People ride a bicycle past the Alibaba Group headquarters near Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in this November 10, 2014 file photo. Alibaba is expected to release Q1 results this week. REUTERS/Aly Song/Files GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE - SEARCH "BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD AUG 10" FOR ALL IMAGES

Singaporeans who are keen to find out how they can say “Open Sesame” to business success, like China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, can do so via a course starting this month.

A six-day entrepreneurship and e-commerce course is being offered here for the first time by the Alibaba Business School, jointly set up by the Alibaba Group and Hangzhou Normal University.

The school, whose chairman is Alibaba Group’s founder Jack Ma, runs programmes in e-commerce, marketing and international business, mainly in China. The course it is offering in Singapore is its first outside China.

The programme, which costs $8,800, consists of three days of lessons at the Singapore Management University campus and three days at Hangzhou Normal University. The fees do not cover flight and accommodation costs.

Students in the course, which will be conducted in Mandarin, will be taught by Chinese professors from Alibaba Business School.

Mr Nick Zhou, chief programme executive for Alibaba Business School, said interest in the course, which targets executives in local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been strong. Close to 50 students have signed up for it.

About 80 per cent of them are Singaporeans. They come from industries such as food and beverage, logistics and retail. They will receive a certificate from Alibaba Business School after completing the course.

Many students have asked if they can meet Mr Ma, but Mr Zhou said the school cannot promise them that at the moment. “But we could arrange for that in the future if this programme becomes very successful in Singapore,” he added.


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