And after a sturdy application process and an eye-catching media launch, the official 12 Threads entrepreneurs were ready to embark on their first week of classes starting with module 1 – Business Model Design.
The course was designed to get our participants able to analyze a business model and assess its internal functioning, Identify assumptions underlying a business model and plan actions to test them and develop a business model out of a given business idea.
Using interactive action learning methodology combined with exercises on their real-life business cases, the entrepreneurs embarked on, as described by Tshego Manche, an “out of body experience, looking at their businesses from a far and with a neutral yet scrutinous perspective” in order to scope out their value proposition and draw a sturdy business model.
The class was taught by Threads co-founder, Tania Habimana, who engaged the team with Harvard Case studies, videos and design thinking methodology, which is basically a mindset and approach to learning, collaboration, and problem solving, that focuses on creating a structured framework for identifying challenges, gathering information, generating potential solutions, refining ideas, and testing solutions.
“ … the goal is to have everybody thinking differently… literally, their business is not just a fashion business, it’s more, they are more.. and this course is designed to get them thinking creatively in business terms” said Tania Habimana.
The Threads program has 4 classrooms that are run simultaneously using a combination of video conferencing and web interactive classrooms, but for this first session all 12 participants were in the same room, starting on the journey together, as a team – the Threads Team #ThreadsbySB
The class took place in Johannesburg, and ended with the #ThreadsbySB entrepreneurs in high spirits as they received their gifts from Mecer – laptops and mouses, to ensure their businesses kickstarts on the right technology-friendly path.
So that’s it for Week 1 of the Business of Fashion Accelerator program in South Africa, Threads – stayed tuned for next week’s module on Customer Development process.