Article by: Iyabo Yaz Osho – Programme Leader BSc Enterprise and Small Business Development.
I may be biased, but studying for a degree in Enterprise and Small Business Development is an investment in a students’ future. Many of our students either run their own business or have a solid idea of what they want to do. Their studies here act as a bridge in which to hone their business ideas and to acquire greater business knowledge.
Our students come with a wealth of experience which makes academic discussions interesting as well as lively. Outside of studies students should be trying to gain as much experience which supports their independent learning as well as attending business related workshops.
The degree programme itself begins with getting students to think outside of the box and develop ideas which are a crucial to entrepreneurship and innovation. It includes a Dragon’s Den style pitch where students pitch their business ideas to business experts. Students are also encouraged to understand the concept of enterprise and its role in creating dynamic entrepreneurs and creating a business which fits in with the current economic climate. I see students recognising the importance of creating an enterprise culture as a means for success.
Having an awareness of the global environment is integral to being a savvy entrepreneur alongside the ability to analyse the external environment. Key issues relating to business ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability are explored providing students with a global awareness to situate their business ideas and start-ups.
Funding the enterprise is a prime concern for all potential business owners. Our students are no different, with many of them expressing feelings of anxiety on how they will fund their business ventures. Having researched and interviewed a lot of business owners and social entrepreneurs during my Doctorate ten years ago, the issues entrepreneurs face then and now have not changed. Alongside GSM London’s Formation Zone, run by Enterprise and Small Business Development lecturer, Paul Moran and the Programme’s module on Funding the Enterprise, students gain a head-start on financing their venture.
Although finance is crucial for starting up, business is not all about profit and some students have expressed the desire to help and support their communities in their home countries. The social enterprise module teaches students about commercial strategies that aim to maximise improvements to people and to communities. Social enterprises are dynamic and innovative and challenge the conventional business ethos.
The Programme aims to build awareness around issues relating to businesses large and small and business without an online presence is not only missing a massive commercial opportunity, but is also seriously lagging behind their competitors. The Starting an Online Enterprise module gives students an insight into the designing business websites, online supply chain management, website data and the online customer experience. By 2020, experts predict that 90% of transactions will either take place online or be Internet influenced. The Enterprise and Small Business Development Programme aims to prepare GSM London’s students to be in that 90%!