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Are Business Plans So Bad?

Although the content and methods of teaching entrepreneurship vary among practitioners and institutions, business plan development has historically been among the most commonly used experiential activities in entrepreneurship education. Recently, however, business plans have fallen out of favor in the startup community in favor of lean startup methodologies. These methods emphasize early testing of minimal offerings in order to validate assumptions without creating well-developed business plans. While these methodologies greatly increase the speed of development and reduce risk in many startups, should they be a reason to reject the development of business plans altogether? Despite their weaknesses, business plans may be an effective way for students to learn about many aspects of entrepreneurship. This presentation will discuss the business plan as a pedagogical tool in an effort to persuade educators not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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