Enhance your curriculum by addressing the QAA Guidance on skills for your subject, and incorporating the QAA (2018) Guidance on Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

QAA Benchmark Statement

  • People management 
  • Communications, team building, leadership and motivating others
  • Problem solving and critical analysis
  • Innovation, creativity and enterprise: the ability to act entrepreneurially to generate, develop and communicate ideas, manage and exploit intellectual property
  • Networking: an awareness of the interpersonal skills of effective listening, negotiating, persuasion and presentation and their use in generating business contacts
  • Building and maintaining relationships
  • Communication
  • Self reflection

Embedding Enterprise

The following ETC tools can help you to deliver these skills in the curriculum

How To Guides

These guides have been selected to build QAA (2018) enterprise skills in your teaching.


Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach - EXERCISE: IMPROVISATION FOR CREATIVITY (QAA 1,5,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

  • Cultivate an entrepreneurial mind-set.
  • Recognize limitations of entrepreneurial thinking (what holds one back).
  • Practice improvisation for idea generation and creativity.

Overview:

This series of three short improvisational exercises offers students the opportunity to identify personal limitations to idea generation and reflect on situations where creativity may have been stifled. Students will consider their personal abilities and reactions to their improvisational abilities, as well as approaches to incorporate improvisational thinking in entrepreneurial endeavours. The overall goal is to demonstrate how students can develop an entrepreneurial mind-set through improvisation. Such exercises are routinely used for developing improvisational actors as well as for pre-show warm- ups for the actors. This methodology was created in the 1960s and remains the standard by which individuals learn to improvise. Improvisation is an important component of the entrepreneurship method because idea generation and the ability to incorporate relevant, timely information are critical skills for developing new ventures that will not only survive but thrive.

Usage Suggestions 

These exercises work for all audiences, undergraduate, graduate, or practitioner. It is particularly relevant for new venture creation courses, entrepreneurial creativity and/or leadership courses, entrepreneurship boot-camps, and workshops.

Activity:

Pre-Work Required by Students

The optional readings may be used for pre-work or post-work, depending on the audience (see ‘Theoretical Foundation in ‘References’).

Time Plan (1 hour)

This exercise can be extended to longer sessions so that students can begin brainstorming entrepreneurial ventures. For the purposes of an initial introduction to improvisation, this teaching note has been written so that the exercise requires at least 60 minutes.

Introduction 0:00–0:05 (5 minutes)

Begin the exercise by introducing the concept of improvisation: Ask students generally if they know what improvisation means. Opening questions for the discussion can include:

  • What does improvisation mean to you? 
  • Where have you seen improvisation? 
  • Has anyone performed improvisation? Seen it performed?

Overview 0:05–0:15 (10 minutes)

Explain how the students will learn the basics of improvisation and see how they could apply it to entrepreneurship, in particular idea generation and creating new ventures. The instructor can show examples of comedy improvisation performance (either live or through video clips from YouTube. Some good short examples include scenes from the ABC show Whose Line Is It Anyway? An example clip can be found at http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v5Qd8bvNW9_h4).

After sharing an example, discuss how performing improvisation can be learned: there are lessons offered for comedy improvisation and improvisational acting performance in improv theatres worldwide. An established framework exists to learn how to improvise. For this class, improvisation equals thinking on your feet. They will now be “in” an improv classroom, and every improvisation theatre class begins with warm-ups. In order to think on their feet, they have to get up on their feet.

Warm-Up 1 0:15–0:20 (5 minutes)

  • Tell them to begin walking around the classroom and to observe every single object in the room.
  • Then tell them to point at objects as they walk past them.
  • As they point at each object they are to say what it is out loud – only they cannot call it what it actually is. They are to label it something it is not. And they are to do it quickly. Provide a quick example by pointing to an object in the room like the board and then say out loud “dog,” and then point at another object like the desk and call it “potato” or whatever comes to mind.
  • After one to two minutes of them walking and pointing and labeling out loud, ask them to stop and be silent wherever they are for a group discussion. When they stop, have them discuss how the experience of labeling objects was for them. Try to push them to explain what they were feeling. Some of the following questions can be used for this debrief: 
  • How was this experience?
  • Did you find this exercise difficult to do? Why?

Summary of Warm-Up 1

Students should experience and be able to articulate:

  • How difficult it is to break away from known “answers”;
  • How frequently they can get stuck in known patterns of thinking;
  • The ease with which they start creating patterns with a known grouping (e.g. eggplant, cucumber, tomato, lettuce), which is a way to make the experience easier (get the “right” answer) as opposed to pushing and fostering creativity;
  • The need for students to want to be in control, rather than searching for newness or playing;
  • Feeling the sense of awkwardness in saying the “wrong” label out loud, but having others around doing a similar activity makes the exercise less awkward;
  • How easy it can be just to listen to others and follow their answers rather than coming up with their own new idea.

Warm-Up 2 0:20–0:25 (5 minutes)

  • Tell them to begin walking around the classroom again.
  • When they come up to another student, they are to point at another student and name an animal, any animal that comes to mind, e.g. two students face each other and one points at the other and says “horse.”
  • Then tell them that the student who has been pointed at and labelled with a type of animal has to make the sound of the animal. If they do not know what sound the animal makes, they are to make it up and make some sort of sound.
  • Then they switch, and the student who just produced the animal sound – in this example, the horse sounds – points at the first student and names an animal, e.g. “cat.” This student then makes the sounds of whatever animal he or she was given.
  • Once the interaction is completed, and both students in the pair have completed their animal sounds, they are to find new partners and repeat the warm-up exercise with two or three other students.
  • After two to three minutes of animal sounds, ask them to stop and be silent wherever they are for a group discussion. Have them discuss how the experience of making animal sounds was for them. Try to push them again to explain what they were feeling. Some of the following questions can be used for this debrief:
  • How was this experience? Did you find this exercise difficult to do? Why? 

Summary of Warm-Up 2

Students should experience and be able to articulate:

  • Feeling a great sense of awkwardness – they are doing something they would normally be comfortable doing with children, but typically have never done in a classroom of adults or peers;
  • Not knowing the right “answer” or sound a particular animal makes, they would feel very frustrated, and then forget the instruction they were given to just make it up;
  • Once again, the ease with which they follow patterns – patterns offer a way to make the exercise “easier,” as they offer a means to come up with an answer or a label quickly rather than pushing creativity;
  • How difficult it is for them to have no control as to what they have to do, rather than stepping back, enjoying the ambiguity, and searching for newness or playing;
  • The fear they have of being “foolish” in a professional setting, how they do not want to be embarrassed by acting silly in front of others, and, in addition, the fear of feeling guilty, foolish, or rude for labelling others as certain types of animals with distinct connotations;
  • This fear leads to self-judging and/or editing before they label their peer with an animal or before making the corresponding animal sound.

Warm-Up 3 0:25–0:35 (10 minutes)

  • Tell them to form groups of four wherever they are in the room.
  • Then instruct them to play a game of word association, where anyone can go first, say a word, whatever word comes to mind.
  • The person to the left listens to the word and then says a word that comes to mind based on the word he or she just heard.
  • They continue in this way until you stop them, and they are to go as fast as they can (tell them to listen for further instruction).
  • Once they get started, let them go for a minute or so, and then very loudly instruct them to “Switch directions!”

After another one to two minutes of word association, ask them to stop and be silent. You can have them return to their seats at this point or have them stay where they are for the final group discussion. Now have them discuss how the word association experience was for them. Most will say this was easier to do, as they were in a group setting. So push them to explain what was happening rather than what they were feeling. Some of the following questions can be used for this debrief: 

  • How was this experience? If this was easier than the last two warm- ups, why?
  • If you found this exercise more difficult than the last two, why?
  • What happened when you were told to change directions? Why did this happen?

Summary of Warm-Up 3

Students should experience and be able to articulate:

  • The ease again they experienced of getting into routines or patterns – how much they wanted to “control” the situation and outcomes;
  • How much they were trying to be clever, or funny, rather than just coming up with any word that came to mind and following the exercise;
  • Typically they do not enjoy the ambiguity and opportunity to play and explore newness;
  • Self- judging occurs again, they feel limited in the direction for the exercise, and what words they allow themselves to say owing to their need to feel included or pressure to continue established patterns rather than pushing creativity and undefined randomness;
  • Students typically are not listening to the last word they just heard, and instead they focus on the words that people two ahead of them in the exercise are saying, as this way they can plan their response (this is highlighted with the change directions instruction).

Discussion 0:35–1:00 (25 minutes)

Once the students return to their seats, have them form groups of three to four and discuss what might be preventing their idea generation efforts related to initial new venture concepts. They should explore what holds them back when considering what they might do. Have them discuss the specific difficulties they experienced personally during the improvisation exercises and how they might get past these limitations to develop a more entrepreneurial mind-set. Have a member of each group report out one recommendation for fostering creativity through improvisation. A closing discussion should include how to incorporate improvisation in their idea generation practices.

Teaching Tips

It is important to keep the warm-up exercises moving fast. It might be helpful to tell the students before they begin the exercises that they will feel really uncomfortable, but feeling uncomfortable is the point of the exercise. In the debrief discussions, some students will genuinely enjoy the exercises and will say they found nothing in them difficult. Asking for a show of hands of those who found the exercise difficult to do first is often a better way to begin the debrief, before asking about how they found the experience (in case the students who enjoyed the exercises stifle the discussion). In warm- up 3 it is very helpful to move around the room encouraging groups to speed up their words so that there are no long pauses. It is important for them to think quickly and see how to come up with new ideas rather than thinking or planning and judging their ideas before they see where the new ideas can take them.

Skill Development:

Key Takeaways

  • How to incorporate improvisation to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set: being quick on your feet and adapting or reacting rather than planning and pre-judging.
  • Identifying and recognizing personal limitations to entrepreneurial thinking (why students are held back from creativity in idea generation, what their personal pitfalls are).
  • How to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set by incorporating tenets of fast and free thinking through improvisation for idea generation and creativity.

Resources:

The full text ‘Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach’ can be purchased here > http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teaching-Entrepreneurship-A-Practice-Based-Approach/dp/1782540695

References:

This exercise is taken from;

  • Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.118 - 124). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub.

Attribution

  • These exercises are based on foundational exercises used in improvisational training, widely taught in improvisational theatre courses worldwide.

Theoretical Foundations

  • Spolin, V. 1959. Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Johnstone, K. 1999. Impro for Storytellers. New York: Routledge/Theatre Arts Books.
  • Hmieleski, K.M., and Corbett, A.C. 2008. The contrasting interaction effects of improvisational behaviour with entrepreneurial self-efficacy on new venture performance and entrepreneur work satisfaction. Journal of Business Venturing, 23(4), 482–96.
  • Neck, H.M. 2010. Idea generation. In B. Bygrave and A. Zacharakis (eds.), Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship (pp. 27–52). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Balachandra, L., and Wheeler, M. 2006. What negotiators can learn from improv comedy. Negotiation, 9, 1–3.

Author:

  • This exercise is taken from, Heidi M. Neck, Patricia G. Greene and Candida G. Brush, 2014. Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (pp.118 - 124). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub, and is reprinted with the kind permission of the authors.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Lakshmi Balachandra.

Production Line (QAA 4,5,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills

Objectives:

  • To understand team dynamics and how teams come together to achieve a goal
  • To explore and establish methods of production for a simple products
  • To understand the power and necessity for review and reflection of a task or situation
  • Understanding processes and procedures
  • Replicating methods

Overview

This task focuses a group of people to organise themselves to set up a production line to exactly replicate an existing product as many times as possible in set amount of time. They are giveqaan the opportunity to reflect on and improve their approach twice to increase efficiency, quality and productivity. This gives participants and others the opportunity to see how their own and other behaviour, ideas, approach affects the development and outcome of the task and how by working together and reflecting and analysing a situation it can be adapted and improved going forward.

Activity:

This activity could take from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on how much review, reflection and analysis takes place at the end of the session.

Group gathers around a table with all the resources on it. There is a sample product : a booklet with 13 squares of paper 10cm x 10cm, secured with 2 staples in a x shape in the top left hand corner of the booklet.

The group is asked to put together a production line replicating this booklet. They will have 2 minutes to discuss how they think they could best do thisand to allocate roles. Then 3 minutes to put this into practice and produce as many booklets as possible. When the time is up the facilitator then countsand inspects the finished products, looking for quality and accuracy ie:

  • Correct number of sheets
  • Correct size
  • Cut lines are straight
  • There are 2 staples
  • Staples are in the right place
  • Staples are crossed correctly

The group then gets 2 minutes to discuss and review their methods, systems and procedures and come up with improvements or a different approach. They then get another 3 minutes on the production line to best their last score.

The above process is then repeated for a third time.

This could be done with any size group as long as there are sufficient facilitators to split into smaller groups. The optimum numbers in each group wouldbe between 6 and 10, however multiple groups could be working at the same time. They would have to work at the same time so as not to hear the discussion of other groups.

Skill Development:

  • Imagination and creativity
  • Communication and Strategy
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork and organisation
  • Leadership/Persuasion
  • Decision making
  • Logistics/Systems
  • Efficiency/Productivity
  • Quality Control
  • Speed/Precision/Efficiency
  • Reflection/Review/Analysis
  • Feedback

As has been described this task involves many different skills and objectives on all different levels and can be assessed and analysed either briefly or in great depth across some or all of the objectives. For example, if this is an exercise for managers or recruiters to assess staff skills and abilities it can be finished there at the end of the last count. However it can be extended further, so each team then breaks off with a facilitator to analyse what happened at each stage and why.

  • How the initial discussions went, did someone take the lead, was it a bit of a shouting match, was it chaos, was there a lack of ideas/too many ideas
  • Whose ideas were listened to the most and why
  • Who was ignored and why
  • Whose ideas were taken on board and why, was a consensus achieved
  • Who allocated roles
  • Who put themselves forward for roles
  • How did the actual production go, smooth, chaotic, who took the lead, who organised, how did it progress, how was the mood of the team?
  • Was everyone involved? Did everyone need to be involved?
  • How did the review and analysis go, who took the lead, someone different? How were news ideas taken on board.
  • What changed the next time, was there an improvement, if so why
  • How did the dynamics between the members of the group change as they went through the different stages
  • Were more people involved, less people involved How did people participants feel at each stage, did confidence grow or recede
  • What skills were employed by the task
  • How are these important to a task/team

For example : the focus could just be on the outcomes, ie the quality and quantity of the finished products. Often the first time, people are rushing and slapdash and may do quite a few but get a lot rejected, so need to slow down. Or get them all passed but do a small number, so need to speed up. So it's finding that balance between speed and quality/accuracy.

Or the focus can be on the review and reflection, how the method was changed or improved each time to give better results.

Or the focus can be on the team dynamics how they evolved through each stage, or on the leadership and management of the task and how that changed and fluctuated at each stage, how the balance of power shifted as the task went along.

Or it could very much focus on the individual, the role they played, how this evolved, how they felt, how they were affected by the different characters,how they affected other members in the group, positively or negatively what they would do differently next time.

Depending on whether the focus is on 1 or 2 of the objectives and skills or all of them, all of these and more angles can be identified and explored after the task.

Resources:

Large sheets of paper (A3 or larger, could use old newspapers) minimum of 60 sheets per team, pens, pencils, markers, rulers, scissors, staplers.

About the Author
This guide was produced by EntEv.

Team Building Time Challenge (QAA 4,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Outside

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To understand team dynamics and how teams come together to achieve a goal
  • Understanding the importance of careful research, discussion and planning
  • Listening to other members of the team
  • Research
  • Idea generation
  • Sales, persuasion techniques (as needed)

Overview

This exercise is a fantastic way to get people working together as they tackle up to 10 tasks in a given time frame. With limited information (on each other and the tasks presented) the group must navigate through the challenges in order to be the most successful group (back within the time frame; most tasks achieved; most accurate delivery of the tasks). Depending on the tasks selected, specific industry or sector knowledge can be tested as widerskills of background knowledge, research and creative thinking are required. Insist upon evidence of the achievements (photos on flip or camera phones) as well as delivery of objectives.

Activity : This activity needs a long session (such as 120 minutes) to complete, reflection and analysis takes place at the end of the session.

The groups of up to 6 people are sent out to complete > 10 tasks (usually 3 cryptic, 3 researched and 4 fun)

Examples of these could include:

  • To find an encryption or statue (or similar engraving) in the University Library
  • Two examples of their subject/discipline in practice (photographs or illustrations of)
  • Interview a relevant professional in the field
  • Find a particular journal article
  • How many people can you fit in a phone box
  • Share a message on social media as widely as possible

These tasks should be developed beforehand to suit the environment where the day is taking place. Ensure there are fun tasks involved and that everyone has a chance to engage by creating a range of challenges that involve the physical, mental, social aspects of your learners.

To manage this challenge effectively, if it important that you:

  • Give strict time frames and penalties for not meeting the time
  • Consider the health and safety aspects of all the challenges and adapt to suit your learners (by keeping everyone on campus; in 1 building; or keeping all the tasks within the 1 room etc as necessary).
  • Consider whether you wish to keep them all together as a team or are happy for individuals to split off to deliver tasks back to the group.

Practically it can also be helpful to give them a puzzle to solve before they can leave and a further one when they return. This means they are leaving at different times and they return to a final challenge, so that you can record time and award points.

Skill Development:

Depending upon the challenges you create, there is a wide range of transferable skills and knowledge base that you can test during this challenge. You can create tasks that draw upon their:

  • Imagination and creativity
  • Communication and Strategy
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork and organisation
  • Route Planning
  • Research skills
  • Leadership/Persuasion
  • Decision making
  • Logistics/Systems
  • Speed/Precision/Efficiency
  • Reflection/Review/Analysis
  • Feedback

It is important that you review the challenges and how the groups tackled the tasks in order to draw out the subject learning and these wider skills, before reviewing the wider team experience by exploring:

  • How the initial discussions went, did someone take the lead, was it a bit of a shouting match, was it chaos, was there a lack of ideas/too many ideas
  • Whose ideas were listened to the most and why
  • Who planned the route
  • Who was ignored and why
  • Whose ideas were taken on board and why, was a consensus achieved
  • Who allocated roles
  • Who put themselves forward for roles
  • How did the actual production go, smooth, chaotic, who took the lead, who organised, how did it progress, how was the mood of the team?
  • Was everyone involved? Did everyone need to be involved?
  • How did the dynamics between the members of the group change as they went through the different stages
  • Were more people involved, less people involved
  • How did people participants feel at each stage, did confidence grow or recede
  • What skills were employed by the task
  • How are these important to a task/team

Drawing out the team dynamics will allow the students to identify the lessons that they can take forward that will improve their future group work and learning experiences.

Ask if they started by sharing their knowledge and skill set or just started on the tasks (the most typical response) and whether they would do that again. Ask when, or if they ever start a task by reviewing when they have collectively or individually undertaken something similar and what was learnt that they could take forward.

Resources:

  • Prepared tasks – such as Two indoor puzzles/tasks
  • Research the area for tasks to complete
  • A flip phone or check if students have their own camera phone
  • Flip boards or wall space to show evidence
  • A prize
  • A timer or watch

About the Author
This guide was produced by EntEv.

Communication Icebreaker (Physical) (QAA 4,5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives: 

  • Ice breaker (which builds a connection between pairs)
  • Participants will have to interact and adapt their communication skills to help their team member 
  • Participants will reflect and evaluate their performance as a pair
  • Improve communication and listening skills and to highlight the importance of trust when working in a team or pair

Overview: 

This physical task engages the whole person in supporting a colleague and ensuring their safety through good communication.  The activity can be used at any time during the session, however it is highly effective as and ice breaker.  It is a fun method to start participants communicating and is simple to deliver in an appropriate environment and can be adjusted depending upon group size, age etc. However health and safety is paramount and you must consider the appropriateness of the group and room for this challenge.

Activity:

You should initiative this activity by stressing the nature of the challenge and stressing that the safety of those involved is paramount.  You can also agree across the group that “stop” can be initiated by any member of the team by raising a hand if they don’t feel that it is safe to proceed.  This can be actioned by anyone and will not result in any penalties.

To run the task, gather the group outside the room and:

  1. Scatter furniture that can be used as obstacles but ensuring that safety is not compromised. 
  2. Put team members into pairs and should decide amongst them who is to be blindfolded first. 
  3. The sighted and blindfolded member should stand at one end of the room. 
  4. Aim of the task is for the sighted individual to guide their partner across the room and giving concise information to avoid the obstacles. 
  5. Once each team reaches the other side, the pairs are to swap roles 

It could also be possible to create a preferred route or course (as seen in horse show jumping) which they need to accomplish (if you didn’t wish to use obstacles for safety or mobility reasons) which would lead the pair to particular numbers/letters indicated on the wall.

Subject specialisms could also be tested by placing knowledge based answers on the walls and asking the pairs to walk to their answer through the course (see QAARunaround for details of how to do a multiple choice but don’t mix the games in play for safety reasons).

Skill Development: 

This task requires listening and communication skills and also helps builds trust and connections across the pairings.  However the skill development and improved future practice comes from evaluating performance across the group and understanding how and when particular techniques were effective and what lessons that provides for the future.  It is important to acknowledge fears and concerns, or frustrations between the pairings but keep the discussion to the general learning, rather than focusing upon particular experiences of individual pairings as the depth of learning will come from the lessons that can be applied in future group work or communication challenges.  These lessons include clear communication; agreeing ground rules for working together; recognising the need of feedback or support; understanding the importance of clear short messages within these circumstances etc.

Resources:

  • Blindfolds
  • Large room  - large, safe, open space
  • Items that can be used as obstacles which will act as safe barriers (not fall over; not hurt if walked into – no sharp edges)

About the Author
This guide was produced by EntEv.

Creative Problem Solving What can I do when...? (QAA 1,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives: 

This is a lively exercise which works well with 25 or 36 learners, respectively in groups of 5 or 5 at a carousel table.

  • Learners will identify individually problems in a given context or scenario.
  • Group prioritisation: groups will next prioritise problems in order of importance, or difficulty.
  • Group editing and refining: groups will formulate the most pressing problem to briefly complete the starter: what can I do when’.
  • Individual learners put ‘on the spot’ will creatively state a tactic to a ‘What can I do when …’ problem from another group.
  • Individual thinking and oral communication: by the end of the round, everyone in the whole group has had a go at suggesting a solution for one or more problems – no passengers!
  • Analysis and reflection: members of the group which thought of the problem will discuss pros and cons of the various solutions they have heard.

Feedback from participants who have engaged in this activity is very positive indeed, and they often comment that ‘the time flew by’, and ‘we wished to do another round of this straightaway’.

Overview:

This creative problem solving exercise starts with learners in groups identifying specific aspects of a problem situation they may encounter, and phrasing the problem in the format of ‘What can I do when…’ questions. Each group supplies one question, which is written up on a slide or flipchart. Then a system is used where one member of each of the other groups in turn suggests a tactical response to the problem being addressed, and after all the tactics have been heard, the problem returns to the group who thought of it, who then discuss the pros and cons of each of the tactics they have heard from the other groups.
The exercise can be used for a wide range of problem scenarios, but is particularly productive when addressing interpersonal or communication contexts, or working with ‘difficult people’.

Activity:

The processes described below typically take around an hour with a group of 25 learners, but can be extended to two hours by using a second round of the whole sequence (by which time the learners will be much better able to engage with the process based on experience, and will often have come up with more-challenging questions, causing deeper thinking).

  1. Divide the total number of learners into groups of (approximately) equal size, e.g. 25 learners into 5 groups of 5 at carousel tables. (It is best to do this group formation randomly, avoiding the disadvantages of ‘friendship’ groups and ‘left-over’ groups!). Name the groups A, B, C, D, E.
  2. Set the context for the problem-generation phase. For example, the problems of working with learners on an ‘enterprise’ module could be addressed by asking everyone to think individually of their worst nightmares in the context of working with such learners, and jotting down individually on one or more post-its their nightmare in the format of ‘what could I do when…’
    (Completions in this particular instance may well to include ‘…a learner repeatedly doesn’t turn up?’, or ‘…a learner won’t join in?’, or ‘…a learner becomes aggressive to other learners?’, or ‘…I run out of ideas to use with the group?’, or ‘…time runs out when I am only half-way through an exercise?’ and so on).
  3. When each learner has jotted one or more problem-questions down, ask the groups to prioritise the problems identified in by their group members, and work out the most important to tackle (or the most difficult to tackle), then the next most important, and so on. 
  4. Ask group A to read out their top completion of the ‘What can I do when…’ starter, and write it up exactly in their words, on a slide or flipchart. Then ask group B for their problem, then group C and so on, writing them up in turn. If a group comes up with a problem too similar to those already written onto the slide or flipchart, ask the group for their second-most-important problem and so on.
  5. Set the ground-rules for the report-back from the groups. Group A’s question goes first to Group B, where one person described what they might do to address the problem. Only one person can speak; it sometimes takes a little time for a volunteer to come forward. Next, one member of Group C is sought to respond, and so on to Groups D and E in turn. It can be useful to brief Group A to make brief notes of the gist of successive responses.
  6. To respond gets harder as it moves from Group B onward. Each successive respondent must think of a different response from those which may already have been given. At this stage, the facilitator may choose to throw in one or two further solutions, if the groups have missed anything important in their responses.
  7. Finally, Group A, who own the question are asked to consider the responses from Groups B-E (plus any offered by the facilitator), picking the best one, and coming up with any further alternatives they have thought of. All members of Group A can join in this discussion.
  8. Next the question from Group B goes in turn to Groups C, D, E and A, again only one member – a different member of the group coming up with a solution. In the event of too long a pause, the person from the group concerned who answered last-time round can nominate someone from their group to respond.
  9. Continue until all five questions have gone round the groups.

This process means that just about everyone has a turn at answering one of the ‘What can I do when…’ questions. If there were six groups of five members, everyone would have a turn, but it is probably best to leave the flexibility of one person in each group not being required to answer, in case any of the learners has a particular problem with ‘being put on the spot’ in this way. However, if a second round of questions is then generated, the response can start in each group with the person who did not speak in the first round.

An alternative way of running this exercise includes asking for ‘what would make this situation worse?’ (i.e. ‘what I should not do when …? responses – ‘negative brainstorming’).

This can be great fun for a second round of the whole exercise.

Skill Development:

  1. Identification of problems individually, followed by discussion and prioritisation of problems in groups.
  2. Refining of an identified problem, by turning it into the ‘what can I do when…?’ format.
  3. Oral quick-thinking and communication, as each group member responds to a ‘what can I to when…’ question.
  4. Building on what has been already said earlier in the round, when the next respondent has to in effect think of ‘what else can I do when…?’ as responses can not be repeated as the round continues.
  5. Listening to the various responses by the group ‘owning’ the question, noting down the gist of each for subsequent discussion, then analysing the pros and cons of the various responses.
  6. ‘Negative brainstorming’, if the exercise includes ‘What would make this situation worse?’, which can often yield further ideas for actual solutions to the problem.

Resources:

  • Post-its for individuals to jot down ‘nightmares’ to base their ‘what can I do when …?’ questions upon.
  • More post-its (possibly a different colour) for groups to write their final versions of ‘what can I do when…?’ questions down on, before prioritising which they want to submit to the other group rounds.
  • A few pens to give away if needed.
  • Flipchart or PowerPoint display to show the questions.

 References:

  • Race, P. (2014) ‘Making Learning Happen: 3rd edition’, London: Sage. (Note that one Chapter of this book is entirely composed around ‘what can I do when …? questions, (in the broad context of teaching, learning, feedback and assessment), each followed by the sort of responses which can be given by participants working in the creative-problem-solving mode described in the above activity).
  • Race, P. (2015) ‘The Lecturer’s Toolkit; 4th edition’, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • http://phil-race.co.uk

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Phil Race.

How Can You Create Value from Freely Available Resources? (QAA 1,2,3,5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • The learner will be able to explore an idea or concept as openly as possible to gather a wide range of solutions
  • To evidence the power of group work as more ideas are created through team work
  • To explore the potential of networks and social connections

Overview

This group task challenges the teams to generate ideas within constraints. This task engages students by allowing them to draw upon their knowledge, connections, hobbies, subject experience, social networks etc. The open brief allows them to be creative but the constraints of time and “no spend” heighten their creativity.

Activity

There is an abundant supply of free-to-use resources which are not readily considered by those addressing a task. This challenge asks “How can you use one or more of these to provide an innovative product, service or experience which creates value for its users?” and seeks to engage the learners to consider the multiple forms of value creation - financial, economic, social, cultural, environmental, aesthetic.

Process – By placing your students into small working groups, suggest the following challenges to them:

  1. BRAINSTORM: Identify by listing or brainstorming all the ‘freely available resources’ you can think of. These must be resources you can use for free, without being challenged or acting illegally or irresponsibly. They may include physical, virtual, human, financial and knowledge resources, for example. (Note: you are asking them to draw together resources that will not ‘cost’ so whilst it is recognised that their time ought to be valued and compensated, for the purposes of this task, we are seeking access to resources that they can reach for free at this moment).
  2. COMBINATION: Using this “brain stormed” list, ask the group to combine selected resources to provide products, services or experiences which create new value? Aim to identify at least 3 innovative combinations.
  3. EVALUATION: ask the groups to select the best option. Who will the innovation be of value to? Whose problem does it solve?
  4. REFLECTION and REVIEW: What forms of value are you creating from the list above.
  5. REFLECTION: How can you ‘make it happen’ to implement the innovation?
  6. COMMUNICATE: Communicate your idea as effectively you can, using available resources, to the group, outlining the need they are addressing.

Depending upon time and the skills that you wish to develop, you can run this task within 1 session or extend the communication and reflection stages to create a half day task or a task that runs over 2 weeks. This allows the groups to access their resources and showcase their ideas in the presentation the following week.

Skill Development:

Within the group work, a range of skills are developed and as the tutor, you can place the emphasis on different areas, depending upon the time you have available. The core skills being developed are around idea generation and evaluation, however it is possible to extend this task to include deeper reflection and communication skills where the groups are required to analyse the challenge and their response to it, as well as present their idea. This reflection can either form part of the presentation brief so that the teams are both presenting their ideas and exploring their experience of the challenge, or you can draw the group together after the presentation-showcase to reflect collectively on:

  • How the groups worked?
  • What frustrations were caused by the constraints and open brief – and how were they handled?
  • How did you address the stages of the challenge?
  • How did the stages of the brain-storming/problem solving process help you meet the challenge?
  • How would you address such a challenge in the future?
  • Which group was most creative in their solution? Why is that your view? How do you assess creativity? 

And you can finally explore issues of cost with the group by recognising that some of these resources could be accessed once for free, but not repeatedly. Ask them to consider how they could achieve the same output/outcome regularly and attempt to cost this.

Resources:

(if available – flip chart or post its for brain storming; pens etc)
Resources to assist with presentation – access to powerpoint; flip charts etc

References:

http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/opportunity-centred-entrepreneurship-david-rae/?sf1=barcode&st1=9781137474100
Rae, D (2015) “Opportunity-Centred Entrepreneurship” Palgrave

About the Author
This guide was produced by David Rae.

Idea Generation Workshop (QAA 12567)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To evidence the power of group work as more ideas are created through team work
  • The learner will be exposed to several future scenarios and develop and explore solutions to everyday world issues
  • Think speculatively, employing both convergent and divergent approaches to arrive at appropriate solutions
  • Identify, analyse and respond to relevant opportunities

 

Overview:

In this exercise,we use brainstorming and idea generation techniques such as

  • Blue sky thinking and creative problem-solving approaches
  • ‘Napkin sketching’ where you explain and defend your ideas and approaches
  • The Merlin Trick where you stress test your ideas by shrinking, enlarging, or adapting them

To be successful, students must be prepared to work like an entrepreneur. This means:

  • sharing underdeveloped thoughts and insights
  • offering and receiving uninhibited feedback from peers and mentors
  • a ‘letting go’ of ideas
  • collaborative gathering of alternative ideas
  • the identification of ideas to take forward and develop through the rest of the programme


Activity:

  • Students are introduced to the concept of effectuation and how this is a way of thinking that serves entrepreneurs in the processes of opportunity identification and new venture creation.  They are introduced to the concept of horizon scanning and exploring what the future might look like to understand uncertainties better.
  • The students are presented with a minimum of 3 future scenarios, the resultant and potential problem and the challenge this presents to the innovators.
  • Every student chooses one scenario and develops a basic, draft solution. This is then sketched onto one side of a folded paper napkin.
  • All napkins are stuck to a wall/window/board.
  • Each participant then votes for their 2 favourite solutions by placing a sticky dot on each.
  • The top 3 (this can change accordingly) are selected to be taken forward for the group work.
  • The participants are divided into groups of minimum 3 and maximum 5.
  • Each group is given a solution as sketched on the napkin and one person takes ownership. This person will stay with this idea for the rest of the session.
  • The facilitator then describes the ‘Merlin’ trick (Jonas Michanek and Andreas Breiler ‘The Idea Agent’). Merlins magical powers can be channelled in four ways, to enlarge, to shrink, to make vanish and to reverse. But you can always dream up your own variations – for example, the worlds’ cheapest, the worlds’ most expensive, the worlds’ smallest and the worlds’ craziest.
    The facilitator gives an example of the first magic trick, preferably with a clear example. For example: ”What would happen if we took an existing product such as a Fitbit tracker and made it smaller so we could swallow it.
  • After about 10 minutes the group moves to the next table (except for the owner) and the facilitator announces a new perspective such as enlarging and gives an example “if we were to enlarge the Fitbit perhaps we could create something we could walk through..”
    The owner of the idea who has stayed at the table explains the developments, suggestions and the current status quo
    This continues until all perspectives have been covered.
  • Students then write up or clearly sketch their ideas and develop them further.
  • A final vote is taken on the most feasible and potentially significant idea.
  • The facilitator re-emphasises convergent and divergent thinking and how this model can be applied to alternative situations.


Skill Development:

  • Evaluation
  • Idea Refinement
  • Communication
  • Reflection

 

Resources:

  • Paper napkins
  • Pens 
  • Coloured sticky dots
  • Flip chart paper
     


References:


What makes Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial’ by Sarasvathy Explore more here: http://www.effectuation.org/
‘The Idea Agent: The Handbook on Creative Processes’ (2013) by Jonas Michanek and Andreas Breiler

 


Author: Lynda Povey, Enterprise Adviser, University of Portsmouth.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Lynda Povey (Enterprise Advisor, University of Portsmouth).

Your How To Guide Here

If you would like to have your How to Guide featured, please download the template and email the completed version to hello@etctoolkit.org.uk.

We have produced a guidance sheet which will assist you in completing the How to Guide.

If you have any questions regarding completing the template, please Contact Us.

Case Examples

Developing Enterprise Awareness (QAA 1,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

To develop awareness and capability for enterprise amongst second year business undergraduate students.

Introduction:

During the autumn term of 2012 Cardiff University Enterprise supported Dr Sarah Hurlow of Cardiff Business School develop and deliver a contained exercise to develop awareness and capability for enterprise.

The 20 credit module entitled 'Management Theory and Practice' is a second year undergraduate optional module. The intervention was delivered to a total of 27 students.

Business graduates leave university with a high level knowledge about how businesses operate; however there is increasing evidence that 'knowledge' is only one element of what employers and new businesses need.

"It is not just the possession of knowledge or skills that define a graduate and the contribution she (or he) makes to the workplace, it is the capacity to articulate them, to think about how they relate to other forms of knowledge and skills, and to reflect upon the different domains in which they may be applied" Sir Tim Wilson (2012) A Review of Business–University Collaboration, pg. 32.

Enterprise capability has a connection to employability, innovation, commercialisation, knowledge transfer and business start-up, however there is a distinction between the generic use of the term 'enterprise' in reference to business venture creation and a sense of 'practical action'. The development of an entrepreneurial capability moves beyond knowledge acquisition to a range of intellectual, emotional and social skills that allow for the application of creative ideas and innovations.

Activity:

During the semester students' were asked to collaboratively generate business ideas using Ketso.

Ketso is 'a hands-on kit for creative engagements' [http://www.ketso.com/] and was run as a four hour workshop which, due to time timetabling, was split over two weeks.

Ideas and collaboration were inspired by two guest speakers. The first guest speaker was Christian Amodeo who established the local Cardiff brand called 'I loves the diff' in 2009. The second was Gwion Larsen who established 'iPhone sales and repairs' with a gift from his parents on graduating from Cardiff University in 2010. Both highlight that entrepreneurs are not always the known national celebrity faces, but often just an ordinary local person with a good idea.

Impact:

The teaching intervention was successful with generally received positive student engagement and feedback. The student groups developed their business ideas into well considered business propositions that were presented as part of final assessment. The final assessed presentations demonstrated a good level of research, interpretation, understanding and application of commercial awareness and associated skills among students.

Learner outcome:

The examples of curriculum development for enterprise related outcomes were originally outlined by Neil Coles at the International Enterprise Educators Conference under the heading 'From Archaeology to Zoology; an A-Z of enterprise in the curriculum'. For his work in contextualising enterprise for any subject, Neil won the 2013 National Enterprise Educator Award.

Resources:

For a How To Guide on utilising external presenters, see 'Guest Lecture Guidance.'

References:

About the Author
This guide was produced by Neil Coles (Senior Enterprise Learning Officer, Cardiff University). If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- enterprise@cardiff.ac.uk.

Workshop: Being Heard (QAA 5,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Special

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To provide students studying towards BSc Entrepreneurship with a greater understanding of the principles behind effective communication.
  • To provide students studying towards BSc Entrepreneurship with a greater understanding of the importance of a personal brand, and how a personal brand is developed.
  • To provide students studying towards BSc Entrepreneurship with a greater understanding of how communication strategies and brand apply to individuals and businesses in a social media context.
  • To provide students studying towards BSc Entrepreneurship with practical opportunities to develop the social media presence of their own business endeavours.

Introduction:

The ability to communicate effectively through social media is an essential asset for any business.

The BSc (Hons) Entrepreneurship Degree Programme at Glyndwr University attracts students with a passion for business, and many who have already launched their own enterprises. However, many lack confidence with, and knowledge and understanding of, how to utilise social media to best effect to support their businesses.

Facilitated by programme tutor Sarah Elizabeth Evans, and delivered by Mike Corcoran and the University's enterprise service 'ZONE', the workshop 'Being Heard' was delivered to address these concerns for a small group of 4 students. The workshop followed the format as outlined in How To Guide 'Workshop: Being Heard' (see resources). The workshop was delivered from a computer lab, over a two hour session, and combined the presentation elements of the workshop, with group and one-to-one discussion, and opportunities to work in real-time on the students own social media platforms.

The AV presentation for use in the delivery of the workshop can be downloaded via the link to the 'ZONE Enterprise Hub' web pages listed in the resources and references at the end of this document.

Activity:

Being Heard

(See Resources / References for materials to accompany the delivery of this activity).

 

Activity Part 1: Introduction

  • The themes of the workshop were introduced to the group.
  • Taking advantage of the small group size, a group discussion allowed students to share details of their own enterprises or enterprise ambitions, along with their current usage, knowledge and understanding of social media. This ensured the remainder of the workshop was delivered at an appropriate level and contextualised appropriately for the learners.

Activity Part 2: Communication

  • The group explored the principles behind effective communication (in any arena) namely; presentation structure, the use of tools, and powerful delivery.
  • This section followed the format of the workshop 'How to Speak in Public', a guide and resources for which, can be found in the 'Resources / References' section of this document.

Activity Part 2: Personal Brand

  • Students were presented with the logos of various companies, and discussed the words and feelings which a brought to mind when they saw each.
  • They discussed what the reasons for these are, and the actions companies have taken to bring them about.
  • The students then reflected on the brand identity of their own businesses or business ideas.

Activity Part 3: Social Media

  • In accordance with the needs as identified by the students and their tutor, this section of the workshop was the main focus of the session.
  • The students discussed how each of the points discussed in communication and branding applied within a social media context.
  • The students looked at various case studies, a mixture of graduate start-ups, national and international organisations, and discussed how each utilised social media to engage with their audience. The students identified how the skills of branding and communication were being applied within the social media context.
  • At this stage, the students also looked at examples of negative feedback on social media. The problems encountered by businesses on social media were discussed, and the students suggested solutions to the identified problems.
  • The students own business endeavours were discussed in turn, and the group discussed how each could utilise social media to greatest effect.
  • The students then used the computers in the lab to log into their own social media platforms. For those without platforms, the students were directed through the creation of these step-by-step.
  • They then used developed their platforms, with one-to-one support offered by Mike and Sarah.

Activity Part 4: Conclusion

  • The main themes of the workshop were re-capped.
  • Students were recommended additional resources and support available to support them, and further upcoming events, looking at social media for business in more detail, were advertised to students.

Impact:

  • The results of the workshop made an immediate impact on participants, as the social media presence of their real business endeavours was worked upon and improved during the workshop, directly impacting on their enterprises.
  • The activities were well received by the programme tutor, and the workshop fostered further collaborative working between programme and ZONE at Glyndwr University.

Learner outcome:

  • Positive feedback was received from learners, who reported that the activity helped them to improve their confidence in using social media, and their understanding of how to make it work for their businesses.
  • Several learners reported reservations and concerns regarding social media at the beginning of the session, and having time to discuss and debate these concerns allowed them to consider how they could be managed and alleviated, as well as encouraging peer-to-peer learning and support amongst the group as ideas were shared.

Resources:

  • Lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations to accompany this activity can be downloaded via > https://moodle.glyndwr.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=37§ion=11.
  • See How-To Guide 'Workshop: Being Heard' for a detailed outline of this workshop, and 'Workshop: How to Speak in Public' for a more in depth exploration of public speaking skills.

References:

Author:

www.macorcoran.com

With thanks to Sarah Elizabeth Evans, PhD student, Business School, Glyndwr University

About the Author
This guide was produced by Mike Corcoran. If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- m.a.corcoran@outlook.com.

Innovation Marketplace Green Entrepreneurship MSC/MBA (QAA 1,2,3,6)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

  • To generate ideas to meet a brief
  • To explore opportunities by evaluating work
  • To evaluate innovations within a limited time frame
  • To develop judgement in order to make decisions to complete the task

Introduction:

This surprisingly easy and fun classroom activity simulates an innovation marketplace. Students generate a topic-specific innovation and participate in amarketplace of ideas. The results demonstrate how and why the best innovations are not guaranteed market entry or success, emphasizing the human and social nature of entrepreneurial action. This fast paced marketplace activity works with large numbers of students, in open work spaces and can takes 10-20 minutes.

Activity:

Starting the activity:

The instructor should ask students to generate an innovation within a short time frame (2-5 minutes maximum). It is recommended that all students generate an innovation related to a familiar topic to facilitate comparison. A useful question, which may also provide valuable feedback to the instructor or the institution generally, is: "How could your student experience [in this class / at this university] be improved?" Additional guidance is suggested:

  • Encourage students to be creative or provocative, but suggest that the innovation be within the realm of reality. For example, the student experience might be improved by receiving £1 million on completing the course, but such an outcome isn't realistic.
  • Ask students to write the innovation down in one short sentence. This helps commit the student to the idea, which plays a key role in the simulation.
  • Encourage students to come up with one idea, and reassure them it does not need to be "spectacular" if they are struggling. Running the marketplace: The instructor should ask all students to stand up. The instructor should read the rules and, if possible, display them on a screen. Students should be told that the activity runs for a limited time. Recommended marketplace times are: 10-25 students should take 5 minutes; 25-100 students takes 10 minutes; 100+ students will take 10-15 minutes.

Market Place Rules:

  • Talk to anyone you want.
  • End conversation with that person whenever you want.
  • If someone's innovation is better than yours, for whatever reason, give your notecard/post-it to that person. You are now on that person's team. 
  • An innovation must have at least one supporter, other than the inventor, to win

The instructor should explicitly initiate the activity, for example by saying "Go!" As the activity starts, the instructor may choose to prompt recalcitrant students to participate. In rare cases, students might attempt to share all their ideas by broadcasting them one at a time. It's best not to intervene, as these usually degrade to individual or small group conversations, but if it appears that true organization is emerging (e.g. sequential pitches and voting) the instructor might choose to break up organised activity by reminding them of the time limit or splitting the group in half.

Stopping the marketplace: The instructor should use good judgment to determine when to end the marketplace. Some small groups converge to a limited set of ideas quickly; large groups are unlikely to converge to only a few ideas within a reasonable time. The instructor should gain the attention of the students and ask them to stand where they are. Remind them that if student A has joined student B's team, then student A should give her notecard to student B. So some students should be holding numerous cards, some students should have their own card, and some students should not have a card.

The instructor should ask students without a card to sit down wherever is convenient. It generally improves student engagement to list some or all of the "winning" ideas. The instructor may choose to whittle down the set of "winning" ideas depending on the size of the class. For example, in a class with 100 students, there may be 50 students holding cards. The instructor might ask students to sit down if they have less than 2 cards, less than 3 cards, etc. until few enough remain to read out and record. The instructor should ask the remaining "winning" ideas to read out their ideas, and may choose to record them on a board/flipchart. For larger groups, it may be interesting to note how many supporters the top ideas had accrued.

All students may then be asked to sit down as convenient.

The instructor may choose to comment on the winning ideas, especially if some are impossible, unusually inventive, or otherwise noteworthy. The instructor should then ask: "Are we guaranteed that the best idea won?" In many cases, students may note the lack of ideation time. The instructor may choose to address this or not as an unresolvable challenge, since it is not possible to know whether more time would lead to better ideas.

Below are some of the potentially useful lessons from the exercise. Sophisticated student groups may develop some or all of the lessons with limited prompting. Suggested prompts are provided. It may be useful to discuss one general concept, identify its "academic" label, and then move on to the next. The discussion should, obviously, be tailored to the type and number of students (undergrad vs. graduate, technical vs. business

Concluding the activity: The instructor may remind students:

  • Great ideas and innovations are drivers of technological and economic change.
  • The best innovations are not guaranteed market success.
  • The role of the entrepreneur is critical to the commercialization process, often generating unexpected or entirely unpredictable outcomes (George and Bock 2012).
  • The entrepreneur does not have to be the same person as the inventor.
  • Some drivers of commercialization success may be partly or entirely out of the inventor or entrepreneur's control.

The instructor may choose to collect all of the notecards, especially if the initiating question presents the potential for useful feedback. Instructors are encouraged to make the full set of ideas available to students after the activity for their own edification.

Impact:

Whilst some learners can be reluctant to engage initially, typically this is a highly engaging activity that builds confidence in decision making and evaluation. It works with large numbers and therefore can be a great exercise for students from different programmes to experience together.

Learner outcome:

This student reflection is shared by Alanna Ford, University of Edinburgh

I participated in the Innovation Marketplace a Green Entrepreneurship course in Spring 2013. There were about 25 other MBA and MSc students in the class. After being asked to generate concrete ideas for ways to improve University of Edinburgh's Business School, we were then prompted to spend 10 minutes to convince our fellow classmates to back our idea – and in turn abandon theirs. After writing our ideas on post-its, the classroom became abuzz with activity as students energetically spoke about their ideas, working to win over other people as quickly as possible.

While the exercise was playing out, several small clusters started forming. My idea for innovation was more client projects to root learning to the real world. My idea required quite a bit of background explanation, especially to students from Asia and Europe where universities emphasize more theory. Other students' ideas were simple and immediately relatable to anyone in the room. For instance, one student suggested that the school should provide free tea and coffee to all Business School students. I'll admit that it was hard for me to compete with such a straightforward and attractive idea. It didn't matter where you were from, you could understand in less than 15 seconds why that idea would benefit you.

Of course there were additional factors at play that determined which ideas got adopted. Some students were louder and more outgoing than others, making them more comfortable convincing their peers. For some of the more shy or quiet students, the process of having to instantly convince their peers in real time seem to make them uncomfortable (again, this could have been a cultural issue since we had people from Germany, South Africa, China, the US, etc represented in the room). For me personally, I liked sharing my idea with others because it was something I had been thinking about and discussing with some of my peers for months. As an outgoing American, I wasn't shy in trying to bring people on board and advocate for more applied learning in our curricula.

I found that the simulation was incredibly insightful for several reasons. First, providing a movement-based activity accommodated different learning styles and a definite break from the typical university learning environment where students often spend a lot of time sitting and listening rather than doing. Because I'd been personally involved in both promoting my own idea and having to listen to other people promote theirs, I could clearly relate to the challenges of getting consensus around an innovation. Secondly, the simulation became a tangible illustration for insights that apply to not only the classroom environment and the specific lesson at hand, but also to multiple areas of 'real' life. From the importance of effective communicationand initial context, to understanding network effects and opportunity recognition, I have continued to return to these ideas in the year since completingthe class. For instance, when launching a new business after graduating, I understood the importance of speaking with the right people in effective ways in order to gain new clients. I also knew that I needed to be in the optimum context for my industry, prompting me to move from Edinburgh to London where I could meet more like-minded and leading thinkers. I remembered these lessons watching an Edinburgh-based fashion app startup geared toward the American market fail; the founders were in the wrong place, with the wrong product, and the wrong time.

I think this activity could also serve career services departments of universities because many of the insights can be applied to a general job search.

Resources:

The activity may be conducted with no materials or setup; the use of post-its or notecards, a flipchart, chalkboard, or A/V setup are recommended. Post-its or notecards offer a record of the full set of innovations which may be of separate value.

Instructors should distribute one post-it note or notecard to each student and ensure that writing instruments are available. Similarly, instructors may prefer a learning space that facilitates ease of student movement, though key lessons may be gained in a space that restricts movement by some or many students. (In addition background on drivers of innovation adoption may be provided at the instructors discretion and pedagogical preference).

Bocks Market Place Resource Sheet – link

References:

https://sites.google.com/site/adamjbockentrep/

http://launchideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/EEEJ-Issue-1.pdf

Author:

University of Edinburgh Business School 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9JS

About the Author
This guide was produced by Adam J. Bock (Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship University of Edinburgh Business School).

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Embedding Entrepreneurship

If you or your students are interested in developing a business idea, becoming self-employed/freelance or creating a business here are some tools to help and also some links to business start-up support.

How To Guides

These guides have been selected to build QAA (2018) entrepreneurship skills in your teaching.


Workshop: Business Planning (QAA 1,2,5)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Lecture Theatre, Presentation Space

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action

Objective:

  • To provide students with an opportunity to identify and reflect on their own skills.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to generate business ideas, and identify opportunities.
  • To provide students with knowledge and understanding of how to write and structure a business plan.
  • To provide students with an understanding of how to use a business plan effectively.
  • To provide students with an awareness of the advice, resources and support available to them.

Overview:

A well-structured, well-research and well-written business plan is an invaluable asset to any new enterprise. Yet many students considering starting up report difficulty in developing business plans and in particular, plans which actively work for them and their business.

Business Planning is a workshop serving as an introduction to the subject, inclusive of opportunities to reflect on skills and generate ideas, and information regarding how to build a strong and cohesive plan around those ideas, and advice regarding using that plan, to turn those ideas into successful businesses.
 
The activity is designed to fit within a typical one hour lecture session, but inclusive of ample opportunities for extension, through practical activity, group discussion or independent research, and could easily form the basis of a more comprehensive scheme of work on the subject. It is designed to be appropriate for students of any level or programme of study. It was originally developed through the HEFCW funded pan-Wales Enterprise Support Programme.

Lesson plans and AV presentations for use in the delivery of the workshop can be downloaded via the link to the ‘ZONE Enterprise Hub’ webpages listed in ‘References’ and ‘Resources.’

Activity:

The activity follows the structure outlined in the ‘Business Planning’ PowerPoint presentation, inclusive of all links and examples.

  

Figure 1. PowerPoint presentation which accompanies this activity.

Pre-Activity

Students are not required to prepare anything in advance of this workshop. For workshop leaders, preparation is minimal, other than ensuring supporting AV resources are displaying correctly.

Introduction

  • Students are welcomed and introduced to the themes that will be covered during the workshop.
  • The group may be invited to share their own business experience or business ideas.

Why Bother?

  • Students are asked to discuss and share where they see their ideas and business endeavours 10 years from now.
  • Students are provided with a basic definition of a business plan.
  • Students discuss the purpose of a business plan. Points are suggested and debated.

What to think about?

  • Students are asked to reflect on the skills which they possess.
  • Students are asked to explore and identify the products and services they can offer, supported by their skill set.
  • Students explore how, by reflecting on a particular product or service, they can consider pricing, branding, marketing and sales.
  • An indicative example is offered within the PowerPoint presentation to illustrate this. If desired, you may wish to reinforce this by working through a real example offered by a member of the audience.
  • (An activity allowing students to identify their skills, and explore opportunities in a greater degree of depth can be found in How To Guide ‘Workshop: Breaking Problems Down and Putting Solutions Together.’)

What to write down?

  • The key elements of a basic business plan are covered step by step, with class discussion of the key points at each stage. Namely, the elements covered are; The Executive Summary, The Business Vision, Marketing, Running the Business, Finance.
  • Students are introduced to SWOT analysis. If desired, a member of the audience may be invited to offer their own business idea as an example, which a SWOT analysis can be worked through for collectively.
  • Students are introduced to cash flow forecast. Again if desired, an indicative example may be offered to demonstrate how the forecast works.

Help and support

Students are provided with links and information regarding the support, advice and assistance available to them as they develop their business plans.

Conclusion

The key themes covered in the workshop are re-capped, and students are invited to ask any outstanding questions which they may have.

Post-Activity

This workshop is intended only as an introduction to the subject of Business Planning. Following the activity, students may utilise the information provided to research and develop their plans independently, or each element of the workshop may be revisited and explored in more depth by the group.

Skill Development:

Students will leave the workshop with greater confidence in their ability, with a better understanding of their skills, and how these skills will support the development of their endeavours. They will have a better knowledge and understanding of business plans and how to develop them, and a greater awareness of how to use business plans to effectively support them in their endeavours.

Resources:

PowerPoint Slides accompanying this activity can be downloaded here > Business Planning [PDF]

References:

Zone Enterprise Hub, Topic: ZONE Resources. 2015. [ONLINE] Available at: https://moodle.glyndwr.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=37§ion=11 . [Accessed 05 August 2015].

About the Author
This guide was produced by Mike Corcoran .

Business Idea Competition: Stimulating and Supporting Entrepreneurship in the Highlands and Islands (QAA1234567)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Any

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To stimulate entrepreneurial effectiveness (QAA 2012) cross campus
  • To demonstrate entrepreneurial practice across the region
  • To promote creative thinking, problem solving and wider entrepreneurial skills

Introduction: 

Each year an institution and region wide Business Idea Competition is run as a broad tool to stimulate and support entrepreneurship in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The competition promotes creative thinking and problem solving for learners at all stages of the learning journey including upon graduation. Our institution comprises a network of tertiary colleges and research centres, spread across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The competition was devised and is organised by Create, an Enterprise and Innovation Learning centre based within Inverness College UHI and delivered across the university and all partner institutions including the surrounding Highlands and Islands community (subject to T&Cs).

Activity: 

The competition is supported across campus to significantly raise ‘Enterprise Awareness’ (via induction, workshops, talks, e-comms), develop ‘Entrepreneurial Mindset’ (through intensive engagement and support to submit entries to the competition with learners from all faculties) and for some students (who progress in the competition and beyond) to start to develop their ‘Entrepreneurial Capabilities’. We have examples of this being delivered as an extra curricula workshop/activity and within the curriculum as a tool to aid experiential learning.

The competition opens in August each year and is promoted widely across the university, all colleges and research centres and in the local community.  Lecture ‘shouts’ and workshops have proven to be the most effective technique to engage the broadest range of staff and learners.  Short films are included on our website to give tips on entering. 

Online entries seek information on an idea, inspiration, resources, next steps rather than a business plan. It was inspired by the culturally popular ‘Dragons Den’ but was dubbed the friendly ‘Highland Dragons Den’. Plenty of support is provided for developing application, pitching and presenting.  Independent and experienced judges are engaged each year and relevant follow-up support and advice is offered to all entrants. For winning entrants, start-up support is offered in addition to cash prizes.

Impact: 

CREATE has worked closely with regional partners and the business community to ensure the competition reaches the maximum potential budding entrepreneurs across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  The competition was launched in 2006 with 27 entrants and has grown significantly to 150 entrants in 2014 representing all industry sectors and parts of the region.  Subsequent business start-ups in both the commercial and social sector have proved to be a recognised economic benefit to the region.  

In addition to business start-up, it is considered that the competition also has two key impacts: it significantly enhances ‘Enterprise Awareness’ across curricula areas (both academic/careers staff and students); and helps to encourage stronger working relationships with local business and enterprise support organisations.

Learner outcome: 

This activity shows how education ‘for’ enterprise can successfully engage a wide range of students, staff and members of the community both within and outside the curriculum. Over the years, more teaching and career staff are building in this opportunity as an awareness raising and experiential tool for learners at all levels. Those who participate, are extremely positive about the experience and can articulate evidence of creative thinking, opportunity spotting, and business awareness and, for those who proceed in the competition, they are able to develop their presentation, commercial awareness and network building skills. They talk of an increase in confidence and greater awareness of ‘know who’ and ‘be known’. Through CPD sessions, more academic staff now have the confidence to introduce these concepts and encourage learners to try this opportunity ‘to make something happen’ which adds to a student’s experience of how it ‘feels’ to be enterprising, which is very much in tune with the philosophy of enterprise education.

For 2015/6, we are extending the competition to early stage start-ups as we find many entrepreneurs start to test their idea earlier each year and still benefit from this type of engagement and encouragement.

Resources: 

Partnership: A critical success factor for this type of region wide initiative is partnership working.  Within the institution, we engage with Deans, Faculty and Subject Leaders as well as Careers and Student Services areas. 

Externally, this initiative has helped to build strong working partnerships which have grown year on year with local enterprise support organisations (Business Gateway, Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland, HISEZ, FirstPort and SIE) together with an extensive range of regional businesses (large corporates and SMEs) who wish to be associated with helping to build a vibrant entrepreneurial culture.

Funding: The activity has been substantially funded by institutional funding with support in the early years from the local enterprise agency, latterly EU funding sources and local council funds. All prizes (£8,000 in 2015) are sourced via sponsorship from local business and enterprise support organisations which CREATE attracts each year.

References:

http://www.createhighland.com/

About the Author
This guide was produced by Carol Langston.

Design Thinking: From creative thinking to enterprising action (QAA1,2,3,5,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Large Group

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • Know about a range of ideas and concepts about enterprising mind-set and entrepreneurship
  • Reconnecting with your creativity 
  • Introduction to design thinking and exploring a challenge 
  • Apply design thinking to addressing a challenge 
  • Developing a chosen idea (including proto-typing if possible) 
  • Introduction to engaging others in your ideas (moving beyond a ‘Pitch’) 
  • Introduction to crowd funding and funding the idea from within the student and stakeholder audience (external if possible)

Introduction: 

This session suits larger groups of learners being introduced to the concept of enterprise, creative thinking and solving complex challenges. Working with interdisciplinary groups works best to encourage maximum creativity and adds depth to the chosen solution. An introduction to effective engagement with audiences which moves beyond a pitch is introduced and the session closes with the audience crowd funding the idea using specially designed local currency. 

Activity:

This is best run over a 4-6 hour period and can be split between 2-3 sessions to allow for further research into the challenge. Session starts with some team building activities set firmly within the context of the challenge. This can help students to better appreciate the challenge area and develop empathy with various perspectives/realities in relation to the challenge.  

Then follows some creativity exercises with an introduction to design thinking. Teams then apply this process (as time allows) through to completion with ideally prototypes being developed (if not posters/electronic adverts etc). 

Then the large group is introduced to the need for effective and authentic engagement of themselves and their ideas (moving beyond the ‘pitch’). Individual or group presentations are developed and practiced. Depending on timing and group size, there can then follow a couple of rounds of presentations with a final selection presenting to the whole group. Ideally this should include at least one external stakeholder/s linked to the challenge context (clinical/engineering/finance etc) able to provide authentic feedback. 

It can be fun then to introduce/revisit the concept of crowd funding and provide everyone in the audience with some currency (we have developed some university notes) and get them to fund their favourite proposal. Of course it could be that there will be some real funding available…

Impact:

This works best with some facilitators to help support the various groups as they progress through each activity and often can make a significantly positive impact where groups from different curriculum areas meet for the first time. Utilising external stakeholders to share their challenges can also help to add real value and excitement for learners. Learners tend to enjoy the active nature of the workshop and the rigours of presenting to an external stakeholder with potential solutions to the challenges set. 

Learner outcome:

Tend to see an increased awareness of wider enterprise and boost in confidence in terms of team working, design thinking, negotiation and engagement with audiences. A useful taster for deeper enterprising learning. Skilled reflection is vital throughout and post session/s through on-going programme.  Depending on the nature of the ‘challenge’ this can be extended to a module/programme duration.

Resources: 

  • Team building activities based in context – e.g. Clinical setting/Engineering/Creative/Education. 
  • Usual flip charts and pens etc. 
  • Raw materials for prototyping if possible 
  • Electronic devices to film short presentations 
  • Bespoke Currency for crowd funding session 
  • Prizes 

References:

Brown, T (2008) Design Thinking, Harvard Business Review, June 2008  (pages 85 – 92)
Dweck, C (2006) Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, By Dweck, Carol S. ( Author ) Dec-26-2007 Paperback
Krueger, N.F.Jr. (2010) 13 Looking Forward, Looking Backward: From entrepreneurial Cognition to Neuroentrepreneurship in Acs, Z.K and Audretsch, D.B. (eds.), 2nd Edition of the Handbook of Entrepreneurship Research, Springer 
Westfall, C (2012) The New Elevator Pitch: the definitive guide to persuasive communication in the digital age, Marie Street Press  

About the Author
This guide was produced by Carol Langston.

Preparing a Sales Forecast (QAA3,4)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Any

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management

Objective:

  • Understand the factors to consider when producing a sales forecast for their business
  • Understand the implications of variations from forecasts, particularly in terms of receiving payments

Overview: 

This activity is designed to provide an opportunity for the entrepreneur / small business owner to develop their forecasting skills and consider different scenarios of their business performance, specifically in terms of potential sales. 

Activity:

To consider and collate information to produce informed sale forecasts, gather the relevant information:


The Sales Forecast Checklist

  1. Details of any orders secured
  2. List all customers you expect to sell to over the forecast period, and how much you expect to sell to each.
  3. Market research data to support or verify these forecasts. What information have you gathered from potential customers?
  4. Supporting information such as examples from other similar ventures started recently, and drawing from company accounts and other sources.

Using this information prepare a sales forecast by value and volume for each major product group (e.g. for a hotel: bedrooms, restaurant) throughout the period of the business plan – at least 12 months.

 Month 1Month 2Month 3TotalNotes & Assumptions
Product 1          
Unit price          
No. of units sold        0  
Sales income (a) - - - -  
Product 1          
Unit price          
No. of units sold        0  
Sales income (b) - - - -  
Product 1           
Unit price          
No. of units sold        0  
Sales income (c) - - - -  
Total sales (a + b + c) - - - -  

Skill Development: 

This breaks down some of the key thinking and skills of the entrepreneur and allows the students to work through their assumptions.  This can be conducted in groups, or as individuals, allowing students to focus on start-up.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Business Case Framework "HotBox 500" (QAA 1,4,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management

Objective:

To devise innovative business proposals and prototypes to transform a waste asset into something that could be sold or traded; a product/service that creates impact for the community while also demonstrating a sustainable approach to using physical resources to achieve this, respecting the natural environment.

In setting out to achieving this objective it is anticipated learners will be better able to:

  • Explore sustainable business modelling
  • Develop creative thinking
  • Present in a Real world format
  • Evidence the power of group work as more ideas are created through team work.

Overview:

Hotbox 500 provides a unique opportunity for students to develop their entrepreneurial skills for community and environmental benefit. In short, a company is asked to donate 500 units of a product. Given the sustainability element of this project these are typically products that would otherwise be recycled or go direct to landfill. The aim of this activity is for students to repurpose these products in another context.

Activity:

Session 1 (1.5 hrs)  In one large group students are introduced to the idea of flourishing organisations; that is those characterised by values-based, vision driven business, with stakeholders who are committed to creating products, processes, and business models that address the major issues of our time (Senge, 2014).  Following this an introduction to the Hotbox 500 brief (see below) is given and several units of the donated product distributed among the group.

Hotbox 500 Brief

To devise innovative proposals and prototypes to transform this asset into something that could be sold or traded; a product/service that creates impact for the community as they define it, while also demonstrating a sustainable approach to using physical resources to achieve this, respecting the natural environment.

Students are then separated in to groups working in 4-6 in a team. Between now and the following session each group is to go away and initially brainstorm ideas of potential alternative uses and applications for the product.  They are prompted by three questions that will aid them in this process:
1. What is the opportunity they are trying to create with this asset?;
2. What are they trying to do differently?;
3. How are they trying to address a real-world need?

Session 2 (2 hrs) – The groups are introduced to creative thinking in the context of identifying what creative people do that is different- their methods and behaviours- to aid students in the formulation of alternative applications for the product. Following this students put into practice these methods and behaviours.  This part of the session is informed and supported by the text Sticky Wisdom (Allan et al, 2002). The role of facilitator here is to nurture the student’s ideas and build on the core questions set from the previous session.  The facilitator sets ‘SUN not RAIN’ ground rules to the students (see below).

Suspend Judgement,
Understand others proposals, no matter how crazy,
Nurture and build on Ideas
SUN

Don't React and judge an idea as being no good;
Assume that you know all the facts;
Insist on your point of view being the only right one;
Be Negative
RAIN

After establishing the ground rules the facilitator then leads the group through a creative thinking tool which enables students to explore the issues/challenges with their product from an entirely different perspective.  Random Links (Allan et al, 2002) is suggested but others can be used by the facilitator.

Random Links

Step One: Pick any random object it may be immediately around you or be something from your imagination. It has to be as unconnected from the current issue you are trying to resolve as possible.

Step Two: Having picked an object (e.g. a keyring) the group now considers everything they know about said object from its physical properties to its function and symbolic value.

Step Three: Having considered the qualities of the random object at great length students then connect the properties of the object to the issues they’re facing asking the question ‘What can this object usefully tell us about our issue?’.

Step Four: They then build up a picture of their issue and the qualities of the random link that have developed their thinking. This should enhance the business case they subsequently develop. They may even wish to role play a scenario around the service or product they are developing. This adds “realness” to the idea and is great way to prototype their ideas through innovative presentations with an audience.

Between now and the following session students are asked to complete a business case framework and develop a short presentation.

Session 3 (10-15 mins per group)
Each group gives their presentation in answer to the original brief in front a panel which includes the organisation that donated the original product. The panel will be looking for a product that incorporates the sustainable and environmental values of the brief. presentation (10-15 minutes).

Skill Development

Includes:

  • Creativity
  • Team working
  • Real-world Presentation
  • Negotiation and persuasion with peers and clients
  • Sustainable business modelling

Resources

500 donated products. 
Random objects for random links exercise.
Business Case Framework Template

References

Allan, D., Kingdon, M.,  Murrin, K. and Rudkin, D. (2002) Sticky Wisdom. London: Capstone Publishing Limited.

Senge, P. (2014) Foreward. In Laszlo, C. and Brown, J. Flourishing Enterprise- The New Spirit of Business. California: Stanford University Press.

 

 

 

About the Author
This guide was produced by Sybille Schiffman & Dr Emily Beaumont (Futures Entrepreneurship Centre & Plymouth University).

Your How To Guide Here

If you would like to have your How to Guide featured, please download the template and email the completed version to hello@etctoolkit.org.uk.

We have produced a guidance sheet which will assist you in completing the How to Guide.

If you have any questions regarding completing the template, please Contact Us.

Case Examples

Biotechnology & Business Module (QAA 1234567)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6)

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Presentation Space, Carousel Tables (small working group)

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

1Creativity and Innovation 2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

 

  • Provide students with the opportunity to generate a business idea/product and identify opportunities/market needs within the Biotechnology field
  • Provide students with the opportunity & guidance to test & create the feasibility of their product through the creation of a feasibility report
  • Enable students to reflect on their own learning and use that to identify future learning needs/opportunities
  • Provide students with ample opportunity to develop group working, communication and independent learning skills

 

 

Introduction:

 

The module is based around students working in groups to form ‘company teams’ which collaboratively generated a (fictional, use of pseudo-science allowed) biotechnology product (e.g. medical device, new therapeutic etc). The product should answer a real-world biotechnology problem and/or market need, they then tested its business feasibility. Students receive 3 hours contact time per week, over 12 weeks; learning was further supported by directed and self-directed research and tasks. In order to form the companies students undertook a Belbin role audit and were ranked for their suitability for each role; from this, module leaders chose ‘company leaders’ (Highest Co-ordinator scores). Each company leader received their Belbin role audit back and selected their team members based on the ‘skills’/roles they felt were most needed in their company.

 

The module contains numerous small tasks throughout (formative/summative, written/presentation and individual/group work) and culminates in a group Dragons’ Den style pitch for investment and a group Feasibility Report for their product.

 

Activity:

 

The creation of the companies is done within the first week and when each student is selected for a company they have to give an elevator pitch on who they are, what are their strengths and what can they bring to the company. We also do some icebreaker games with the class to break down any barriers between the students both within a company and within the class. Once the companies are formed it is up to them to decide what real-world and/or market-need they will meet with their product. The three main fields of biotech are medical devices, pharmaceuticals and agribiotech, we guide the students (if required) to ensure that each of these fields are represented (as long as we have 3 companies).

 

The weekly sessions are designed to guide the students through the process of creating the feasibility report and are broken down into a 1-hour session early in the week and a 2-hour session later in the week. The 1hr sessions generally involve some content delivery (short lecture) by a lecturer and the rest of the time is a company development workshop based on the lecture content (for example, market analysis, IP, finance). The 2-hour sessions will contain a talk by an external speaker (someone who works either for a biotech company or in a related industry e.g. patent lawyer) and student presentations or company development workshops. Throughout the module students will come across barriers to their product (e.g. a saturated market or key patents held by other companies) and they have to problem solve and navigate these in order to keep their product viable.

 

Students will give a total of 6 presentations throughout the module (not counting the Dragons’ Den Pitch), half will be formative and the rest summative, they are also broken down so that the students start with a group presentation then do a pair presentation, then an individual presentation before returning to a group presentation – allowing them to get sufficient practice at presenting and build up to an individual presentation. The student presentations are all based around a common theme (e.g. Biotech Ethical Issues) but the companies are asked to make their presentations relevant to their company. This way a student who is involved with a pharmaceutical based company can still learn about the subtle differences that would apply to the other biotechnology companies’ fields (i.e. Peer-learning). All elements of group work are subject to self- and peer-assessment. Apart from the individual presentation (summative) individuals also have a chance to display their own proficiency through weekly reflective logs (7 formative and 3 summative) and a final reflective log (summative).

 

The Dragons’ Den panel is made up from some of the expert external speakers as well as two members of the module team (including the module leader). The students pitch is 20minutes long and they are asked questions at the end by the panel. The presence of the external speakers provide a critical real-world eye on the actual business feasibility side of the product both in terms of questions to the company and feedback on the pitch to the staff when considering the marks. We actually make an event of this part of the assessment asking students to dress smart for the occasion and have a small reception (with the Dragons) afterwards. The feasibility report is quite a substantial piece of work that they have been slowly creating throughout the module and is usually in the region of 40-60 pages in length.

 

Impact & Skills Developed:

 

Students gain a great deal from this 100% coursework based module. The module is very student-centred with minimal content given by the lecturer/s and the external speakers, developing great independence in the students. Having to work in a group for a whole module (12 weeks) poses a lot of challenges for the students, but also enables them to learn how to work effectively in a group (as opposed to being in a group for a couple of weeks to undertake one assignment) and how to communicate well. Giving the students repeated opportunities to give presentations in class is an excellent way to enable them to develop good presentation and communication skills. In fact after the first presentation I also inform them that from this point on they are no longer allowed to use notes during their presentations – this is met with horror initially but this simple act has an enormous impact on increasing the quality of the presentations. Students also appreciate the opportunity to ‘work up to’ an individual presentation, which otherwise they may not get the opportunity to do until their placement year or even their final year dissertation presentation. Throughout the module the students get the opportunity to be creative and innovative, as well as spot opportunities, critically analyse, problem solve and make decisions as they develop their product and their company (including name, logo and product design).

 

Learner outcomes:

 

Here are some comments from past students about the module:

 

During this module self-assessment has been import and I have learnt about myself through reflection in order to improve my skills & learning processes more efficiently.”

 

I feel like this course has taught me valuable lessons in how to not only work well in a team, but how to best resolve a conflict situation

 

The skill of presenting & speaking has helped me throughout the term whilst taking part in assessment days for companies, where the final activity for both involved having to present to the interviewers. I believe this [module] provided me with a strong advantage over the other candidates and this purely was due to this course.”

 

Constant practice of public speaking & presenting also allowed me to work on my skills and see the improvements I was making first hand.”

 

Working in a team is clearly an important skill for nearly any future job and in normal life, as it is the skills needed for effective interaction with others and for being productive and not disruptive when working with others.”

 

The teaching process whereby we moved from doing whole group presentations to individual presentations, helped me build up my confidence at presenting and my general presentations skills.”

 

This [module] was far more effective for long-term understanding and information storage than hour lectures and cramming for exams as for nearly all my other modules.”

 

This module is more useful for preparing me for an actual career.”

 

I especially enjoyed applying some of the developed skills during the course.”

 

Having applied the entrepreneurial skills throughout this module, I now feel that I can easily identify opportunities within the field of biosciences and making informed decisions regarding the applicability of such opportunities.”

 

I feel I have learned to approach problems by immediately developing a strategy to tackle them.”

 

I found the whole process of developing these [enterprise] skills, attributes and behaviours extremely rewarding as I was actively improving myself in terms of professional and personal development.”

 

The reflective writing we had to do proved to be extremely useful and has helped me develop both professionally and personally.”

 

It is ok not to always be perfect or the best, even as a group leader. On occasion, it can be useful as a leader to show your team that everyone can make mistakes and then use them to learn from and act sensibly to this failure”.

 

Resources:

 

External Speakers

Marking Scheme

 

References:

Adams & Sparrow (2008). Enterprise for Life Scientists: Developing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Biosciences. Scion Publishing Ltd. Bloxham, UK.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Dr Zoë Prytherch (Lecturer & Degree Scheme Co-Ordinator for Biotechnology, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University.).

Reflection through Inquiry (QAA 2,5,6,7)

Group Size ? 1.) Small group (teams of 4-6)
2.) Individual Task
3.) Large Group
4.) Any

Small group (teams of 4-6), Individual Task

Learning Environment ? 1.) Lecture Theatre
2.) Presentation Space
3.) Carousel Tables (small working group)
4.) Any
5.) Outside
6.) Special

Outside

QAA Enterprise Theme(s) ? 1.) Creativity and Innovation
2.) Opportunity recognition, creation and evaluation
3.) Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement
4.) Implementation of ideas through leadership and management
5.) Reflection and Action
6.) Interpersonal Skills
7.) Communication and Strategy
8.) Digital and Data Skills

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • To use ‘E-field trips’ as a cost effective method of engaging with the industry or external businesses and enabling collective learning.
  • To enable the learner to engage with the subject content from a ‘practitioners’ point of view.
  • To prepare the learner in terms of communication, enquiry and initiative.

 

Overview:

The focus within this task is to help Business/Enterprise students to engage with an environment i.e. external to the University and develop inquisitive and presentation skills. Remember, “When questioning stops, progress of knowledge ceases”, the task intends to help students develop the ability to ask the right questions and develop curiosity by helping them learn through a ‘sense of discovery’. The satisfaction of discovering information independently is a effective learning tool. The task asserts that one of the key ways for a student to understand Business or Enterprise is to engage with people who enterprise themselves by the method of an informal or semi-structured interview and use the findings to analyse and reflect on the ‘content’ i.e. available to them through the module at University.

  

Activity:

Stage 1) Fix an appointment with an Entrepreneur of your choice.

Stage 2) Record a video interview.  Do not have a question oriented approach, this will curb the inquiry process. Ask the Entrepreneur instead to ‘tell a story’ which may include the following aspects:

a)            How thy came about doing business?

b)            Who helped them in the process of start-up? (For example in funding the business- family/friends)?

c)            What were the challenges they encountered in the process?

d)            Did they have a formal Business plan, if not, how did they go about setting up the venture?

e)            How is it that they keep up with changing consumer behaviours, changing technology etc.?

Stage 3) Reflect on the Entrepreneurs’ narrative and then relate the findings with the content of a subject you study (for example Business Planning etc.).

Stage 4) Prepare a presentation of your reflection emerging out of stage 3.

Stage 5) Play the recorded interview in the classroom for all your peers to see and hear.

Stage 6) Now present your reflection as per your understanding and allow the students to ask questions and encourage them to share their reflection.

 

Skill Development:

The task will allow the student to develop an inquisitive mind-set, it’s a practice of asking the right questions in order to uncover the right answers. It will also help increase the confidence of the student to communicate with Entrepreneurs and develop their network with key people in the industry. The best ways for students to learn Business or Enterprise as per me is to have a triangular approach which involves learning (at University), researching/doing (with the Entrepreneur interview) and reflecting (by yourself) and along with your peers.

This approach helps students to engage with interesting businesses and Entrepreneurs who share their Effectual/Informal knowledge of Enterprise and Business. This knowledge in unique and helpful in its own right as not everything written in text books applies in the real world. This is a chance for students to experience how things ‘really happen out there’.

The students tend to learn through a variety of different business case studies and experience the knowledge of diverse entrepreneurs.

The task enables student learning through doing and reflecting. The element of discovering the facts themselves is a very effective learning tool. The students feel in charge of the task, right from choosing the Entrepreneur/Business to setting the questions and presenting their reflection/findings.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Mr. Nihar Amoncar (Faculty of Business and Society, University of South Wales).

Your Example Here

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Additional Resources

Cases Studies of Good Practice

can be found in Higher Education Academy booklet (2014) Enhancing Employability through Enterprise Education Case Studies and includes several examples from university-wide modules as well as the Business Schools at Edinburgh Napier, Buckingham and Glasgow Caledonian Universities.

Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK) regularly share members practice, including examples such Sheffield Hallam's innovative approach to providing students with opportunities to address real-life challenges, getting work experience in a safe and secure environment - the Venture Matrix.

Business Start-Up Resources

BOSS stands for the Business Online Support Service, provided by Business Wales. This service provides online learning courses to help people who are thinking about, or actually, starting a business, already running a business or looking to grow their business.

Big Ideas Wales The Big Ideas Wales campaign is part of the Business Wales service, designed to support the next generation of young entrepreneurs in Wales.

Nesta Creative Enterprise Toolkit
Our enterprise resource toolkit contains tried and tested methods for teaching enterprise skills to creative individuals who are thinking about setting up a business.  Available for purchase - with access to resources here http://www.nesta.org.uk/sites/default/files/cet_worksheets_case_studies_and_tutor_notes.pdf