Revas simulations we understood how to plan demand and advertising, how to choose what services we want to provide and we learned the basic terms such as demand and supply. I would like to participate again and would enjoy the participation in such entrepreneurship lessons – says Małgorzata Heska, a student at the Complex of Mechanical Schools No. 2 in Krakow.
I am pleased to observe the involvement of students and listeners in the decision-making processes related to running a virtual business.
Gamification is permanently used in the business world, which is why it is also a great teaching method. Thanks to Revas Business Simulations Games, the students compete with each other in industries consistent with their education, they manage IT Service, Travel Agency, Transport Company or even a Beauty Salon. At present, over 100 of our students and listeners participate in simulation games. You can feel healthy competition – says Krzysztof Ciurka, teacher and lecturer in economic subjects at TEB Edukacja in Krakow.
Thanks to business simulations, young people can take control of the company, make realistic business decisions and check their effects without suffering the true consequences of mistakes. The widespread introduction of such classes in the subject of entrepreneurship, in the long run, shall increase the chances of improving statistics on falling businesses.
Our simulations should be of interest to teachers from upper secondary schools who conduct classes in broadly understood entrepreneurship, including introduction to entrepreneurship, economics in practice, as well as teachers of vocational subjects. Contact us to access the simulation.