Thinking Entrepreneurially

Module description

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

This module explores what it means to think like an entrepreneur and how individuals in all types of organizations can use entrepreneurial practices to solve problems and create value.

The module’s core component is delivered online and covers research on how entrepreneurs ensure success through the use of entrepreneurial thinking. This is built on in a series of workshops that help the participants to build their entrepreneurial mind-set.

Innovation in learning will be at the core of the delivery of the module. A blended approach utilising online and experiential learning will be used.

No pre-requisite or co-requisite modules are required to take this module. This module is intended for interdisciplinary pathways and is suitable for non-specialist students, students from disciplines outside business and students without any business background or training.

Full module specification

Module title:Thinking Entrepreneurially
Module code:BEM2036
Module level:2
Academic year:2019/0
Module lecturers:
  • Mr Raphael Dennett - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEM2010 Could You Be an Entrepreneur? is a non-requisite module for BEM2036



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


Module aims

The aim of the module is to allow participants to both build and understand the entrepreneurial mind-set in relation to new venture creation and engage with contemporary cases. A blended approach utilising online and workshopping will be used. The aim of the online content is to introduce and build an understanding of entrepreneurship practice. The series of workshops are aimed to engage the participant with building their entrepreneurial mind-set and develop an understanding of how an entrepreneur can apply this to create value. These workshops will give the participant the chance to practice thinking entrepreneurially.


ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Explain the defining characteristics of the entrepreneurial mind-set
  • 2. Employ specific entrepreneurial practices and problem-solving approaches.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Practice entrepreneurial approaches to addressing the needs and problems of themselves, others, and the broader community and world.
  • 4. Practice the entrepreneurial process of Act-Learn-Build and validating and iterating ideas.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Critically analyse and reflect upon personal entrepreneurial skills and practices

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 study40Pre- and Post-work for workshops
Guided Independent study82Out-of-class entrepreneurship exercises derived from project

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Workshop discussions and exercisesIn class1-5Verbal, Peer, Self

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
10 individual reflection exercises6010 x (200 word) reflection exercises 1-5Monitored Self, Peer, and External Review
Creating and validating 5 business model canvases 405 business models with accompanying details (300 words each)1-5Monitored Self, Peer, and External Review

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
10 reflection exercises10 x (200 word) reflection exercises (60%)1-5August/September assessment period
Creating and validating 5 business model canvasesCreating and validating 5 business model canvases 300 words each (40%)1-5August/September assessment period

Syllabus plan

The module will cover the following topics:

Learning Entrepreneurship is about learning a new mindset (a new way of approaching) the problems we all have in life. The entrepreneurial approach focuses on using action to identify and then address the needs and problems of ourselves, others, and the broader community and world. The goal is to create solutions to people’s problems and address people’s needs using an empathetic, iterative process.

Entrepreneurship is like learning to play the violin or learning to water-ski – you just have to do it! So, most work in this class will be experiential – you will learn through doing entrepreneurship rather than reading about it. So, this class is focused on practicing entrepreneurial skills and then reflection on what you learn in a safe environment.

What will you learn? You will gain the ability to use entrepreneurial practices that embrace 1) learning through action, 2) solving problems with the means you have at-hand, 3) developing empathy, 4) embracing and leveraging failure, 5) validating and improving ideas, and 6) testing and iterating your solutions.

Each student will complete two individual assignments that assess your effort practicing the entrepreneurial process. It will further your ability to prototype an idea and then act to gain feedback on your ideas.

Our belief is that the practices you learn in this class will help you solve problems and address needs in your life no matter what career you embark on. Therefore, this class is encouraged for non-business students as well as experienced business students. This class does not assume that students have any prior business courses or experience.

Additional Information:


Global challenges and organisational approaches to tackle them will be demonstrated using a diverse set of contexts. 

External Engagement: 

Contribution by our Student Startup team, grad startup community, and Entrepreneur Fellows will allow students to meet and network within the innovation ecosystem.


By honing entrepreneurial practices, students will have the ability to create value for themselves and within an organisation. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset can help students succeed whether they embark on a traditional career or create their own entrepreneurial venture.


By understanding both the global challenges and the organisational and technological responses at our disposal students will be equipped to deploy problem solving and value creation practices that create a positive impact. 

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Most work in this class will be experiential – you will learn through doing entrepreneurship rather than reading about it. You will be your own key resource.

Common resources used in this class are:

Discussions with key members of your personal and professional network.

Experimental methods – performing targeted tests in real-world situations.

Y-Combinator – Excellent podcasts and case studies on a variety of entrepreneurial subject.

Exeter’s Student Startup Team – an entrepreneurship incubator/ accelerator on Campus

The Society for Effectual Action

Clark, T., Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y. (2012) Business Model You: A One-Page Method For Reinventing Your Career. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.


Theoretical underpinnings of the course can be found in books/articles such as:

Brown,T. (2019) Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation New York: Harper Business.

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.

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

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Bernarda, G., & Smith, A. (2014). Value proposition design: How to create products and services customers want. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Wiltbank, R., Dew, N., Read, S., & Sarasvathy, S. D. (2006). What to do next? The case for non-predictive strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 27(10), 981-998

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date