Does your firm have a product that you want to sell in international markets? Each year, teams of MBA students at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at Willamette University develop international business plans for companies that are considering, or are already involved in, selling a product overseas. The plans are developed under the supervision of Dr. Gary Knight, professor of global management at AGSM, within the MBA course International Entrepreneurship: Launching International Ventures (GSM 6252). The MBA students develop the plan on behalf of regional companies, free-of-charge.

Benefits to Your Firm

For participating companies, the resulting plan typically provides the following benefits:

  • Provides a roadmap to guide the intended venture abroad
  • Makes clear conditions in the foreign market and how to succeed there
  • Clarifies needed resources, responsibilities, and objectives of the venture
  • Communicates to colleagues the scope and nature of the plan
  • Provides a basis to evaluate results
  • Helps obtain funding from lenders and others to support internationalization
  • Enhances consensus and commitment to international business across the firm

Details on the Plan

Marketing products to foreign countries requires considering numerous variables, including: which country to target, culture, values and beliefs, laws and regulations, distribution channels, buyer availability, and foreign exchange rates. Executing a plan developed by our MBA students helps ensure your firm will finish what it begins and resources will be used effectively.

Completed plans typically include the following:

  • Thorough analysis of market conditions in the target market
  • Comprehensive strategic plan for launching or managing a product in the market
  • Financial analyses and budgeting
  • Competitor analyses
  • Recommended approaches on pricing, marketing communications, distribution, and tactical issues
  • Key contacts in the target market and elsewhere

In recent years, MBA students have developed detailed business plans for the launch of telecommunications equipment in Latin America, energy devices in Europe, and agricultural products in Asia.


Components of a typical international business plan (PDF 46KB)

Sample Plan 1 Created by MBA Students (PDF 2.1 MB)

Sample Plan 2 Created by MBA Students (PDF 5.4 MB)

Involvement of Your Firm

Developing the plan may require some interaction between your firm and one or more Willamette MBA students. While we encourage some interaction to ensure developing the best possible plan, time commitment by your firm can be minimal. In a typical scenario, a team of two or three students and Professor Knight may meet with your firm once at the beginning of the project (usually late January), obtain information to develop the plan, and then meet again at the conclusion of the plan (usually in April). Students present the plan in class at the conclusion of the course; you are welcome to attend. We can also arrange for your student team to present their plan at your company.

For More Information

If this proposal interests you, please contact Professor Gary Knight at your earliest convenience. We develop the international business plans free-of-charge as an educational experience each year in Spring semester.

Gary Knight, PhD
Professor of Global Management
Jackson Chair in International Management
Atkinson Graduate School of Management
Willamette University
Cell: 850-321-6875

Willamette University

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.

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