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Entrepreneurship and innovation

Individual course

This course provides an introductory overview of the knowledge and skills needed for the identification, evaluation, and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities in a variety of circumstances and environments. The course focuses on the interconnection of entrepreneurial thinking and innovation.

Over the course we will expand the definition of an entrepreneur beyond what we typically consider an entrepreneur (i.e., a person who starts and/or runs a business) to include people who are entrepreneurs in various contexts within existing companies but also other types of organisations.

Indeed, entrepreneurship is not just about high-growth, high technology and innovative companies. It can be a family firm into its 5th generation with sustained profitability and moderate growth or a micro firm employing a handful of persons or self-employment. It can be women entrepreneurs who appear to be different – but are they? Entrepreneurship is not just the spectacular that makes front-page covers in popular press. It can be a lifestyle or a manifestation of ones values. These are all representations of entrepreneurship in contexts.

Course contents

This course is designed to help you understand what it means to be an entrepreneur in different contexts and to help you decide if and when you want to follow an entrepreneurial path, and to give you some basic tools to pursue such a path successfully. In addition, the course explores innovation and open innovation networks; what are innovations, how do they emerge, where and by whom, and foremost, what is the link between innovation activity and entrepreneurship? During the course, you will learn about principles central to innovation and familiarise yourself with entrepreneurial innovation ecosystems.

Learning outcomes

  • Explore the process of entrepreneurship with particular attention to the pre-startup and early stages of business creation
  • Explain innovation and open innovation activities
  • Recognise, define, test and exploit business opportunities, that is determine the feasibility of a business concept

Course material

  1. Fundamentals for Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur – From business idea to launch and management by Malin Brännback & Alan Carsrud, Pearson Education Ltd. 2016 ISBN 13: 978013396681
  2. Social Entrepreneurship. A practice-based approach to social innovation by J. Howard Kucher & Stephanie E. Raible, Edward Elgar 2022 ISBN 978-1-78897-422-6
  3. Articles according to instructions

Additional reading: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Risk and Decisions by Thomas G. Pittz and Eric W. Liguori, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-83867-874-6 (print); ISBN: 978-1-83867-873-9 (epub)

Teaching schedule

Lectures/workshops on campus with remote access on Tuesdays at 8:30–11:30.

Completion methods

  1. Teamwork, presentation and preparation of report 20%: the idea and the context(s)
  2. Team assignment 30%: context analysis
  3. Individual assignments 50%:  key learning notes and individual paper

Includes teaching on campus, but can be competed fully online.

More information in the Åbo Akademi study guide.

You can get a digital badge after completing this course.

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Responsible teacher

Åbo Akademi
Anna-Greta Nyström, Associate professor in international marketing

Further information about the course and studying

Åbo Akademi
Anssi Öörni

Contact person for applications

FITech Network University
Fanny Qvickström, Student services specialist
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5G technology,
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Host university:
Åbo Akademi University
Who can apply:
Adult learner,
Degree student
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General prerequisites:
A BSc degree (any science) is recommended.
Course suitable for:
Anyone interested in learning about entrepreneurship and innovation in theory and practice.
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