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Håkan Perzon
Hakan Perzon Photo: Lars Andersson

Sustainable challenges in new student projects

Published: 31 October 2014

Next week the students at the Master Programme in Business and Economics will be starting a new business development project in partnership with Bodens kommun. The theme is Urban Mining, which means that students will develop business plans in which they exploit the developments taking place and planned in Boden regarding sustainability and how waste can be utilized and exploited.

- It can be about anything from garbage recycling to the side effects of how residue management will be handled in the best possible way. In short, the business opportunities it is possible to find, says Håkan Perzon, lecturer and teacher of marketing and business strategy at Luleå University.
The purpose of the integration course, which means that students are forced to integrate everything they have learned in the past several subjects, is to train the students for their further studies.

- It is also a good practice for future employment where it is likely that they will be working in larger projects like this, says Håkan Perzon.

Many business plans have been realized

Previously, a series of similar integration courses has been conducted in the university's auspices, and examples of business plans that have borne fruit include Northland Resources canteen in Kauinsvaara and a review of Sorsele Municipalitys winter activities in cooperation with local businesses.
Hakan Perzon hope that the local authority in Boden will be able to take advantage of the students' hard work.

- Through the years we have seen a number of talented business plans that led to some kind of fruition and we hope of course that will be the case also in our work with Bodens kommun.

20,000 hours worked

Starting November 3rd, the approximately 100 students will work up to 200 hours per person on the project. That means a combined effort of no less than 20,000 man-hours. Working hours that the students themselves dispose of.

- We leave a lot of control to the students who have to take responsibility for the final product. The experience of this is students who dare to take the initiative, exhibits creativity and become independent. They know from day one that the presentations is to be made to external stakeholders who eagerly look forward to their business plans with links to Urban Mining, says Håkan Perzon.

The Business development project will be completed in January 2015. During the same month, the 100 students of the MBA program, will present their business plans in Boden facing managers in the municipality, and an invited industry.

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