This series of online courses are perfect if you want to get a taste of undergraduate study in business. These online courses will take you on a journey to show you what it is like to start your own business, exploring this way key business concepts.
Starting a Business 1: Vision and Opportunity
This online course will help you understand how to define a business vision and discover opportunities to make it happen. The course will introduce them to the entrepreneurial learning cycle and how to write a robust business plan.
Starting a Business 2: People and Networks
On this online course, you will discover how working with people and exploring networks can help take businesses to the next level. It will help you to recognise the people who can help take business ideas forward in both formal and informal business networks.
Starting a Business 3: Customers and Competitors
This online course will develop your understanding of how targeting markets can help business ideas stand out from the crowd. You will learn how to understand and analyse markets to find the market size and growth potential.
Starting a Business 4: Business Processes
On this online course, you will discover how business practices work, how performance can be improved so that business ideas can move forward and how to manage growth. You will then investigate the information and systems required to track business processes.
Starting a Business 5: Managing Finances
This online course introduces you to forecasting and managing finances and how this can lead to a more profitable business. You will explore how financial information provides evidence to support decisions about businesses and how it helps to justify those decisions.
Starting a Business 6: Funding Your Business
This online course introduces you to the importance of raising funds when starting a business. You will learn which source of funding is the most suitable for different business ideas, from informal funding methods such as personal savings to more formal avenues like bank loans.
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.
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."