MMM075-Entrepreneurship Project

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Mr Keith Heron

Email: keith.heron@henley.reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

The Entrepreneurship Project is a team-based consultancy (40% team weighting) with start-ups and small business that are in the process of establishing or growing their ventures.

This capstone project enables students to develop and utlise the theoretical skills required for analysis and creative thinking, in combination with the personal skills and the interpersonal skills required for engaging with fellow team members and with entrepreneurs who will host the consultancy project.

Students will develop the confidence and competence to help entrepreneurs during autumn and spring terms through familiarisation with entrepreneurs and through direct interaction with entrepreneurs prior to the commencement of the consultancy period (June and July). By developing empathy for their situations, students will be able to help entrepreneurs.

This module will enable you to develop your entrepreneurial capacity and your understanding of the start-up process. 



 


Aims:

The final project intends to provide students with the capabilities to help any start-up entrepreneur or small business entrepreneur seeking to grow their business.

The module classes and experiences will provide students with the skills to enable them to undertake a consultancy project with a start-up or existing small business.



Students will work in small teams (40% of the assessment is team based) to provide business insights and intelligence to the business, whilst also demonstrating to the module convenor their ability to make integrative links across the body of knowledge within the taught modules.



It is anticipated that students will be able to produce original and evidence-based thought. This is where students have the opportunity to apply the learning from the entire programme in a real-time project.

The consultancy interaction is team based and your discussions will take place within a ‘team context’ (40%), with individual preparatory and concluding reports (60%).



The skills developed will be applicable for any student who wishes to make a professional impact upon their return to a family or small business, or target a career step within a consultancy firm, or even to start up their own new business.



Students will need to demonstrate flexibility and mastery across a potentially wide range of subject matter. 

Assistance in resolving any conflicts or dilemmas will be facilitated or determined by the module convenor.



The entire consultancy will be structured within the University’s Entrepreneurship Project Placement Agreement. Students will be under the University’s Placement Non-Disclosure Agreements which will provide project hosts with confidence that their proprietary and confidential information will not be disclosed beyond the scope of the Entrepreneurship Project.



By the end of this module students will be able to: 



• Understand the challenges that start-up and early stage entrepreneurs face 

• Understand and be adept in the mode of Process Consultation (Edgar Schein)

• Display familiarity and confidence in the use of consultancy tools

• Demonstrate competence in acting as a consultant to investigate a start-up or early stage business and its entrepreneurial dilemma or challenge

• Generate and organise large amounts of primary data into meaningful clusters (coding) for the production of the case study

• Support proposals by using authoritative evidence from existing knowledge (secondary research) of similar situations (i.e., there must be some support for the claims that are being made by the student)

• Provide valuable ‘you are the expert’ intelligence to their business host

• Convene effective management meetings to communicate information and receive and clarify information received

• Set personal targets and manage adherence to a strict project timeline

• Demonstrate critical self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and time management

• Demonstrate sensitivity to diversity in people and different situations and build and maintain empathy with their hosts and fellow team members

• Demonstrate effective team working

• Recognise and address ethical dilemmas 

• Understand how to manage client confidentiality


Assessable learning outcomes:

Successful completion of the entrepreneurship project requires students to work closely with the project host to define and execute the case study research. 



Assessment



Task 1 is a log of evidence that is based upon reflections of student interactions with entrepreneurs and their teams prior to the project commencement , plus reporting on ONE of the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship SME events Submission in June (10% and used as evidence for Task 2).



The Task 2 INDIVIDUAL report of 1000 words requires a self-assessment of your individual capabilities for consultancy, the identification of future capabilities that will be needed, and a plan to manage and build those capabilities during the consultancy period. 

It will include an appendix containing evidence of attendance at Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship SME events, or equivalent events where entrepreneurs have been observed.



Submission in June (10%).



Task 3 is a TEAM-based report written ABOUT THE CLIENT for your module convenor (i.e. not for the client).

The module convenor is not an expert in the matters of the host entrepreneur. So, this report requires you to communicate your understanding of the host’s business venture, the challenges they face now, and your creative proposal for solving the biggest challenge, to the module convenor.  It is 5000 words plus a visual tapestry (to be explained in the criteria). The source of the report is based upon information gathered from observations and discussions with the host. 

Submit in late July in accordance with Blackboard instructions (20% , 5000 words). 



Task 4 is to be submitted within one week of receiving feedback from Task 3. It is not assessed by the module convenor but the module convenor receives feedback and comments from the client which is the basis for the mark for Task 4. Task 4 is written FOR THE CLIENT and therefore it does not need a detailed explanation of the existing business, or your team process; just your analysis of the current situation, your judgement concerning the challenge the business is facing, your proposal and your next steps implementation plan. This task also requires you to produce a visual ‘story’ of your report, in the form of a tapestry, which will be sent to the host. This is a physical piece of creative artwork and not an electronic file. This is where ‘you are the expert’ as you can really help the entrepreneur.  (20%, based on judgement of project host and module convenor, 2500-3000 words + Tapestry).





Task 5 is an INDIVIDUAL report which discusses the theoretical and practical influences of your thinking plus any additional insights since the development of Task 4 which may help the client. It is important that you understand why you have made the decisions you have made and how your authority’ is enhanced through your familiarisation with and application of prior expert knowledge (40%, 2500 -3000 words).



Submit Task 4 and 5 in August (usually 2 and 3 weeks after Task 3) as per instructions in Blackboard.





Important Note: 

Task 3 is TEAM - based and require ALL members to contribute equally (or approximately equally). Individual marks may be lowered by up to 20 marks from the team mark. In extreme cases of poor contributions, the Module Convenor may require the individual to write an individual case study for Task 3.



However, full participation in Task 3 is self-serving, since with full participation the individual will have access to and a better understanding of, a larger body of information to enable a successful production of Task 5.



Students are required to remain at Henley until the submission of the team Task 3 at t

Additional outcomes:

The self-directed nature of study for this module should encourage students to be resourceful in their search for relevant literature, data and other sources, and manage the various stages of each Task effectively, leading to timely submission of the all Tasks.

With full participation, and use of Schein's Process Consultation-Humble Inquiry philosophy, students will improve their research inquiry methods, observation and, listening skills, personal interaction skills, classifying and analysis skills, and report-writing skills.

Classes on practical consultancy tools, with practice cases will be delivered within the taught component in Spring term.



 


Outline content:

The challenges facing start-ups and early-stage small firms in the pursuit of survival and growth (this may use content from other modules);

Understanding the motivations of founders and small firm owners;

Process Consultation and the philosophy of Humble Inquiry;

Personal competencies required for effective consultation;

Your personal styles and team working;

Consultancy business tools required for sense making and analysis;

Tools for assisting entrepreneurs in the development of their business; 

Practice consultancy opportunities with guest entrepreneurs, and/or entrepreneurs in business incubators/enterprise centres;

A study visit (which in 2015 -2016-2017 was to Poland) to work with entrepreneurs in a 3-4 day programme; 

Visits to project hosts for gathering information directly;

Finding relevant secondary research plus innovative thinking to provide context and a deeper understanding of the key themes identified;

Formal communication of the entire project in a formal report for assessment;

Reflection on feedback from marker for the production of executive professional report for the project host.



 


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Autumn term introduces the challenge of self-awareness and your role in team-based master’s learning. There will be classes on what is expected of and how to create high performing teams. This will be beneficial for all modules where this is team based assessment. 



Students start to develop an understanding of the challenges of start-up or early stage business survival and growth, sometimes involving content from other programme modules. 

In Spring term the module convenor will place students into teams to start to develop an understanding of the consultancy skills required for the project, plus their own personal skill expertise in Process Consultation/Humble Inquiry. 



External small business experts will make content and contextual contributions.



Summer term involves the consultancy team directly interacting, initially via email/skype with their project host from early June to the end of July, displaying competency in consultancy tools and process, in order to build trust that will lead to information being willingly divulged by the host;



This leads into the team making sense of the information gathered during the consultancy and synthesising it into an ‘analysis of the current situation’, with a proposal for enhancing the business (Task 3). This is then refined down to the report for the client (Task 4), which is based on reflection and tutor feedback. 



It is important to learn from what has happened so the final report is a reflective learning report which is valuable for the next career steps (Task 5).  



In Spring term there will be a series of practical lectures which will help students to enhance their self-awareness, current capabilities and readiness for their consultancy interaction with the project host. Students are also expected to attend Centre for Entrepreneurship events to observe and develop empathy for entrepreneurs- this will be assessed in Tasks 1 and 2.



In Spring term entrepreneurs from within the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship network will be asked to provide a Summer term project opportunity for the teams of student ‘entrepreneur consultants’. 

Teams will be formed for the consultancy with the project host between the end of Spring term, and during the examination period.



Teams will be established by the module convenor with a distribution of cultures and capabilities. Teams will then be expected to develop a team culture to enable effective performance. The teams will have an opportunity to pitch for one of the projects that are being offered though it may not be feasible to match every student team to their preferred project. The module convenor has an obligation to deliver good value to the project hosts who support this ‘live project’ and has a responsibility to ensure each team is particularly strong in spoken and listening, communication since the information will be gathered in real meetings, Whilst students enrolled on this programme have attained the minimum language requirements, many previous international students have found it beneficial to continually develop their English speaking skills in order to make a strong contribution during the consultancy meetings. Additional classes will be made available for such students.



In Summer term the practical application will commence. In June, there will be a short optional programme study visit to help students develop confidence (previously to Poland to work with other master’s students helping start-up entrepreneurs). This is followed by a combination of once a week classes, weekly visits to the project hosts, and small group supervision meetings for discussion of progress.



The module convenor will strictly monitor attendance at lectures in

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 8 14 10
Seminars 2
Project Supervision 2
Practicals classes and workshops 4 14
Fieldwork 20
Guided independent study 38 52 236
       
Total hours by term 50.00 80.00 270.00
       
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 80
Portfolio 10
Practical skills assessment 10

Other information on summative assessment:

Coursework:

Task 1: Reflections on interactions with entrepreneurs: log/portfolio 

Task 2: Individual self-assessment of practical consultancy capabilities and development plan: 1000 words 

Task 3: Team Consultancy Proposal: 5000 words

Task 4: Team Client report:2500-3000 words

Task 5: Individual reflective learning and enhanced proposal report (2500-3000 words)



 


Formative assessment methods:

Tutor and peer feedback from student and external interactions during Autumn and Spring terms will assist students’ development of self-awareness of the capabilities needed for consultancy, which is to be self-reported in Task 1 and Task 2. 

Cohort supervision discussions during the observation period leading to the case study allow for knowledge sharing and peer to peer feedback

Team-based supervision discussions during the analysis of key themes from the case study.



 


Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
No examination

Requirements for a pass:

Requirement for a pass 50%. Note that it is a requirement of the award of the MSc that students pass this module.


Reassessment arrangements:

By individual submission of a new individual Task, based upon the consultancy.


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Reading list:

Edgar Schein. One of Schein’s text books will be the module text book but students are encouraged to locate online resources relating to Schein’s philosophy of ‘Process Consultation/ Humble Inquiry’.



Additional Costs:



Students are invited to join a study visit to Poland, which is optional, in early June.

There may be an option to choose between Poland and Moscow if the Moscow visit is agreed in time (this would be immediately after Spring term has finished).

Tuition costs and accommodation costs are paid for but travel and subsistence costs are not included.

Travel costs to project hosts for consultancy meetings will be reimbursed upon the production of receipts in expense claims to be made after the meetings have concluded (up to £100 per student).



Travel costs to a business incubator at the end of Spring Term will be reimbursed or paid in advance by the Business School.


Last updated: 7 December 2017

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