Entrepreneurship – the art, science and plain vanilla
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. 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 and 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 woman entrepreneurs who appear to be different – or are they? Entrepreneurship can be a lifestyle or a manifestation of ones values. These are all representations of entrepreneurship in contexts.
This course is designed to
- help you understand what it means to be an entrepreneur in different contexts,
- help you decide if and when you want to follow an entrepreneurial path, and
- give you some basic tools to pursue such a path successfully.
The teaching style of this course will mix theory and academic concepts with practical applications. In some classes, we will hear from “real life” entrepreneurs. This will give you a chance to ask questions you care about. It will hopefully also expose you to the real world of entrepreneurship that lies beyond theories and frameworks and allow you to pick up on intuitive nuances of entrepreneurship.
- Introduce the concept of the entrepreneurial mindset
- Explore the process of entrepreneurship with particular attention to the pre-startup and early stages of business creation
- Learn how to recognise, define, test and exploit business opportunities
- Develop business ideas into business models that create value
- Determine the feasibility of the business concept through industry, market, trend, economic, breakeven and risk analyses
- Prepare a succinct and effective oral and written presentation explaining the viability of a business concept
THE IDEA AND THE CONTEXT(S), PRESENTATION
Participants will be assigned in groups of 2-3 members devoted to consider business ideas and opportunities. Teams will select a specific business opportunity and analyse its context(s). The research efforts will result in a feasibility analysis report and a related presentation. The presentation should be a 15-minute business “pitch” on the chosen business concept. After each presentation, we will have time for questions and answers.
Think of your business concept as if you were presenting it to your boss or investors. You can use all the knowledge you have gained to put together a good and convincing presentation.
In a team of 2-3 students (the same as above), you are required to prepare a written analysis about contexts (about 10 pages). In the analysis, you should address at least the following issues:
- What is the “pain” the company is relieving?
- Assess the context(s) (e.g. customers, competition, industry trends) for the business idea. What are the contexts? Which is the primary context? Secondary?
- Describe the basic revenue model: Who are paying? Why are they willing to pay? Are there additional models currently overlooked?
KEY LEARNING NOTES
A key learning note is not a summary of the content of the article. It includes your reflections on the text; things that you found particularly interesting or puzzling. What did you learn? You should reflect on your personal perceptions and interpretations of the presented argument. Do you agree or disagree with the author’s arguments, and why? Your text needs to be structured in a systematic manner, not presented as checkpoints.
At least, reflect upon the following questions:
- How do the authors build their arguments?
- How do they review theory?
- What is their choice of method?
- What are the researchers basically debating about?
- Whose view do you agree with and why?
- Fundamentals for Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur – From business idea to launch and management by Malin Brännback & Alan Carsrud, Pearson Education Ltd. 2016
- The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Risk and Decisions by Thomas G. Pittz and Eric W. Liguori, 2020
In addition to the books, students will be assigned a number of articles.
Lectures/workshops on Tuesdays at 8:15–11:30 (recordings in Moodle)
24 h lectures, 4 h presentation, 20 h teamwork, 45 h reading, 45 hours writing; Total 129 hours
- Readings, key learning notes (Individual work) 40 %
- Work in teams to prepare presentation (Teamwork) 25 %
- Written context analysis (Teamwork) 35 %
More information in the Åbo Akademi University study guide.
You can get a digital badge after completing this course.
Entrepreneurship, Yrittäjyys, business idea, liiketoimintaidea
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