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

  • Exercise initiative and personal responsibility
  • Communicate effectively at all levels
  • Work effectively as members of a team
  • Analyse and resolve problems and deal with uncertainty
  • Manage time, set priorities and work to prescribed time limits

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.


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.

Open Idea Generation: Resource Enhancement (QAA 1,2,3,4,6)

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

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 6Interpersonal Skills

Objective:

Students should be able to:

  • Identify and respond to stakeholder needs
  • Communicate enthusiasm to 'sell' new ideas, concepts or solutions
  • Interact with others both to build trust for long-term relations and also to 'close the deal' to make things happen. 

Overview:

The focus within this task is open idea generation, pooling the expertise/wisdom of the group to create ideas that can then be evaluated and explored; all focused within time constraints and a clear objective to 'trade up' or enhance their resources.

The focus on this task is to encourage learners to learn outside the "classroom", independently or as part of a group to influence, create and establish effective networks through negotiation and building trust. It requires a range of skills including research, idea generation and networking or sales techniques.

Activity:

Description:

The activity is run over 2 or more weeks and is learner directed experience.

Each learner/ group is given a low value object (such as "Red Paperclip") and asked over an agreed period of time to "trade the item up" to something of a higher value. Over time learners are tasked with seeing who can come up with item of highest value through the individual trades, in order to achieve this. Each trade MUST BE recorded by signature and photographic evidence the trade has taken place.

Learners are asked on completion of the task to create presentation e.g. Petcha Kutcha 20 x 20, video story, blog to share their experience with peers at a showcase event where the individual trading experience is shared and lessons learnt identified through clear/directed reflection.

All items traded up to are donated to chosen charity identified by learners, to avoid any issues of 'personal gain'. 

Skill Development:

As well as working within teams, enterprise and entrepreneurship involves the ability to build effective relationships with others. Well-developed interpersonal skills form the core of relationships both within and beyond the team. Reflection on this task should acknowledge the group reaching the (perceived) highest value object, but also explore the transactional experience and the motivations to engage. This also provides the opportunity to reflect upon social and interpersonal skills, such as

  • Building trust
  • Influencing
  • Networking
  • Negotiation
  • Stakeholder relations.

Resources:

Per person:

  • Red Paperclip (or other item to trade e.g. something from your department or subject area
  • Trade up exchange form (simple dated log of activity) 
  • Internet access
  • Personal access to IT (Telephone; iPads/ Laptops) during the challenge 

References:

Key Authors

http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.co.uk/

Books

www.http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.pechakucha.org/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5167388.stm

About the Author
This guide was produced by Penny Matthews Coleg Llandrillo Enterprise Coordinator, Grwp Llandrillo Menai.

Stimulating Creative Thinking: Magic Paper (QAA 1)

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

Objective:

  • To stimulate creative and lateral thinking
  • To encourage creative thoughts and behaviour
  • To develop problem conceptualisation, and problem solving capacity

Overview:

Could you cut a hole in a piece of A4 paper, large enough that you could climb all the way through, without breaking the paper?!

This is a simple activity suitable for groups of any size or ability.

Taking approximately 5 minutes to complete, it encourages learners find a solution to an unfamiliar problem. The problem can only be solved through novel and creative solutions.

The activity serves to stimulate students’ creative thinking and problem solving capabilities, and serves as a light-hearted ice breaker / introduction.

Activity:

1.Provide each student with a single piece of A4 Paper, and a pair of scissors.

2.Challenge students to ‘Cut a hole in the piece of, large enough to climb all the way through, without breaking the paper!’

3.Tell students they have 5 minutes to complete the challenge. You may invite students to work individually, in pairs, or in small groups to do this. (Many students will begin by cutting a circular hole in the rectangular sheet of paper, before realising this is far too small to be a plausible option. You may wish to provide students with extra paper so they can conduct a number of trails. Re-assure students that the challenge is entirely possible, and that it is not a trick question. If anyone completes the challenge quickly, ask them not to reveal their solution to the class until the time is up. If the group are looking for clues, suggest ‘snowflakes and decorations we used to make as children’).

4.When 5 minutes have passed, invite students to stop working, and invite them to attempt to climb through their paper! (Usually, you will find that at least one team have come up with a solution).

5.If no team have successfully completed the challenge, demonstrate a solution to the class (solution outlined below). Invite a small group of student to all climb through the hole simultaneously!

Solution

Figure 1. Challenge Solution

  • To solve the challenge, fold the A4 paper in half along its length (as indicated by the blue perforated line on the diagram).
  • Use the scissors to cut the paper with a comb effect, starting from the centre of the paper and working towards its edge.
  • Make similar cuts, this time working from the edge towards the centre, in between the incisions previously made.
  • Make cuts along with fold line of the paper, with the exception of the edges to the extreme of the incisions.
  • (All cuts are indicated by red lines on the diagram).
  • Carefully unfold the paper, and a continuous, large ribbon is produced, comfortably large enough to climb through.
  • The closer together and deeper the cuts made are, the larger the hole will be when the paper is unfolded.
  • A film demonstrating this can be viewed here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jBUwH-TfqQ

Skill Development:

After this activity, students should be more attuned to looking for creative solutions to problems, and warmed up for any following creative / problem solving activity.

Resources:

  • A4 paper
  • Scissors

References:

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

Communication & Emotional Intelligence (QAA 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

7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

To understand the importance of developing active listening skills as part of effective communication 

To appreciate the impact of emotions (frustration; anticipation) within communication

To understand the importance of recognising the importance of active listening, using effective listening techniques (which can affect ability to build rapport and gather information in both management situations or when mentoring, counselling etc).

Overview:

This quick icebreaker session is run as a group activity in an informal environment with all participants sitting in a relaxed state, but working to deliver a result within a time frame. Primarily this "parlour game" seeks to actively explore:

  • Understand the importance of how to listen effectively 
  • How our feeling and emotions can impact on our ability to listen effectively 
  • What methods to use and when would you use them? 
  • How our listening can affect our overall communication 

Activity:

This activity takes no more than five minutes to deliver and needs few resources and is therefore an ideal ice-breaker or pre or post lunch "recharge" activity to embed within a formal input.

To change the course dynamic, and shift thinking, take the lead as the "narrator" and explain that you are having a picnic to which they all are invited but to attend they must bring a contribution to the picnic with them. However not all of them will be able to attend (your fictitious picnic) if the item they chose to bring renders them ineligible to attend.

The premise upon which this works as a "parlour game" is that 

THE ITEM MUST BEGIN WITH THE FIRST LETTER OF THEIR NAME - THEREFORE JANE CAN BRING SOME JAM BUT BRENDA CAN'T. 

However, you can alter this premise to be subject related, and therefore draw out subject based learning as well communication skills (by, for example, asking chemistry students to bring liquids, and making a (silent) premise that are soluble in each other or items that would be connected within an experiment or situation or even industry situation).

Remember to invite each member individually to the picnic and respond to each person individually e.g.: "Jane what can you bring to my picnic" response Jane wants to bring some bread, reply "I am sorry Jane you cannot bring bread to my picnic" etc. as the exercise proceeds some people will be able to attend by just being lucky in what they are bringing others thought might cotton on to the rules other's will not and may get frustrated so make sure you don't go on for too long. When everyone can "come to the picnic" or attend the "industry expo" or whichever scenario you selected, you can need to lead the debriefing session.

It is vital that emotions throughout the game, and across the team, are recognised and the group then explores how when we become emotional, frustrated or angry our ability listen effectively is impaired.

Skill Development:

This can take the form of a relatively short discussion, but will need to explore the learning across the group, and by encouraging everyone to share their story/emotions/feelings.

In larger groups, you can encourage them to share their feelings throughout the experience in small teams before presenting the range of emotions to the wider group. This reduces the perceived risk of sharing emotions across a big group but retains the breadth of emotions and highlights this to the wider group.

It is important to end this group discussion with an exploration of their feelings and frustrations, and what techniques they could use in the future, or in work or study situations to work professionally.

This debrief should explore the importance of active listening as well as how our listening is effected by our feeling and emotions, which can lead to an exploration of wider communication issues such as ability to build rapport, think effectively and manage or support the person we are communicating with.

Resources:

No physical resources, but planned scenario needs to be predetermined if subject based.

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

A Compendium of Pedagogies: THE USE OF EMPATHY IN COMMUNICATION EXERCISES (WITH ENTREPRENEURS) (QAA 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

7Communication and Strategy

Objective:

The objective is to sensitise participants to the need for different forms of communication with different audiences or interest groups, and to develop capacity to use this skill. In particular, emphasis is placed upon the 'ways of communicating' of entrepreneurs, informally, within constraints and on a need-to-know and know-how basis.

Overview:

Activity:

This can be approached in a number of ways, including by an exercise in writing for different kinds of audiences. To commence this exercise, participants, organised in small groups, can be given a copy of an article from a 'broadsheet' newspaper (in the UK, this would be the Times or Guardian) and then an article on the same subject from a 'tabloid' (in the UK these would be The Sun or The Mirror).

They are asked to analyse the differences. They can then be asked to write a short piece reporting an incident or covering an issue of relevance to the group in the language of the broadsheet (the Times) and then the tabloid (the Sun newspaper). The end discussion might focus upon the importance of considering the different 'word counts' and processes of communication for different audiences and discussion of the relevance of this for the participants.

An example focused upon reaching independent business owners might be that of designing a brochure to promote a programme on financial management for small firms. Participants might be asked to speculate on the different needs of different groups of firms at different stages and invited to consider ways of segmentation of the 'market. Particular attention will be paid to the educational/qualification background and the kinds of newspapers they might read. They might then brainstorm on the particular 'needs to know' (key knowledge and facts) and 'know how' needs of this group. What problems are they likely to have in the field of financial management and what opportunities for development might they face where financial skills mightbe needed? What barriers might there be to owners of the 'type' identified have to attending the programme and how does that affect the communication? Bearing the above in mind the brochure will be written and may be appraised by different groups.

Another example is organising and selling a briefing workshop to local entrepreneurs for the above programme, in particular, covering forms of verbal and written communication relating to processes of; attracting entrepreneurs to the workshop; creating the right environment for communication when they arrive; forms and content of presentations/discussions designed to excite and create interest; and methods of 'sealing the deal'.

Skill Development:

The focus is upon the art of communication and engagement with different audiences, a key component in the process of creating affectivity and co nativity in entrepreneurial learning processes.

This activity will result in an enhanced capacity to build promotional and learning relationships with different groups of participants and also an associated ability to communicate on a Know-How and Need-to-Know basis with small firms.

Resources:

The full text 'A Compendium of Pedagogies for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Professor Alan Gibb and Professor Alison Price, can be found via the following link > http://ncee.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Compendium-of-Pedagogies.pdf

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

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.


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.

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.

Pitching to a Financier – Business Pitch (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:

Construct and deliver a focused and precise summary of their business proposal, that is attractive and engaging to a potential financer.

Prepare the entrepreneur for opportunities to present their business proposal, formally and informally, in a short space of time.

Overview: 

An ‘Elevator Pitch’ is a succinct summary of business opportunity for example, 1 minute or in no more than 300 words. The term is typically used in the context of an entrepreneur pitching an idea to a potential investor.  This task invites the student to prepare for a minute pitch.

Activity: 

Invite the entrepreneur/small business owner to prepare a 3 minute pitch for their business The challenge for many entrepreneurs is how to describe their proposal in such a short space of time and what aspects of their business model and plan to focus on. A useful approach is to use Sahlman’s recommended four critical factors.

The People

Who’s involved?
What are their mission and aspirations?
What skills, know-how and experience do they have?

The Opportunity

What will the business sell?
Who are its customers?
What problem is it solving?
Why is it better than existing solutions (competition)?

The Context

What’s the bigger picture?
What trends e.g. economic, social, technological, political affect the business?

Risk and Rewards

What are the main risks?
How can they be mitigated?
What are the potential financial, and other, rewards?

Entrepreneurs/small business owners should be given time to prepare their pitch, either working independently at home or within a training programme. In a group situation this should take no more than 20 mins.

Entrepreneurs should then be invited to pitch their business with a strict time limit. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the environment, for example,

  • For a small number of entrepreneurs, invite them to line up to encourage swift movement from one to another
  • In large groups, invite entrepreneurs to move around the room to meet other participants who they do not know and pitch to each other
  • In large groups, participants are invited to pitch to their neighbour, or others at a table/in their group
  • In a competitive environment, where entrepreneurs are invited to pitch to an expert judging panel.

Skill Development:

This activity helps the entrepreneur to focus how they think about their business and provides a safe environment in which to develop their communication and presentation skills, whilst refining their business pitch. 

It can help the entrepreneur /small business owner effectively present their business proposal in both informal and unexpected situations and confidently to a potential financier.  Repetition of this type of exercise builds confidence and expertise.  

To provide formative experiences of pitching, before any assessment, you can create sub-groups within which the students pitch to each other, giving and receiving constructive criticism, before conducting the final presentation.

Resources:

VC Pitching

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

Defining your Customer (QAA 2,3,7)

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

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 7Communication and Strategy

Objectives:

  • To build a profile of (future) customer as a person
  • To develop the business offer through a broader understanding of the customer needs
  • To  support critical thinking and evaluation of ideas 

Overview: 

This exercise enables students to demonstrate their understanding of their potential customer and deepen that understanding to create a robust offer.

Activity: 

Give each group or individual a sheet of paper with an outline of (non-male or female) person drawn in the middle. 

Ask them to depict on the figure what they might know about their (future) customer.  This requires them to visually-describe their customer, including things like: 

  • Where do they live, work, spend time outside of work and home
  • How much do they earn
  • Where else might they access products/services like yours
  • How do they think, feel
  • What experience do they expect 
  • What concerns do they have
  • What life to do they lead

The purpose is to try and establish a real understanding of what is important to a potential customer, rather than drawing out key “facts” about them (disposable income etc).

Once all the drawings are done, everyone looks collectively at the different customer outlines and tries to add further understanding from what they can see.  The owner of the drawing need not accept these, but can include anything relevant onto their picture.

Once every drawing has been explored, each team/individual needs to articulate one message that they have learnt from this exercise that they can take forward into their planning.  So if offering fast-food to a student customer base, they may have identified price as critical.  However the wider discussion might have identified that students may also select to eat somewhere that is offering free wifi to allow them to connect with others or make plans with each other.  Or if the customer base was a family, then other elements that are important to them such as child-friendly parking, might indicate 1 premises to be more attractive than another.  This “linked” thinking allows the student to draw out the wider benefits of their product or service and explore it in order to create an effective offer.

Skill Development: 

Whilst this task can be based on initial research undertaken by the student, the critical thinking comes from the assumptions that the wider group offer to develop their thinking.  This shows the power of group work and allows the students to deepen their own thinking through the examples of others.

It is useful to explore this task at the end of the session to see how the groups found sharing and testing their assumptions in a group environment.

Resources: 

Paper, pens, flipchart (outline of a person)

About the Author
This guide was produced by Alison Price.

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 .

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

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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

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 and Sheffield University's Make Ideas Happen.

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