ENTREPRENEURSHIP & SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT MODULES
WHAT WILL YOU STUDY ?
You will take a minimum of 15 units (240 credits) to gain your diploma over the course of two to three years of study: 120 credits, 8 units in Level 4 (15 credits each unit) and 120 credits, 7 units in Level 5 (one 30-credit unit, and six 15-credit units).
Extra support modules customised to your needs might be added to the below units.
Business and the Business Environment
The aim of this unit is to provide you with background knowledge and understanding of business, the functions of an organisation and the wider business environments in which organisations operate. You will examine the different types of organisations (profit and none-profit), their size and scope (for instance, micro, SME, transnational and global) and how they operate. You will explore the relationships that organisations have with their various stakeholders and how the wider external environments influence and shape business decision-making.
This unit is designed to introduce you to the principles of marketing, enabling them to develop a basic marketing plan and to employ elements of the marketing mix to achieve results. While you will learn the underpinning theories and frameworks, you will also be able to relate these to real-world examples, including products/services that they encounter in their own daily lives. Organisations such as Apple, Google, VISA, Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Unicef, BP and small local businesses all have at least one thing in common: they all use marketing to influence us to engage with their products and/or services. Whether it is becoming a loyal customer buying a product and service or donating to a charity, organisations use a range of marketing techniques and tools to inform and influence us. The knowledge, understanding and skill sets that you will gain on successfully completing this unit will enhance your career opportunities; whether setting up your own business or being employed by an organisation.
Human Resource Management
The aim of this unit is to enable you to appreciate and apply principles of effective Human Resource Management (HRM). People are the lifeblood of any organisation and being able to attract, recruit and retain talented staff is at the core of all HRM activity. This unit will explore the tools and techniques used in HRM to maximise the employee contribution and how to use HR methods to gain competitive advantage. You will explore the importance of training and development in building and extending the skills base of the organisation and ensuring it is relevant to the ever-changing business environment. You will also consider the growing importance of becoming a flexible organisation with an equally flexible labour force, and become familiar with techniques of job design and with different reward systems.
The unit investigates the importance of good employee relations and the ways in which employers engage with their staff and possibly with trade unions. You will gain an understanding of the law governing HRM processes as well as the best practices which enable an employer to become an ‘employer of choice’ in their labour market.
Management and Operations
The aim of this unit is to help you understand the difference between the function of a manager and the role of a leader. You will consider the characteristics, behaviours and traits which support effective management and leadership. In addition, this unit will introduce the concept of operations as both a function and a process which all organisations must adopt to conduct business. You will be introduced to contemporary and historical theories and concepts which will support their learning for this unit. On successful completion of this unit, you will have developed sufficient knowledge and understanding of how management and operations make a positive, efficient and effective contribution to an organisation at a junior level. This could be in the role of a team leader or managing a specific aspect of an operation function and/or process. Underpinning all aspects of the content for this unit you will consider topics under two broad headings: management and operations.
The overall aim of this unit is to introduce the fundamentals of management accounting which apply to the wider business environment and the organisations which operate within that environment. You will explore how management accounting uses financial data to aid planning decisions, and the monitoring and control of finance within organisations. On successful completion of this unit, you will be in a position to present financial statements in a workplace context and be able to assist senior colleagues with financial business planning. In addition, you will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to progress onto a higher level of study.
Managing a Successful Business Project
This unit is assessed by a Pearson-set assignment. The project brief will be set by the centre, based on a theme provided by Pearson (this will change annually). The theme and chosen project within the theme will enable you to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of business in the context of the business environment.
The aim of this unit is to offer you an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing and implementing a project. You will undertake independent research and investigation for carrying out and executing a business project which meets appropriate business aims and objectives. On successful completion of this unit, you will have the confidence to engage in decision-making, problem-solving and research activities using project management skills. You will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to investigate and examine relevant business concepts within a work-related context, determine appropriate outcomes, decisions or solutions and present evidence to various stakeholders in an acceptable and understandable format.
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
This unit provides you with an understanding of the definition and scope of entrepreneurship and an understanding of the enablers and barriers to business start-up.
You will learn about the influence of national culture and economy on entrepreneurship and will explore the personal characteristics of entrepreneurs and the impact of personal situational factors, including education and background. You will also learn about the role and importance of small firms to the economy, and about social enterprise and the social economy. You will also be expected to understand the balance of risk and reward in starting a new venture and you will investigate and reflect on your own entrepreneurial and enterprising characteristics. Examples of entrepreneurs and start-up organisations will be discussed and you will be expected to draw on local, personal and general knowledge together with your learning to be able to identify the characteristics of entrepreneurial ventures.
Innovation and Commercialisation
This unit aims to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of innovation and commercialisation.
In today’s competitive landscape it is critical that organisations continually innovate both their product offering and processes to ensure that they remain competitive in the market. Furthermore, adopting a more commercially driven approach is vital to maximise the Return on Investment (ROI). In this unit, we will look at a number of tools and techniques organisations use to drive innovation and become more commercial in their approach. The aim of the unit is to give you cutting-edge knowledge as well as practical application of the key ways organisations become more innovative while remaining commercially driven.
Balancing the books is at the heart of all business management. The overall aim of this unit is to introduce you to essential financial accounting principles and techniques which will enable you to record and prepare basic final accounts. You will learn how to prepare accounts for sole traders and partnerships as well as limited companies.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to contribute effectively to the accounting function of an organisation, or to understand how to record and prepare basic financial accounts for your own business. You will have the knowledge and skills required to progress to a higher level of study.
Research Project *
This unit is assessed by a Pearson-set assignment. You will choose your own project based on a theme provided by Pearson (this will change annually). This will enable you to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of business in the context of the business environment.
The aim of this unit is to offer you the opportunity to engage in sustained research in a specific field of study. The unit enables you to demonstrate the capacity and ability to identify a research theme, to develop research aims, objectives and outcomes, and to present the outcomes of such research in both written and verbal formats. The unit also encourages you to reflect on their engagement in the research process during which recommendations for future, personal development are key learning points. On successful completion of this unit, you will have the confidence to engage in problem-solving and research activities which are part of the function of a manager. You will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to investigate workplace issues and problems, determine appropriate solutions and present evidence to various stakeholders in an acceptable and understandable format.
The aim of this unit is to develop your understanding of the influence culture, politics and power have on the behaviour of others in an organisational context. You will be in a position to apply the principles of organisational behaviour to a variety of business situations. On successful completion of this unit, you will have an understanding and awareness of key influences which affect the behaviour of individuals, teams and organisations as a whole. You will be able to use this knowledge to make an immediate and positive contribution in the workplace, whether that role is as part of a team or as a team leader. This will be achieved through a strong appreciation of working in a team, having a more profound perspective of what makes people and organisations do what they do, and how to adjust one’s own behaviour to reflect the circumstances and situation.
The aim of this unit is to introduce you to the theoretical basis for business systems and their practical application. You will understand and appreciate how business systems support the achievement of organisational objectives, particularly through the management of information and the use of Information Communications Technology (ICT) to gain a competitive advantage. You will explore the role of systems within organisations, the management of business systems and analytical tools and techniques for monitoring and measuring control and delivery. On successful completion of this unit, you will have developed sufficient knowledge and understanding of the practical application of a business system to be able to utilise this ‘tool’ as a more effective and efficient manager. You will also be able to contribute to the design of a business system in a workplace context.
Consumer Behaviour and Insight
This unit is designed to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the consumer’s decision-making processes, from needs recognition through research, the evaluation of alternatives, purchase and post-purchase evaluation. While you will learn the underpinning theories and frameworks, you will also be expected to relate these to real-world examples, including your own personal experiences.
How do we buy products and services? What motivates us to seek out a particular product or service? What research do we undertake prior to making a decision? Do we seek out other people’s opinions, perhaps through social media? To what extent do other people’s opinions influence our own? How do we feel after we have made the purchase?
These are the types of questions to which organisations seek to gain answers. An important part of marketing is understanding the processes behind how a consumer makes the decision to purchase a product and/or service. This is applicable as much to Business to Business (B2B) as it is to Business to Consumer (B2C). The knowledge, understanding and skill sets that you will gain on successfully completing this unit will enhance their career opportunities; whether setting up in business independently or being employed by an organisation.
Launching a New Venture
This unit provides you with a practical understanding of what is required to successfully launch a new venture. It gives you an opportunity to work within a small team to fully plan the launch of a specific new venture idea. You will learn about and work through the stages of planning to launch the venture culminating in a group presentation of a launch plan. This will include an explanation of the idea, how it will attract customers and have competitive advantage. You will develop a promotional plan to get it started, preparing a budget for launch and a cash flow forecast for the first 12–18 months of operation for the chosen venture. You will learn about the need for resourcefulness when starting a new venture, and will be able to identify and tap into personal networks which can offer a valuable source of knowledge, resources, advice and opportunities.
Identifying Entrepreneurial Opportunities
The role of the entrepreneur is to weigh up opportunities, threats and personal capacity to translate an opportunity into a business idea. This unit provides you with an understanding of where new venture ideas come from and gives you the opportunity to investigate and evaluate a new venture idea.
You will explore concepts of innovation and creativity and develop creative abilities. You will learn about and use methods and frameworks to help develop and assess venture ideas, including defining product/service benefits, identifying target customers and understanding the industry and competitors from the perspective of a new entrant. You will learn about market research and apply primary and secondary research techniques to investigate a personal entrepreneurial idea and make an assessment of whether it is likely to be a commercially viable business or social enterprise proposition.
Managing and Running a Small Business
This unit will provide you with a practical understanding of the key aspects of running a small business or social enterprise. You will learn about the activities involved in running a small business, including developing good relationships with customers, planning and allocating operational resources, forecasting and budgeting, interpreting financial statements, recruitment and retention of staff, leadership and building a team, dealing with legislation and regulation and how to put together a business plan. You will be able to apply their learning to a simulated business of their choice that they will work on as part of a group. You will develop an understanding of how all of the different aspects of running a business interrelate to achieve success, and develop an appreciation of the benefits and importance of organisation and planning.