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

  • Assess personal abilities realistically and recognise personal frameworks
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the need to manage personal equilibrium
  • Demonstrate a high level of communication skills
  • Use supervision, reflection and self-directed learning in order to promote personal effectiveness
  • Manage uncertainty and stress
  • Manage time and plan their workload
  • Identify individual learning needs
  • Reflect and modify behaviour in the light of experience and advice
  • Work with others, negotiate, conciliate and develop partnerships
  • Work in a team and develop leadership skills

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.


A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF HOT SEATS (QAA 5,6,7)

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

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

5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

Participants gain confidence in responding to questioning under pressure. They may importantly also learn that they need to ‘act’ differently with different stakeholders. They learn quickly to adapt to others’ point of view.

Overview:

This is a group exercise. Members of the group in turn are put in the ‘Hot Seat’ to respond to intensive questioning from other group members. Traditionally, this ‘Hot Seating’ technique is used by actors to help them identify with the character they are playing. It is used in entrepreneurship education to enable participants to get inside the culture and values of stakeholders with whom they might have to deal. But it can also be used for intensive questioning of an individual’s own personal aims, objectives and plans including business plans. Other participant’s (the group) act as interrogators in this exercise; note: it can be useful to agree ground rules as what is appropriate in terms of questioning and approach within this task.

Activity:

The hot seat itself is in the middle of a semi-circle of chairs. The person in the ‘Hot Seat’ can be himself/herself or represent a client or stakeholder. Dependent upon the role, questions fired rapidly may relate to personal issues; business/organisational problems or community activities (part of ground rules).

Example Hot Seat: Business/plan/idea

The individual is surrounded by those role playing different stakeholders which the plan might need to convince. The aim is to create recognition that the plan will be seen very differently by very different stakeholders. Interrogators may, for example, play the roles of bankers, venture capitalists, family, local government officials offering grants; a potential large customer who will be judging whether to include the client on a buying list or a major potential supplier who may be asked for credit.

Other participants can then be similarly hot seated. At the end of the hot seating there can be a review of what has been learned about the business plan as a relationship management instrument and how it might be best developed to meet different needs.

Example Hot Seat: different stakeholders
Using the same focus of the business plan; hot seater’s, in turn, can be asked to play the roles of different stakeholders, as above, and are quizzed about what they are looking for and why?

Example Hot Seating: on a problem
The technique can be used to role-play individuals from a case study with the aim of creating lively personalised discussion of major points for learningfrom the case. It can also be used to focus discussion on how to deal with a particular problem set out in a simple brief.

Skill Development:

This is an exercise in thinking and responding under pressure. It also is designed to stimulate understanding of relationship management and the value ofthinking empathetically. It can be used to throw light on the ‘organisational cultures’ of different stakeholders that make them see the same things in different ways.

Resources

A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price - Download (PDF) 

About the Author
This guide was produced by Professor Allan Gibb and Professor Alison Price .

Champion Icebreaker (QAA 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)

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

5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective: 

To let the participants champion themselves and each other, as well as getting to know each other better. 

It is used to introduce participants to each other in a positive, upbeat way that emphasises each participant's value to the group.

Overview: 

Champions will help a team to acknowledge and recognise the strengths of themselves and those around them. It is great for the start of a sessions as induces positivity to a meeting or discussion. 

Activity:

  1. Have participants pair up.
  2. Allow 5 minutes for participants to interview each other and learn more about each other.
  3. Each participant then introduces his or her partner to the group.
  4. The introduction should "sell" the person on how great he or she is and on how he or she will significantly contribute to the meeting or the task at hand.

For example... "This is Lucy. She's been a student for only a short time. She brings a different perspective, yes. But more importantly, she's very good at helping people work together. She helps find bridges and commonalities among differing opinions, and she can do this without making anyone feel as if he or she 'won' or 'lost.'"

It is important to make sure participants understand that the goal is not just to introduce their partner. The goal is to champion their partner, to show the rest of the group what a great asset their partner is to the meeting, team, or work group.

  • You could also add some variation to this icebreaker.  Have participants work in teams of three. Two people introduce and champion the third one.
  • If time is limited, or if you want to reinforce self-confidence, don't have participants pair up. Rather, each participant introduces himself or herself. During their introduction, participants champion themselves, explaining what value they bring to the group. 
  • This activity can work for much larger groups by first dividing them into smaller teams.

Skill Development: 

The focus is to show the group that they have now broken the ice and that they know each other a little better than they did before, and they have figured out where there strengths lie. It's important for the facilitator to engage and make sure that there is time in the activity for reflection on what they have 'championed'.  

Key skills of public speaking and presentation are clearly apparent here and it can be useful to reflect with the group why it might be easier to showcase someone else, rather than themselves.  It is also possible to explore the styles of presentation used to "sell" or champion someone else to explore what forms an effective method to hook the audience.  Presentation styles can be scored across the group (or voted on by the group) to reinforce what was most appropriate and what appealed to the audience most, and from that key learning can be drawn out.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Reflection on Values (QAA 5,6,7)

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

5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

To understand the importance of values and explore how are values affect us and our decision making

To recognise our own values

To recognise the difference in people's values

Overview:

This session can be run by working with learners remotely (through a learning log or diary – see QAAreflectivediary) or in a group discussion in order to explore individual values. It can be useful to help groups explore their approaches and the values that underpin them.

Activity

This activity takes no more than thirty minutes to deliver in a group setting and needs few resources (have a prepared Flip chart replicating the grid with enough columns to suit the numbers in the group). However if delivered as a prompt within a reflective diary or personal learning document, this task and its outcome can be revisited throughout the learning process.

As a group task:

Ask each individual to take some time to read a list of values and decide which are the most important 5 values.

Once these values have been identified, they are asked to rank them by placing them in order of importance ie 1 being the most important. When they have all finished ask them to go behind the flip chart one at a time and put their scores in the grid when they have all sat down turn the flip chart around to group to discuss the range of findings.

Typically no two sets are the same, indicating the range across the group and ask them to discuss the diversity that they see.

Feedback and discussion should not now be task focused (particularly as values can be deeply held and discussions can be wide ranging at this point) but focused upon how to work together if the values are very different.

Please choose your top five values numbering your selection in order of importance 1 being the top and 5 being the lower value.

List of Values can be generic, task or profession focused or related to group work (see below)

Values listed could include:

  • Wealth
  • Peace
  • Environmental Protection
  • Human rights
  • Animal rights
  • Respect for all religions
  • Health
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Culture
  • Arts

Amend: it may be possible to alter this generic list to make reference to issues or debates within your sector/industry or a potential profession. This may require some research or background reading by the students which may impact upon scheduling this task to the following week after the issues have been announced.

Amend 2: Reflective Group work task

It may also be useful in developing communication skills for group work to alter these values to key elements of group work and ask the group to explore these elements and explore what is important to those working in the group and how best to work together, where there are recognised differences. These could include:

  • group harmony
  • time keeping
  • task compliance
  • client satisfaction
  • leadership
  • consensus building
  • deadlines
  • delivery
  • high quality
  • respect for the individual
  • satisfactory outcome
  • professional expertise
  • business like attitude
  • creativity

Skill Development:

This is great exercise for getting people to appreciate how diverse we all are and we should be aware of that when working with others. It is important to ensure that respect for all participants is maintained throughout and it can be helpful to create ground rules at the start of the discussion; however it is also important to build the skills of active listening and build confidence in expressing emotions or strong feelings. It may be helpful to reflect with a colleague on this task, and the group undertaking it, if you wish to be prepared for the range of observations and discussions that may stem from the group.

Group discussions should conclude with consideration of how to take this learning forward into future activities and tasks, whilst individuals can be prompted in their learning diaries or personal reflective logs to explore their emotions in relation to these issues.

As one of the more fundamental elements of communication and improving interpersonal skills, it is important that, as a facilitator, you are able to draw out the learning from this task, rather than allow the merits inherent within each of the values/topics to dominate the discussions.

Resources:

  • Paper
  • Felt Tip Pens
  • Flip Chart

About the Author
This guide was produced by ARP.

Communication Re-evaluation (QAA 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)

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

5Reflection and Action 6Interpersonal Skills 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

To understand the importance of developing our feedback techniques as part of a communication and working with others.

Overview:

This session is run as a stand-alone group activity in an informal environment with all participants sitting in a relaxed state in order to create lots of opportunity for group discussions and sharing experiences in order to refine their use of language and consider messages from different perspectives.

Activity

This activity takes about 30 minutes to deliver the airline pilot communication, set the scene: and explore the results with the group together the importance of giving effective constructive feedback when communicating.

Before beginning it is useful to indicate that you are doing a hypothetical task relating to air travel to ensure that you are not working too close to an individual’s phobia or concerns relating to airline travel. You may wish to exempt someone who feels that they may be uncomfortable with the task, but recognise this element is part of the task when giving feedback.

Turning a negative into a positive: The airline pilot scenario

As facilitator, read this announcement to your group, after explaining that they have been sat in an aeroplane for about 15 minutes, when the pilot speaks to you over the intercom:

"Good morning, this is your pilot speaking. We are going to have to delay our departure for about 40 minutes. There have been problems with the cargo onto the airplane and this will take some time to sort out. The plane is also at the present time being refuelled.

When we take off, we shall be flying due east and going at a height of 30.000 feet. The weather forecast in the area is not good and it looks as if we could have quite a bit of turbulences route, so please keep in your seats and I understand the weather at our destination is also bad for this time of year which is causing delays to departures and arrivals.I will let know as we have any further information"

Ask the group informally to share what they heard from this announcement. Explore the feelings of the group as well as the message.

Then provide the text, either as a handout, or on screen and set the task: Can you communicate this information in a more positive way?

All the above information is factually correct, however even before take-off the captain has put you in a poor mood for the journey.

Give the group 10 minutes to read through and come up with a more positive statement. Then go around the group for them to talk through their statements and then talk though the groups as to how and why they presented this information differently and how they might communicate the need to use different language to the pilot. Discuss how to give feedback to colleagues/team members and explore their previous experience of poor feedback.

Discuss how feedback statements are heard and how language can shape what is heard.

Use the following Feedback key points (below) to guide your discussions and agree how best to handle feedback which improves service and quality, and particularly when colleagues are unaware of any performance issues or potential increase in quality that can be achieved.

Feedback should be

  • In a form that is appropriate and acceptable to the receiver
  • descriptive not evaluative
  • about behaviour not personality
  • based on examples

When you give feedback make sure you:

  • communicate how you felt
  • get others to support your observations
  • confirm good as well as bad
  • allow the recipient to question
  • are timely
  • identify sources

When receiving feedback

  • accept it is for your own good
  • be positive
  • listen carefully
  • check and clarify understanding
  • check with others
  • expand on feedback given
  • decide how to use feedback
  • thank the giver

When giving feedback to individuals

  • use supporting evidence
  • be positive
  • gain commitment
  • clarify implications of feedback
  • build up self confidence
  • gain agreement of the way forward
  • develop action plans
  • communicate decisions to appropriate personnel

Skill Development:

The discussion of this task should focus on reflection; review; feedback (see points above) in order to explore the learning through group discussion. It is important that you establish the need to understand the importance of how to give feedback in a safe constructive way which continues to motivate individuals to deliver.

This communication task explores the more subtle, and powerful elements of an individual's communication skills and it can be useful to draw on experiences from part-time/previous jobs or courses to truly understand the emotional impact of feedback and establish the need to consider timing; task; emotional state; message etc when giving feedback. Individual experiences from the group, should they wish to share, can be particularly powerful in exploring group work, team work and motivating for improvement.

Review these lessons and then explore with the group what they can 'take-away' for the future, both as a giver of good and supportive feedback, and a possible receiver of well-intended, but badly executed feedback. What ground rules for feedback can they use in their group work? Can they add this to their meeting agendas? What language is appropriate? What happens when feedback is not accepted within their group?

Resources:

Pilot statement Handouts (or power point slide of text) to produce mid task.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Enterprise Evolution.

Opportunity Spotting Within a Narrative Journey (QAA 2, 3, 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)

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

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

Objective:

  • The learner will discover that they have entrepreneurial abilities and potential
  • The learner will get an insight into the world of 'everyday' entrepreneurship
  • The learner will become more alert to opportunity recognition
  • This is a useful session for the reluctant entrepreneur – those who might think it's not for them, particularly arts students.

Overview:

Activity:

This is a two hour session and it will begin abruptly by creating a case study with the student group.

The idea is to pick on a student and announce in 5 years' time "Jane"(or John) will run a successful arts consultancy. This will raise some surprised gasps and giggles which will immediately engage students' attention. The narrative that unfolds will demonstrate: how Jane started out in one direction but discovered, and followed, opportunities elsewhere, how she took a few risks, showed resilience in the face of setbacks and how she turned to her networks (other students in the room who come into the story) to help her fill skills gaps and capacity problems.

The case study is pre prepared and can be tailored to the cohort. It should be approximately 10 mins long and the story should be plausible – not extraordinary – a case of everyday entrepreneurship. It will be fun as it draws the students into a fictional story.

Following this there is a 30 min breakout to discuss in groups of 3 or 4 to analyse Jane / John's journey: how did he do it, the key factors for success, would you have done it differently, could you have done the same journey, have you encountered any similar situations to John, if so what did you do? Students post thoughts on stickies.

The management of feedback here is important because the students, who are reluctant entrepreneurs, should be led to the explanation that this behaviour is entrepreneurial. The session is to not only identify the behaviour as entrepreneurial but to get the students to reflect on their experiences in similar situations and imagine how they would respond. The idea is for the students to see enterprise as tangible, every day (familiar even), as a series of minor steps and small scale risks and about trying things out to see what happens.

The upshot of the feedback session is that the students 'discover' the entrepreneurial mind-set for themselves – they have not listened to an expert talk about it for 50 mins – and that they identify with it as something they can do themselves.

Skill Development:

The session finishes with 10-15 mins reflection where students have to pledge to do something entrepreneurial that week. It could be something they had been thinking about for a while but had made excuses not to do it. Others may need a little help and guidance from peers about what they might do, so reflection and pledge setting should be discussed in groups. The follow up session (if appropriate) will be when more detailed reflections can emerge and when students can get a measure of where they might be regarding their own development in terms of entrepreneurship and the enterprising mind-set.

Resources:

  • Post-its or similar sticky pads
  • Pens
  • Flip chart

About the Author
This guide was produced by Dr Peter McLuskie, Coventry University. If you would like to contact the author, please use this email address:- Peter.McLukie@coventry.ac.uk.

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

Your Example Here

If you would like to have your Case Study 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 Case Study.

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

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.


A model for an Interdisciplinary intrapreneurship-entrepreneurship module (QAA2,3,4,7)

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

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

2Opportunity recognition‚ creation and evaluation 3Decision making supported by critical analysis and judgement 4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • The learner will understand the importance of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behaviour in the context of their subject area
  • Will engage with subjects outside their discipline to pitch for and explore ideas and concepts
  • To reflect and draw personal conclusions about their capacities and capabilities for entrepreneurial behaviour
  • To research and persuade others of the feasibility and viability of their ideas
  • To conclude with a ‘live’ opportunity which they can research and develop further through a research project/dissertation, employment or a new business venture

Overview: 

This type of module is appropriate on applied courses, or courses ‘with enterprise’. It is especially valuable where students from a range of disciplines are taught together, invited to ‘bring their discipline and interests with them’ (of course, discipline and interests are not always/often synonymous, and this approach helps with that!)

Activity: 

Students engage in a shared first lecture, setting the context for the module, discussing, and responding to individual learner expectations, and an introduction to innovation, delivered by an inventor, which asks the students to invest in one of a series of inventions, based on a case study of each in practice. They are encouraged to reflect on their choice, and in particular the reasons why they feel that their chosen option represents most value.

In week 2 students return to their own discipline (or choose an area of interest based on the available disciplines) and a session is led by academics and industry guests/entrepreneurs focussing on ‘the current and future trends in the XYZ industry’. This tends to be ‘products for users in Science and Engineering’ subjects (e.g. pets and children), and ‘approaches’ in other subjects (e.g. social and online media). 

Week 3 is a facilitated session in which students join interdisciplinary groups (formulated with as wide a variety of disciplines as possible (e.g. 1xcomputing science, 1xbiology, 1xmarketing and management) and share their findings from the previous week to identify areas of shared interest and the skills each member can contribute.

The remainder of the sessions are built around convincing the module assessors, and industry/entrepreneurs that your emerging idea is worth spending more time, money and effort on developing, and that individual students have the appropriate skills and motivations to deliver on the opportunity. The design of the remaining sessions is aimed at students achieving this objective. Remaining module content and tools can be designed together with the students, using flipped classroom, online resources, and update meetings alongside taught lecture material.

Skill Development: 

The confidence gained by the students is seen as they engage with each other and with externals (industry experts).  They are exposed to entrepreneurship through opportunity spotting and evaluation, and through building their reflective and persuasive/selling skills.  By working in teams they are building collaborative approaches to problem solving and task completion.

Resources: 

Planned engagement – including engagement of academics, entrepreneurs and industry partners in each discipline where a student originates.

Time to coach groups individually, access to mentors or online interaction.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Katie Wray.

Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach - EXERCISE: AIRPLANE CONTEST (QAA 1,5,7)

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

Small group (teams of 4-6), Large Group

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), 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

1Creativity and Innovation 5Reflection and Action 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • Practice pitching new concepts.
  • Critique pitches for new concepts.
  • Understand the importance of pitch versus idea. 
  • Simulate prototype development and feasibility testing.

Overview:

Rocket pitches or elevator pitches are often the first opportunity for an entrepreneur to convince potential investors that they have an idea that represents a profitable opportunity. These are often only one to five minute presentations, but they can have a significant impact on the entrepreneur’s ability to attract investors as well as other potential stakeholders. This can be particularly true in the early stages of a venture before the entrepreneur has a viable product, and he or she has to quickly convince potential stakeholders of his or her vision and the potential of the idea. Entrepreneurs often think that their idea is the most important aspect of the pitch, but studies have shown that U.S. venture capitalists consider personal characteristics such as the entrepreneur’s ability to articulate his or her venture to be critical in determining whether or not they will reject an entrepreneur’s plan.

In this exercise, students design a paper airplane that must be capable of carrying a predetermined amount of currency in the form of coins. The airplanes will compete in two categories – time that the plane can stay aloft and the distance it can travel. However, students pitch their design to their classmates (the investors) in an effort to convince them their design is the best before the contest takes place. 

The exercise has worked well for illustrating the importance of a good pitch and helps students to better understand what constitutes a good pitch from an investor’s perspective.

Usage Suggestions

This exercise works with both undergraduate and graduate students. It is appropriate for new venture creation courses, entrepreneurship boot-camps, or workshops. The session is best positioned after students have identified a venture concept, project, or family or corporate initiative to pursue and are preparing for an elevator speech or rocket pitch type presentation. Technology entrepreneurship or innovation classes are also appropriate.

Activity:

Pre- Work Required by Students

Students are to be given the following instructions in the class period prior to running the exercise: “You are to design and create a new paper airplane capable of keeping one U.S. dollar of coins aloft for as long (time) as possible while simultaneously transporting the coins as far (distance) as possible. The assignment is as follows:

  1. You may work individually or in a group of up to four students; the only group-related implication is that your airplane design must use the same number of standard size sheets as the number of people in the group (for example, a group of four must create an airplane that uses four sheets of paper in its design). 
  2. Your plane must be designed to transport one U.S. dollar of coinage (or other local currency). You may choose the number and denominations of coins used; your only constraint is that their total value be exactly one dollar. 
  3. You may not simply crumple the paper into a ball, as this would constitute a projectile rather than an aerodynamically sensitive aircraft- based design.

You will be required to pitch your design to your classmates. You will have two minutes to convince your classmates that your design will perform the best. Performance on the exercise will be based on a combination of actual performance of your airplane and the number of votes your design gets from your classmates in each category (time and distance).”

Time Plan (80 minutes)

Because each team will pitch their idea, the time required for the exercise will vary with class and team size. The timing outlined here is based on a class size of 30 students and ten teams.

Step 1 0:00–0:02 (2 minutes) 

Begin the exercise by explaining the voting rules to the students. Students are allowed to vote for only one team (excluding their own) in each of the two categories (distance and time). They are not required to vote for the same design in each category. It helps to provide a sheet for each of the students to record their votes, or, if your students have computers and internet access, you can use an online voting system (this will require you to set it up before the class).

Step 2 0:02–0:27 (25 minutes) 

Next, have each team pitch their idea to their classmates. Teams should be strictly limited to two minutes each.

Step 3 0:27–0:32 (5 minutes) 

Have the students record their votes for the design they think will perform best in each category. Remind them that they cannot vote for their own design.

Step 4 0:32–0:52 (20 minutes)

Take the class to an open area in which to conduct the actual flights. An indoor area such as a gymnasium works best, but you can run it outdoors as well (which can introduce additional uncertainty into the performance for the students). Each team gets one throw. You should have a line that they cannot cross for throwing, and you should record the time that their plane stays aloft. After the plane has landed, measure and record the distance. It helps if you assign this task to one or more of the students.

Step 5 0:52–1:00 (8 minutes) 

Return to the classroom. Record the votes and the actual performance for each team on the board.

Step 6 (exercise debrief) 1:00–1:20 (20 minutes) 

If time allows, you can have a short discussion about their process with regard to creating their design. This can help to illustrate how an entrepreneur can take a constraint and turn it into an opportunity. Additionally, this can highlight the importance of prototyping and learning from failure, and many of the teams that perform well often trial several different designs. Some possible questions include:

  • How did they view the issue of the coins? 
  • Did they see it as a negative constraint? Why? 
  • Did they see it as an opportunity to incorporate it into the design and improve its performance? 
  • How did they try to differentiate their design? 
  • Did they try to optimize for time or distance or try both? 
  • Did they prototype and test designs?

Next, discuss the aspect of effective pitching. The idea here is to get them to appreciate the importance of the entrepreneur and his or her pitch to investors. Owing to the uncertainty inherent in many early- stage entrepreneurial ventures, investors will typically put more emphasis on the entrepreneur and his or her ability to “sell” the idea, as well as their confidence in the entrepreneur’s ability to execute on his or her pitch – one has to be careful not to oversell the concept.

  • How did it feel to try to “sell” your classmates on your design?
  • What were the biggest challenges? 
  • How did you decide to invest? 
  • How important was the way in which they presented the concept? 
  • Confidence? 
  • What was compelling about the pitch or the entrepreneur? 
  • Why do you think people did or did not vote for your design?
  • What would you do to improve your pitch?

Wrap the discussion up with a summary of the importance of clearly articulating your idea and convincing the audience of your ability to execute on your idea.

Post- Work

Have the students read the following articles (this can be done beforehand if you prefer):

  • Elsbach, K.D. 2003. How to pitch a brilliant idea. Harvard Business Review, 81(9), 117–23. 
  • Santinelli, A., and Brush, C. 2013. Designing and Delivering the Perfect Pitch. Wellesley, MA: Babson College Case Collection.

Teaching Tips

Students will often try to game the system (depending on how much freedom you give them). For example, they may choose to use different weights of paper or design a flying disc as opposed to a traditional airplane. You can decide how vague you want to be. If you want to have more discussion on the creative process and pushing the boundaries, then being more vague in the instructions can lead to a good discussion on how entrepreneurs try to push the rules and boundaries. Some students will feel “cheated,” but this can still provide a good learning point.

Skill Development: 

Key Takeaways

  • Ability to quickly and clearly articulate an idea is often more important than the idea itself. 
  • Investors often focus on their belief in the entrepreneur’s ability to execute on the idea rather than the idea itself – particularly under conditions of uncertainty. 
  • Prototyping can be an effective way to deal with an unknown environment and develop your product or service.

Resources: 

Materials List

Provide students with paper for their airplanes in order to maintain a standard paper type and weight. Alternatively, you can leave this open to interpretation as a means of encouraging greater creativity among the teams. You will need a tape measure and a stopwatch for the actual competition.

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.131 – 135). Edition. Edward Elgar Pub.

Attribution

  • Reginald A. Litz, Dell McStay, Sergio Janczak, and Carolyn Birmingham, “Kitty hawk in the classroom: A simulation exercise for facilitating creative and entrepreneurial behavior,” United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) 2011 conference – Entrepreneurship: Changing the Present, Creating the Future, South Carolina, United States, January 2011.

Theoretical Foundations

MacMillan, I.C., Siegel, R., and Subba Narisimha, P.N. 1985. Criteria used by venture capitalists to evaluate new venture proposals. Journal of Business Venturing, 1, 119–28. 

Ries, E. 2011. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. New York: Crown Publishing.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Bradley George.

Defining your Customer Base (QAA4,5)

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

4Implementation of ideas through leadership and management 5Reflection and Action

Objective:

  • Develop and demonstrate their understanding of their customers, by describing their characteristics and motivations.

Overview: 

This activity should be undertaken individually by the entrepreneur, then to be discussed with the business development provider or peers in a group situation.  Asking the entrepreneur to explain their answers will help them to deepen their understanding of their customers, help to identify where there are information gaps and therefore what additional market research may be required.

Activity: 

Instructions

Invite the entrepreneurs / small business owner to consider their customers and to describe them in terms of each of the following categories:

  • Demographic, who are your customers?  What is their typical profile in terms of age, gender, income, employment status etc.? 
  • Geographic, where are your customers and where do they buy your products / services?
  • Psychographic, what’s important to your customers? What are their values and aspirations; what kind of lifestyle do they have? 
  • Behaviour, how often and when do your customers buy?

And then describe what the benefits the product or service brings to customers.

My customers …..

The benefit of my product / service to my customers is …..

Skill Development:

By developing analytical and reasoning skills within entrepreneurial learners, it is possible to test assumptions and explore research findings with a clear context of start-up.  This activity focuses upon the understanding of the potential customer and requires research and reflective skills.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Lisa McMullan.

Defining the Marketing Message (QAA3,7)

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 7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

  • Develop their own ‘marketing message’ – content that can be used to describe their product / service that will inform customers about what it is; inspire them to make a purchase by explaining the benefits the product / service offers; and provide details of how to engage so that the customers knows what to do to make a purchase.

Overview:

The focus of this task is to develop a well-constructed marketing message which describes the benefits of a product/service to customers.

Activity:

Instructions  

Invite the entrepreneur to complete the ‘Message Matrix’ below to describe their product or service:

Inform

What is it you are selling?

Inspire

Why should the customer buy from you? 

Engage

What should the customer do next? Ensure they have all the information they need

     

By sharing and discussing their Message Matrix with a business development provider or fellow entrepreneur, the ‘Marketing Message’ can be refined and developed to ensure that it is clear, understandable to a wider audience and that key information is not omitted.

This activity can be undertaken for different groups of customers as a slightly different message may be needed for each.

Skill Development:

By working in groups, or through watching each other present their work, students are able to learn further and deepen their own work.  It is useful to draw any presentation or discussion session to a close by asking what they now wished they had done, or what they are now going to do, in order to ensure there is action from learning.

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

Your Example Here

If you would like to have your Case Study 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 Case Study.

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

Additional Resources

Cases Studies of Good Practice

can be found in Higher Education Academy booklet (2014) Enhancing Employability through Enterprise Education Case Studies

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