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Curtin students available to provide business advice

Media release

Curtin University’s agribusiness program is offering local businesses the opportunity to have students help them create a business plan for an idea or concept they are keen to develop.

Professor Graeme Robertson, from Curtin’s Department of Environment and Agriculture, said the initiative was part of Curtin’s requirement that all agribusiness students get practical knowledge and skills.

“Curtin prides itself on providing students with real-world experience in their chosen area of study,” Professor Robertson said.

“For students studying in the agribusiness streams of marketing, viticulture, equine management, horticulture and aquaculture, this requires undertaking a business planning unit in their final semester.

“Students taking this unit generally work in groups of two or three to prepare a business plan for a real world business opportunity.

“The resulting business plans are of a professional standard and make a sound basis for new and existing businesses to make decisions on expansion, new activities or new products.”

Professor Robertson said the plans prepared by Curtin students include an assessment of the business’ production systems, market research, advice on marketing, and a financial evaluation.

In the past, topics have included agriculture, food, and the equine and seafood industries.

“Students provide a study of the many variables that go into making a new venture a success,” he said.

“They can assess the cost of establishing processing plants, the design and marketing of specialised equipment, the importing and exporting of new products, and can even determine an estimated price that customers may be willing to pay for new products.

“The research done by Curtin agribusiness students can be extremely useful when making decisions on investments, and has been utilised by many clients in the past to launch new businesses, many of which have been great successes.”

To get the most out of the unit the students need to work with real proposals, and Professor Robertson is currently seeking topics or business opportunities for 2010. The students require a topic, and an ‘owner’ of the idea who will be the client to the students as consultants.

Anyone with a business plan concept they wish to develop should contact Professor Robertson on 0439 522 030 or g.robertson@curtin.edu.au