Trent University Students Break National Record in Entrepreneurship Campaign


Students’ MicroVenture project earns more than $5000 profit in one week

Wednesday, September 28, 2011, Peterborough

Five Trent Business students broke records this week with their incredibly successful MicroVenture, a project for their entrepreneurship course, where students start a business with five dollars in capital and have ten days to see what they can accomplish.

Fourth-year students Min Choi, Dylan Hunt, Mario Saraiva, Adam Sweanor and Jon West spent nearly sixty hours, and a number of sleepless nights from Tuesday, September 13, to Friday, September 23 on their MicroVenture, for which they created a student guide to downtown Peterborough, presented as a foldable map. The group sold advertising space, priced between $25 and $500, to downtown businesses, providing local retailers, cafés and restaurants with the opportunity to market their business to Trent students.

With revenue exceeding $6000 and a profit of more than $5000, the group more than doubled the Trent University record and matched the record for Canadian universities on this initiative. This is the fourth time Dr. Ray Dart, professor of the third-year Entrepreneurship course, has run the project at Trent.

“This is yet another instance where the achievements of Trent Business students rank right up in the top rung of what is occurring in the best Canadian business schools,” said Professor Dart.

The project originated at the University of Victoria and is “a great example of how to connect experience to theory,” says Prof. Dart. “With Trent’s active learning model this activity is a great fit.”

Demonstrating determination, passion and great initiative, the group approached the Downtown Business Improvement Association (DBIA) for assistance. The DBIA’s purchase of the $500 back cover gave the idea legitimacy and turned the student project into a laudable business venture. With Trent and more than forty downtown businesses on board, the group has accomplished more than they expected.

“On the Friday we had sold $1,000 worth of advertising,” Ms. Saraiva said. “By the Monday we had sold $5,000 worth of advertising. It’s an incredible.” The group’s totals came in at just under $6,500, making a profit of $5,000.

“This venture has given us all a real sense of accomplishment,” said Mr. Sweanor. “Beating the national record sends a message. We may be a small school, but we can compete. This brings recognition to Trent and the Business Administration program, and is a real personal achievement.”

“Our program, while small, holds its own,” said Prof. Dart. “I am very impressed and proud of all the students in the entrepreneurship course and what they can accomplish in only one week. It demonstrates how active and engaged these students can be with the curriculum and sets the bar high for the rest of the year. They’ve answered the question ‘what is a really good way to learn about entrepreneurship.’ By doing it. This has been a great example of university learning at Trent.”

In October, the downtown directory will be printed and distributed for free to Trent students. Fifty per cent of the venture’s profit will be donated to the Trent Business Student Association, the rest divided between the five group members, earning them each $500. The group hopes the venture proves sustainable and would like to see the next generation of business students build on the current model.


For more information, please contact: Ray Dart, associate professor, Business Administration, 705 748 1011 x.7620,