Courses in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial management have gained popularity in business schools everywhere, but it is not clear just what should be taught and how. In contrast to accounting, for example, entrepreneurship lacks a defined technical base or discipline. Moreover, individuals and organizations ranging from street vendors to transnational corporations all espouse entrepreneurial activity, which suggests that the topic should permeate all of business education. What can the focus of a special course on innovation and entrepreneurship possibly be?
The mission adopted for the Entrepreneurial Management course is to prepare MBA and EMBA students to start and nurture their own businesses (whether such businesses are new or within established organizations). Business schools admit students with great talent and high long-term expectations of responsibility, autonomy, and financial reward. Historically, some MBA and EMBA students have had an innate desire to run their own businesses, but many of those who didn't often turned to entrepreneurship after they confronted the realities of a pyramidal corporate world.
Further, it is widely recognized that even the future leaders of large business corporations must have an entrepreneurial mindset, in order to create the growth engines that will provide sustainable growth opportunities to their organizations.
This course will provide an overview of innovation and entrepreneurship that will help entrepreneurs in independent start-ups as well as large corporations pursue new business opportunities.
- The course is really about developing an attitude, mindset, and skills that are crucial for becoming a creative business person. These skills and mind-set are applicable both in the context of starting a new firm as well as starting a new business in an established company.
- Through cases and readings we will address questions such as:
- What is entrepreneurship?
- What is a good business opportunity; where does it come from?
- What is the difference between an idea and an opportunity
- What decisions/actions are required to convert an idea to an opportunity and an opportunity to a growing concern?
- What are the critical challenges in starting a new venture?
- How do you grow a business from start-up?
- What different kinds of innovations can an organization pursue?
- What are business models and how do they influence growth?
- What are the alternative sources of capital for early stage ventures?
3. The course asks the above questions in 3 contexts: start-up; growth; and established firm
4. Underlying the whole course is a particular approach to starting ventures that does not rely on large amounts of capital. The common resources we all possess are talent, intelligence, time, energy, and contacts. What most of us do not have is an abundance of financial capital. The bottom line is that it is out of commonly available resources (intelligence, energy, enthusiasm, education, and contacts) that you have to start the process to create a new business. Large corporations are also interested in understanding “lean” start-ups that can be set up and tested frugally.
5. This course cannot guarantee that you will become an entrepreneur, but you will understand what is required to develop the mind-set, attitude and skills that are the necessary hallmark of successful wealth creators.
6. One of the tools entrepreneurs use to communicate with their stakeholders is the Business Plan. We will think about the different uses for and the content of a business plan.
Topics to be covered:
- What is entrepreneurship?
- How are opportunities identified and how can they be evaluated?
- What different kinds of resources do start-ups need and how can they be mobilized?
- How can a start-up develop and fine tune its business model?
- What are some of challenges associated with growth?
- What are the unique challenges of launching new businesses from established companies?