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Faculty of Business
UNB Saint John

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Dan Doiron and Greg Fleet

Electronic commerce, strategic management and entrepreneurship

In collaboration with Economic Development Greater Saint John, Dan Doiron and Greg Fleet developed the Venture Validation Program, a thirteen-week training program for local entrepreneurs run three times a year. Professors Doiron and Fleet also serve as mentors to participants, meeting with the group weekly. This is an applied learning course, built to move emerging entrepreneurs from idea to launch. Participants learn how to: create a value proposition; identify their customers and competition; clarify startup and operation costs; define the market opportunity; and create a business model.

At the same time, Dan Doiron and Greg Fleet are studying the effectiveness of this type of training for entrepreneurs in terms of generating and sustaining new businesses in the area. In the past year, they have presented their findings locally and internationally. Their analysis of the first three cohorts of trainees are that all participants expressed growing confidence in their own abilities as entrepreneurs and in their future business opportunities. 

This was an unexpected, yet most positive outcome of the program. The VVP was specifically designed to help local entrepreneurs understand if their idea represented a good opportunity and to be able to articulate that value. However, there was no specific original design intent to help them understand their own entrepreneurial characteristics and potential.

In hindsight, this is likely a very important outcome, as building successful entrepreneurs is difficult and complex, yet pays significant dividends over the long term (see Lachman, 1980). An impact of their growth in competence can also be seen in the fact that of the 22 participants who completed the program in its first three offerings, 13 successfully started their businesses, a success rate of 59 percent overall.

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