Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module BUSI1151: New Venture Creation

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI1151: New Venture Creation

Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The primary aim of this module is to introduce to students the notion of entrepreneurship, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, and the means by which this understanding relates to the practical processes of new business start-up and growth (including social enterprise). We will consider global citizenship, environmental stewardship, social justice and global inequalities, ethics (including ethical investment strategies) and sustainable leadership in the context of an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • This module will introduce students to the key aspects of the process of new venture creation – including the creative process at the ‘ideas’ stage, and the entrepreneurially distinct requirements in terms of marketing, finance, human resources, operation management etc. The distinction between ‘entrepreneurial’ and ‘management’ approaches will be clearly drawn. It will then confront students with the enterprise skills and outlooks/aptitudes associated with starting up and running a new venture for personal, environmental and sustainable gain. Finally, using a group and personal business plan as an action framework, the module will provide the student with the opportunity to carry out key preparatory tasks required for business start-up with consideration of ethical business practice incorporated into the plan.


  • The following list of topics is indicative:
  • The entrepreneurial process and new venture creation
  • Skills for entrepreneurship including ethical and social benefits of entrepreneurial practice
  • Entrepreneurial types and their role within the commercial, social and global economy
  • Creativity, innovation and idea generation
  • The opportunity business model
  • Competitors - social, commercial and public sector competitors included - and the external environment (market, regulation, policy etc.)
  • Strategies for survival via sustainable competitiveness and social benefits
  • Entrepreneurial marketing
  • Entrepreneurial finance – forms of financial support
  • Business accounting for new ventures – projecting interpreting financial performance
  • The Business Model and business planning
  • Pitching for financial support
  • Building a sustainable entrepreneurial organisation
  • Entrepreneurial management team and leadership
  • Enterprise growth - determinants and processes
  • Managing enterprise growth
  • Growth and the entrepreneur’s role
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Intrapreneurship – entrepreneurs in a corporate context

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, students will:
  • have a critical understanding of the concepts, theories and models that underpin entrepreneurship and new business start-up in different contexts
  • understand the skills and aptitudes associated with entrepreneurship in a variety of contexts including social entrepreneurship, commercial entrepreneurship and the ethical issues attendant upon both these approaches, and the new venture creation process.
  • understand the critical aspects of starting and operating a business, including the role of business functions and their interrelationships in the process of new business start-up
  • be able to demonstrate their understanding of the complex (and dynamic) processes of business start-up (eg. marketing, operations, finance and human resource management) and reflect their understanding in the form of a realistic business idea and plan.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, students will:
  • conduct in-depth research into developing a business idea
  • present and defend a new business idea
  • construct a realistic business plan and understand its purpose
  • understand what is distinctive in entrepreneurial behaviour
  • develop teambuilding and project management skills
Key Skills:
  • Presentation skills, including ‘pitching’ of a business idea
  • Written communication skills
  • Planning and organising skills – developed through team project and development of individual business plans
  • Teamworking/management skills - used in seminars and formative assessment
  • Problem solving and analytical skills – including in summative project stage
  • Computer literacy – e.g. in data search, class presentation, case study search and design/content of Business Plan

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, group work, video making, case studies (including talks/videos by entrepreneurs) and discussion, supported by guided reading. The emphasis throughout will be on integrating theory with practice. The seminars (and to an extent the formal lectures) will be interactive with class participants being involved in individual and group activities to encourage critical and creative thinking regarding the ‘active’ nature of entrepreneurship (drawing from ‘effectuation’ approaches). Students will be expected to undertake their own research to develop and supplement the material covered in the sessions and to conduct secondary research in their chosen business idea. The group presentation (which will require the students to present a business idea in the form of a short video) and the written assignment will assess understanding of relevant concepts and students' ability to apply what they have learned to construct a feasible business plan. In addition, the group presentation will help to engage students during the module and allow them to learn outside the classroom by utilising multi-media technology. Students will also be given the opportunity to voluntarily participate in the Business School and University enterprise competitions, individually or in teams, to gain further experience (e.g. of ‘pitching’ a business idea).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 8 Fortnightly 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual work – business venture proposal 3000 words 100% Same
Component: Group work Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Presentation of business idea in form of video 10 mins max 100% individual video 5 mins max

Formative Assessment:

Group report to analyse and reflect on the group business idea presentation.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University