Projects can be hypothetical or real in nature. The company can be an invention of the student for illustration of core principles or it can be a business they find on the market and can research.
It is also possible to have them partner with actual small and medium businesses that would be willing to look at what the student covers. A small store from their neighborhood or someone who owns a business in their family.
The goal is to let them see how marketing operates in the real market to prepare them to take on their first jobs. The more familiar the student becomes with actual marketing practices and how marketing principles apply they greater their knowledge integration.
O'Leary, S. (2017). Developing entrepreneurial and employability attributes through marketing projects with SMEs. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 19 (1).