Best MOOCs In Business For January

Subsistence Marketplaces


School: University of Illinois

Platform: Coursera

Registration Link: CLICK HERE

Start Date: January 12, 2016 (8 Weeks Long)

Workload: 4-6 Hours Per Week

Instructor: Madhu Viswanathan

Credentials: After earning his Ph.D. in marketing in 1990, Viswanathan joined the faculty of the University of Illinois, where he currently teaches courses in research methods, subsistence, and sustainability. Viswanathan also spearheads the university’s Subsistence Marketplace Initiative, which delivers ground up business solutions to helping the most impoverished marketplaces. He also founded the Marketplace Literacy Project, a non-profit that provides educational materials and training for helping the poor start small businesses. He has earned numerous awards for his research, teaching, and humanitarianism.

Graded: “Earning a final score of 70% or higher in the class will qualify you for a Verified Certificate if you are participating in the Signature Track. In addition, participants that complete 5 of the first 6 project milestones will earn a “Project Starter” badge from Illinois. Completing the 7th milestone (submitting the final project poster) will earn you a “Project Completion” badge from Illinois. (You are not required to join Signature Track to receive these badges.)”

Description: How do you combat global poverty? In Viswanathan’s view, you implement entrepreneurial solutions based on the unique needs and practices of particular marketplaces. In this course, students learn how to design solutions that are both sustainable and viable to subsistence marketplaces. As part of this course, students watch “day in the life” videos of impoverished communities and complete exercises that help them better understand the limitations, relationships and cultural mores inherent to particular locales’ business climates. As a final project, students will develop an enterprise plan for a product that fulfills an impoverished community’s needs, including product design, marketing, and distribution.

Review: “I have already taken some 20+ courses on Coursera, and I have to say that this one was one of the best, if not the best I have taken. The materials are varied, with video lectures, readings, discussion forums, movies, immersion exercises, and a project track. However, you don’t have to do all the activities for a certificate – you can adapt them to fit your own need, and decide how deep you want to immerse yourself. I did all of them, and especially had fun with the (optional) project track, to the point that I am really excited about the project I designed, the feedback I received from fellow students, and would now really like to actually implement it. For anyone interested in business, development work and similar subjects, this is a great course!” For additional reviews, click here.

Additional Notes: Texts will be provided for free as PDFs. The on-campus version of this course was ranked among the top entrepreneurship courses by Inc. magazine

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