Enterprising students and budding entrepreneurs will get a first-hand look at what it takes to be their own boss through a University of Hong Kong course designed to prepare the next generation of business owners. The free, non-credit course is spread over four weekly seminars starting on September 27. It is the collaborative brainchild of the university and two seasoned entrepreneurs, Lim Kheak Kwan and Philippe Degrange. 'The topic of entrepreneurship is of interest to students. It is a way of approaching things and does not relate just to business. It is about recognising opportunities and a willingness to take calculated risks,' said Albert Chau Wai-lap, the university's director of general education and its dean of student affairs. So far, more than 90 of 150 offered places have been filled. Mr Chau said that about half of the pre-registered students were first-year students and the rest split between second and third year students. Most are studying either business or arts. Three university staff members have signed up. The course, entitled 'Reclaiming Hong Kong's Entrepreneurial Leadership', is an attempt to improve the relatively poor result Hong Kong received in May, when a global entrepreneurship survey ranked the city third last out of 35 economies. Mr Lim, a former banker, and Mr Degrange, who operates a high-end wine wholesaler, will be the course facilitators. Mr Lim said the seminars were designed to take the participants through the stages of envisioning, starting up, growing and exiting a business. Guest speakers from both the entrepreneurial and funding sides of business will be featured in each of the four sessions. The first seminar will feature Gilbert Wong Yao-yee of the university's business and economics school, and two entrepreneurs - Simon Chan, co-founder of IT start-up Crossark and Edwin Lee, chief executive of Hong Kong Business Intermediary. Other invited speakers include investor Jaime Donaldson, Peter Forsythe of the Wall Street Institute, Stephen Greer, who started recycling company Smorgon Hartwell, and Richard Roque, a former president of the Hong Kong Venture Capital Association. A networking session will follow on November 8 and a competition for innovative business plans also planned, with details to be announced probably by November.