MST-35306 Principles of Entrepreneurship


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work15
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. VC Materia
Lecturer(s)dr. VC Materia
dr. KA Poldner
Examiner(s)dr. VC Materia
dr. KA Poldner

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

- MST-51306: Economics of Science and Technology
- MST-23406: New Venture Creation. From idea to Business Plan
- MST-30306: Technology, Innovation and Strategy


Entrepreneurship is crucial to economic development, including as a factor to promote social integration and reduce inequalities. Entrepreneurship and firm creation generate jobs, contribute to growth and productivity and provide social benefit. Education and training can promote an entrepreneurial culture. This is why entrepreneurial education aims at preparing youth and adults to succeed in an entrepreneurial economy.
The course provides therefore the basics for a student who wants to gain essential practical experience, underpin knowledge and reflect on the challenges involved in creating an entrepreneurial venture and culture. As a “basics of entrepreneurship course”, it consists of intensive and interactive lectures, tutorials, group work and case study analyses aiming at understanding, explaining, assessing and experiencing entrepreneurial theories and practices.
The course enhances the creation of insights on critical aspects related to entrepreneurship. During the six weeks of the course, students are in fact encouraged to handle important topics and develop skills in:
- identifying an opportunity;
- gaining an understanding of the main concepts of entrepreneurship;
- examining the way entrepreneurs shape and realize their visions;
- analyzing the entrepreneurial process from the idea to the practical realization of it;
- experiencing the value creation process and the setting of a business model;
- reflecting on the variety and complexity of entrepreneurship.
In order to support the students in achieving these educational purposes, the course adopts a “real-world” example of entrepreneurship that illustrates specific issues and learning points in line with the course.
Throughout the entire course program, students will experience a (local) business activity and will improve the understanding of the key issues presented during the course through experience on the field. Through weekly activities (lectures, tutorials and group work), the students have in fact the mission to help the organization in meeting the newly emerged needs. The Business Model Canvas is the tool that will be weekly analyzed and experienced in each of its components and which will prove useful in addressing the transition of the organization towards a new business model.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the key concepts in the field of entrepreneurship, e.g. entrepreneur, innovation, value creation, resources, opportunities;
- understand the various stages of the entrepreneurial process;
- assess entrepreneurial activities in organizational settings, differing in terms of complexity, dynamics, financing and uncertainty;
- analyze critical success factors in opportunity recognition, obtaining venture finance and growth strategies of new ventures;
- interpret and assess entrepreneurship literature in relation to student’s field of expertise/study and make a comparison with real life situations.


The course consists of lectures, tutorials, a business case study (group work activity) and a final exam (individual activity). Sessions are highly interactive and students are expected to be well prepared and to participate actively and critically in discussions and presentations. Guest lectures by (life sciences) entrepreneurs and industry experts are also scheduled. The case study aims at supporting the students in experiencing the theories learnt through lessons, tutorials and individual study using a the real business case. Students will be supervised by the lecturers during weekly group meetings.


The assessment of the course is based on three elements:
(1) the tutorial - a power point presentation which critically reflects on a scientific paper assigned by the lecturers each week;
(2) the assignment - a report and a presentation on the business case analyzed throughout the course (group activity);
(3) the individual exam - multiple choice questions and open questions covering the entire course activity (lectures, tutorials, case study).


Course material mainly consists of:
- PowerPoint presentations (via Blackboard);
- articles and hand-outs delivered by the lecturers before the course starts and during the course (via Blackboard or in class).
Additional literature will be provided.
Students are expected to check the course site regularly for updates and new relevant information.

Restricted Optional for: MFQFood Quality ManagementMScD: Quality Management and Entrepreneurship1AF
Compulsory for: WUINEBSc Minor Innovation and Entrepreneurship1AF
WUUEMBSc Minor Urban Environmental Management1AF