Business Ignition - Idea to Implementation

Module description

This module is one of five modules included in the With Proficiency In (WPI) Entrepreneurship programme. 

This module allows students to develop a real-world business idea and test it. It builds upon and puts into practice the material learnt in Managing Entrepreneurially and/or Thinking Entrepreneurially (previously “Could you be an entrepreneur?) and/or Startup Entrepreneurship. This is a project-based course where most learning occurs through students acting in real life to launch a semester-long social enterprise to create impact for a local charity. There are no required lectures or formal essays – student time for this class is dedicated to learning through acting in the real world.

Grading is based on

1) The social enterprise’s performance identifying and launching a successful social enterprise

2) Formalised peer-based review/assessment of individual performance within the team, and

3) A formal individual reflection document/activity.

At the end of the module there will be a presentation to demonstrate the value they created to their charity (A lot of the learning here is actually about how to work in teams in addition to the entrepreneurial lessons).

Pre-requisite: Managing Entrepreneurially OR Thinking Entrepreneurially (previously “Could you be an entrepreneur?) OR Startup Entrepreneurship. (All are WPI Entrepreneurship modules).

No co-requisite modules are required to take this module. This module is suitable (and encouraged) for non-specialist students and intended for interdisciplinary pathways.

Full module specification

Module title:Business Ignition - Idea to Implementation
Module code:BEM3061
Module level:3
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Greg Molecke - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



Managing Entrepreneurially OR Thinking Entrepreneurially (previously “Could you be an entrepreneur?) OR Startup Entrepreneurship (These are WPI Entrepreneurship modules)



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The aim of the module is to develop and extend entrepreneurship skills and mindsets through real-world action. This will be achieved through a ‘real-world’ assignment.  Online materials (including optional lectures and resources) will be provided to help students as they encounter common issues involved in launching a business. Much of the learning here revolves around how to work in teams in addition to the entrepreneurial lessons. In-person instruction time will focus on creating a classroom “business accelerator” space where students can work through challenges with the instructor, other teams, and additional mentors.

A project-based learning approach will be used, with learning reinforcement coming through in-person “business accelerator” workshops and (optional) online materials. The series of workshops will cover the assignment project formatively and give the student the chance to explore the assessed medium.   

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. create, develop, and execute an entrepreneurial business;
  • 2. employ entrepreneurial tools including the business model canvas, customer needs assessment, and the value proposition canvas;
  • 3. apply entrepreneurial mindsets including design thinking, effectuation, lean design, and empathy for customers.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. evaluate and articulate a startup’s opportunities and risks.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. network and engage with internal and external stakeholders;
  • 6. develop your ability to work effectively in teams.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Online delivery12Online Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching10Workshops
Guided independent study20Preparing for workshops
Guided independent study108Out-of-class entrepreneurship practice exercises derived from lectures and workshops

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Self and peer assessment 30 6 individual survey-based assessments 1-3, 5-6 Written feedback, Quantitative rankingsIn class1-6Verbal, participative peer/mentor discussions

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Peer assessment 35Individual survey-based assessments1-3, 5-6Written feedback, Quantitative rankings
Group presentation of project and outcomes to stakeholders3010 minutes +/- 10%1-6Oral feedback
Individual progress reports355 x 250-350 word reports +/- 10%1-6Oral feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Peer assessment Self and stakeholder assessment (35%)1-3, 5-6August/September Reassessment Period
Group presentation of project and outcomes to stakeholdersIndividual presentation of project and outcomes to stakeholders (30%)1-6Oral feedback
Individual progress reportsIndividual weekly progress reports1+6Oral feedback

Re-assessment notes

Due to the nature of the in-course work being 100% group-based and peer-assessed (but not all group assessed), reassessment will comprise student redoing the assignment individually and presenting an individual presentation of their new project and outcomes to stakeholders (10 minutes), performance assessment from stakeholders, plus a 2500 word reflection/journey document on the student’s individual project will be completed as a reassessment outside of term time.

Syllabus plan

The module will cover the following topics:

Entrepreneurial tools including the business model canvas, customer needs assessment, developing value propositions, and engaging with partners and customers. Entrepreneurial mindsets including design thinking, effectuation, lean design, and developing empathy for customers. Skills for working closely on teams. Networking and engaging internal and external stakeholders.

Online content will run simultaneously but asynchronously with project-based learning and workshops.

Additional Information:


Students build intercultural skills as they intimately engage with internal and external stakeholders from many different cultures.

External Engagement: 

Groups will work with an external charity organisation to develop a new social enterprise to add value to that charity’s mission. They will also engage with the external/community stakeholders that the charity serves.


By honing real life skills that transcend specific organisational contexts, participants develop their ability to create value within any organisation or through self-efficacy to create their own venture.


Students will gain intimate understanding of both the local challenges their social enterprise is attempting to contribute value to, as well as the global context those challenges are situated within. They will better understand the organisational and technological responses at their disposal to create positive impact

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Dew, N., Read, S., Sarasvathy, S. D., & Wiltbank, R. (2009). Effectual versus predictive logics in entrepreneurial decision-making: Differences between experts and novices. Journal of Business Venturing, 24(4), 287-309.

Lewrick, M., Patrick L., and Leifer, L. The Design Thinking Playbook: Mindful Digital Transformation of Teams, Products, Services, Businesses and Ecosystems. John Wiley & Sons, 2018.

Osterwalder, A., and Yves P. Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

Read, S., Sarasvathy, S., Dew, N., Wiltbank, R. and Ohlsson, A-V. (2011). Effectual entrepreneurship (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

Real-world feedback.

Students “Birds-in-hand” (innate resources based on who they are, what they know, & whom they know).

Students’ personal network of resources.

Support from mentors, peers, and external stakeholders/partners.

Lessons from other courses.

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date