United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Experience (IBE)
The United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Experience (IBE) allows students to combine a suite of required courses into a semester-long real-world entrepreneurial experience that gives them a head-start on their business careers. As they work together to apply their knowledge to planning, launching and operating an actual business, the students gain the leadership skills, entrepreneurial mindset and hands-on experience that employers look for in new hires.
The process of developing, launching, managing, and closing a business creates a real-world context in which students can practice the basics of business, including finance, marketing, sales, operations, human resources, information technology, and general management. Professors teaching in the IBE introduce these basics in a specific sequence that maps to the startup process, exposing students to topics on an as-needed basis so that they are prepared for each stage of the startup experience.
Each cohort of students creates and manages a business as a group. Throughout the semester they organize the company, create a business plan, apply for a business loan, and manage the business. At the end of the semester all profits are donated to an organization of their choice.
United Prairie Bank
The United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Experience (IBE) was formed through a generous gift from United Prairie Bank. The initial pilot program in Spring 2012 included 16 students and increased to 51 students by Spring 2016.
United Prairie Bank not only provides exceptional financial support to the IBE program but also professional mentorship to students. Local United Prairie Bank staff are actively involved in reviewing business plans, critiquing product and service pitches and attending College of Business networking events. United Prairie Bank’s partnership with the College of Business has provided numerous high quality learning experiences for students inside and outside the classroom.
Award Winning Program
- Minnesota State Student Affairs and Academic Planning Division, 2012, Excellence in Curriculum Programming Award
- Minnesota State University, Mankato Presidents’ Award, 2013
- 2013/2014 The United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Experience (IBE) is the first corporate named program in the Minnesota State Colleges and University System