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University College for Interdisciplinary Learning

Entrepreneur: Innovator and Risk-taker

Course Unit Code


Course Unit Details

  • Level 2
  • 10 Credits
  • Alliance Manchester Business School


Successful entrepreneurs are characterised by their ability to take risks in order to generate innovations. By exercising judgement, they develop those innovations into viable businesses. As their business grows, the entrepreneur and their employees must often generate further innovations to remain competitive.

This unit focuses on how entrepreneurs generate the ideas that allow them to create and grow their firm. We will examine how entrepreneurs discover ideas and how they implement them. The unit is grounded in research-led teaching but also links into the wider employability agenda. It is relevant for all students, with no prior business knowledge required.

This unit forms part of the Enterprise Challenge.

If you are interested in other enterprise units please see the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre.


This unit aims to show you how to recognise business opportunities and how to evaluate them. Evidence is drawn from a range of case studies, covering the Middle Ages to the present day. These case studies will be used to illustrate the causes that contribute to business success and business failure, and to show how ideas relevant to business can be generated by a range of activities including hobbies and previous employment.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, you will be able to:

  • Describe the different methods through which entrepreneurs generate and implement ideas
  • Review the role of innovation, marketing, entrepreneurship and collaboration within a business environment, together with the barriers to growth
  • Apply academic definitions of entrepreneurship to a range of scenarios and case studies
  • Consider how entrepreneurs react to, and drive, wider social and political changes
  • Evaluate the entrepreneurial skills needed within a successful business and how these may be transferred between different sectors


Lecture 1: Entrepreneurial characteristics of individuals and firms

Lecture 2: Where do ideas come from?

Explore factors that influence innovation in products and services, including those that motivate entrepreneurs (opportunity and necessity) and those that aid their knowledge of the market (previous employment).

Lectures 3-8: Characteristics of creative and innovative organisations

Innovations have been introduced by entrepreneurs into a number of sectors. We will examine the impact of entrepreneurs in the sectors of clothing and homeware, beauty, agriculture and natural resources, transport and communication, music and technology. We'll also explore the idea generation process by considering how entrepreneurs react to, or even drive, changes in the wider social and political environment.

You will learn about the role of collaboration in entrepreneurial success, including across different disciplines and skills sets. In order to gain customers, many entrepreneurs have made innovations in marketing, and the significance of those is examined.

Lectures 9-11: Managing innovation in large and small firms / Barriers to growth

Successful entrepreneurs often grow their firm through further innovations. However, there are barriers to growth, including the financing of additional research and development and the management of employees. These lectures examine the challenges and consider how both large and small firms can overcome them.

Lecture 12: Conclusion


  1. 2 x 1000 word case study analyses (50% each) OR
  2. 2000 word written assignment on innovation at the sector level (100%)


UCIL units are designed to be accessible to undergraduate students from all disciplines.

UCIL units are credit-bearing and it is not possible to audit UCIL units or take them for additional/extra credits. You must enrol following the standard procedure for your School when adding units outside of your home School.

If you are not sure if you are able to enrol on UCIL units you should contact your School Undergraduate office. You may wish to contact your programme director if your programme does not currently allow you to take a UCIL unit.

You can also contact the UCIL office if you have any questions.

Teaching Staff

Catherine Casson (Alliance Manchester Business School)

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • 12 x 2 hour lectures, delivered face-to-face


I enjoyed learning new concepts in entrepreneurship and being able to apply it practically during the Manchester Enterprise Challenge. The unit helps you think critically and outside the box and gives you a new perspective on things.Suhaib Habibullah - LLB Law
Student holding a light bulb picture.

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