Why do we Need to Know about Commerce Anyway?

Cartoon 1For over a decade, multiple public and private sector reports have consistently identified the need for Australia’s graduates to acquire commercial savvy and innovative thinking in order to compete in a global marketplace for ideas. This is particularly so in the innovative industries which are widely accepted as the key to increasing productivity across economies, both directly and indirectly. However, as the ARC noted in 2000, “Participation is unlikely by simply demanding that financiers take more risks or academics get involved for the good of society. It is important that action is taken to ensure that participation is based on mutual self-interest.” (Australian Research Council, 2000, p. 33)

Fundamentally, there are four reasons for innovators and creators to build and maintain a basic understanding of commerce, all of which can be seen as being entirely self-interested: Continue reading

Isn’t it enough for innovators to just innovate?

Numerous public and private sector reports in the last 36 months have identified the need for graduates from our education system to acquire commercial savvy and innovative thinking in order to compete internationally in a global marketplace for ideas. This is particularly so in the innovative industries which are widely accepted as the key to increasing productivity across economies, both directly and indirectly.

There appears to be a growing perception in the innovation industry base, particularly but by no means exclusively in those in their first 10 years of experience in their fields, that commerce equates to bringing an invention to market and as such, was irrelevant to them as “someone else does that”.  After years of focus and study, the commercial world can seem like another planet – remote, avoidable and best left to others who are interested in dealing with it. But, like any foreign country, the commercial world has much to offer a traveler, whether their career goal is running their own company, their own laboratory or their own research agenda.  Whether or not graduates of the innovative and creative disciplines are motivated by profit, in the twenty first century their work ultimately takes place in a commercial world of return on investment:  of time, of effort, and resources.

While there are no existing businesses seeking to provide these sorts of products in this way, there are a multitude of programs focused on providing qualifications and training in business.  These programs are largely within universities and are generally lengthy and expensive. The major university alternative to the specialty business degrees, particularly within the research and development sector, is the range of qualifications in commercialization.  In both cases, courses require a level of specialization immediately on enrolment, be it in content level or in management focus, and require a commitment of at least six months full time and in the vicinity of $10,000.

At the other end of the spectrum are programs focussed on establishing and operating a small business. These largely have an operational focus however, these course also require a commitment of time and money many graduates and early career innovators and creatives are not prepared to make, preferring the immediate security of a regular income and a defined career path.

YCF fills this gap, building its own foundation on three points of difference:

  • we provide broad knowledge in a focussed and targeted way
  • we take a new approach to uptake skills that goes beyond sale to encompass industry productivity and public good
  • we deliver short, immediate outcome programs rather than long term-specialty-based qualifications