MOOC 2014

This page has been created to hold example materials taken from our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Starting your business: Realise your vision” which ran in June 2014.


Brief description of the MOOC course:

Participants will experience the new venture creation process through the eyes of our enterprising students and graduates. Each step of the entrepreneurial process will be explored with a critical incident case centred on a real business challenge faced by an entrepreneur.

Participants are given underlying principles by Leeds Enterprise Centre academics (content), then a challenge is put forward by an entrepreneur (live case). Participants in the MOOC are supported by experienced entrepreneurs (advisors) and through engagement in peer-to-peer facilitated discussions before deciding on their recommendation. The entrepreneur then reveals the actual outcome and academics reflect on the principles explained previously.

The main elements of the course are:

  • Vision & Opportunity: Nurturing creativity and innovation
  • People: Leading teams and networks
  • Markets: Understanding customers and competitors
  • Processes: Controlling operations and technologies
  • Account: Interpreting financial performance
  • Finances: Raising capital for new ventures

Workshop Activity

This activity sample from our MOOC  introduces you to our first entrepreneur, Emma. We take a look at her business idea and explore the importance of vision and opportunity when starting a business.

1. Watch (some of!!) the video below, in which Nigel focuses on the importance of vision and opportunity when starting a business.

2. Now listen to this case study in which the entrepreneur has a challenge. Emma has identified four possible options for taking her business forward and after listening, you can vote on what you think she should do…

3. Each of our Enterprise Advisers has provided their thoughts on how Emma should move her business forward. (Note – this video is optional)


4. Now you can vote on what you think Emma should do: Voting link


5. And finally… In the video below Emma explains which options she chose and why.

Emma Sheldon is a second year Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Leeds and runs the EmTalks fashion website.

At the end of each activity we asked the MOOC participants several questions about their business idea. By the end of the Starting a Business MOOC, they should have been able to consolidate their answers into one detailed document that could form the basis of a business plan.

For this activity, they were asked to consider:

1. What problem/gap in the market is your idea trying to fit into to?
2. What is your idea – can you write your idea in less than 200 words?
3. How does it address the problem you’ve identified?

They were also given a set of questions to check their understanding of the theory and help them to identify where they might need additional support.


Some of the participant comments:

“Thank you. Allowed me to explore elements of business that I tend to avoid like the finance planning side of things.”

“I really enjoyed this course. It gave me idea on how to put my business idea on paper.”

“I learned some very useful aspects about starting up a business which has put my whole project into perspective. I found the case studies particularly inspiring and from them I got the kick I needed to put my writing skills and creative ideas ‘in one basket’:)… one step at a time.”