The Biz-e-bee experience: Biz-e-bee with start-ups and young entrepreneurs
"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
Facing a group of young and motivated entrepreneurs, who were brave enough to start-up their own business, is quite challenging when dealing with informal education... Their expectations are quite high: they look for inputs, they are curious, they want to learn something from each possible experience. When we decided to propose the Biz-e-bee piloting in the context of CP-StartUp in Lugano, we were aware of this challenge. But the result of the game testing was a really positive surprise.
The participants were very interested and responsive since the beginning of the piloting, both in our 'Serious Games for Entrepreneurship Skills of Adult Learners' project and in the game itself. Their involvement increased as the game playing started developing. It was also nice to see participants showing their enjoyment (they also laughed a lot). The aspect they liked the most was the competition and the interaction with the rest of the groups of players. In fact, even more than the learning aspect linked to the specific questions (which, by the way, they appreciated a lot). Finally, what they enjoyed the most was the game dynamics and the fact that they could use Biz-e-bee as a "team building" or "public relations" activity.
The game was, most of all, an occasion for self-reflection about strategies, communication, thinking about how you react to specific situations triggered by luck, competition, or the mere frustration of losing a challenge. It was also about reflection on interaction within the working groups and among the different teams... In other words, "you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation" (Plato).
The teams of players had an end of level task to write and present a brief business plan on a product or service they all agree upon. They had to use their knowledge to prepare it, they had to cooperate to work on it, recognise and put their individual abilities to use, also allocate their efforts and manage them in a restricted time. Further on, they had to plan their presentation, be creative and innovative to hold the audience's attention. In other words, players had a practical experience with all of the relevant competences and skills related to self-employability and entrepreneurship. Players learned about strategy, team work, competition, communication, management and problem-solving through a serious gaming method, which proved both educational and enjoyable. Biz-e-bee served its purpose well. We believe its immediate release will be met with a lot of attention by trainers, teachers and other professionals in the entrepreneurial field and also in other related courses.
We think that the added value of using Biz-e-bee in this particular context, was the gaming situation that the group and the game master managed to construct themselves. That was a situation that introduced fun and dynamics that are different from the typical relational occurrences when entrepreneurs and start-ups meet other entrepreneurs and start-ups. It was a context that promoted facing simulations and self-reflection about real life situations with an approach of thinking "out of the box"! To conclude our gaming experience, we highly recommend Biz-e-bee to young entrepreneurs.
Contributor: Project partner SEED