The Annual Business Plan Competition at California Baptist University has returned in 2021 in full force after being canceled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Students from every major are invited to join by March 8 for a chance to present their plan in Innovators Auditorium come April 8.
Last year, the unexpected arrival of a global pandemic threw universities across the country into disarray and the Jabs School of Business canceled all plans to hold the competition that year.
Yet Nolan Gouveia, department lead for Entrepreneurship, said the coronavirus will not majorly affect the event this year. Initial submissions will be gathered online, and final presentations will follow governmental social distancing guidelines.
“I don’t think it’s going to change the competition too much,” Gouveia said. “It will take a little more initiative. It will push the students that are serious about possibly starting a business.”
Students will not have to brave this project alone. They can enter the competition as a team, working together to create their business. Teams are paired with faculty that act as counselors throughout the planning process. Participants will be judged by a rubric, and Gouveia said there is no one aspect of the plan that is more important than another.
“It is hard to pick any once piece of a business plan — it’s more to make sure that whatever is in the student’s mind can be fleshed out and explained to somebody else,” Gouveia said. “It must have enough detail, but also enough simplicity that it doesn’t get too crazy.”
Corban Murray, sophomore international business major, said he is considering joining the competition. His dream is to run a gym overseas as a missionary outreach.
“It gives me the perfect opportunity to combine my two passions of fitness and my faith,” Murray said. “Regardless (of) if a reward is received, students should still submit their business ideas so they can receive advice to get closer to their dreams.”
Aaron Kooistra, sophomore engineering major, said he would love to join the competition if he can find the time. He wants to create a GPS hair clip for women’s safety.
“Young women everywhere are targeted for sexual slavery and kidnapping — and criminals are smart enough to get rid of their phones,” Kooistra said. “A hair clip could easily go undetected and give
especially young girls a
chance to be found if they go missing.”
Students who dream of one day running their own business should consider entering this competition. It is an invaluable way of practicing real-world business skills.