Arguing your Business Idea

This entrepreneurship activity involves students creating a business idea and describing it briefly in a defined template. Other students then do a peer review of the business idea and criticize the business idea by posting one reason why they think the business idea might not work. The student who wrote the business idea then has to either argue for their business idea or adjust it (at the same time this student is criticizing other students’ ideas). There are several rounds of criticisms (perhaps 5), each time with a different student.  This activity helps students understand and hone some important entrepreneurship skills.

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Bono’s Thinking Hats

Bono’s Thinking Hats is an exercise which encourages participants to identify six ways to think about a situation or problem. Either indivdually or in groups, participants put on a hat and examine a situation through the lens of that perspective. Bono’s Thinking Hats are:

  • Blue = Process, Green = Creativity,  White= Objectivity, Red = Intuition, Black = Negativity, Yellow = Positivity

Towards the end of the exercise, participants share their perspectives and discover the value of different points of view.

This activity is based on Edward de Bono’s design. Once participants select their thinking hat, they will prepare for their discussion. The participant assigned to the blue hat leads that. Using Bono´s hat, according to his theory, anyone can reach the whole potential of our creativity.

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Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a useful tool that helps students elaborate their business idea. On the basis of the BMC, student groups are going to work on their business ideas in a structured way. The programme is constructive and consists of 3 workshops:

1.      Students learn about the BMC (theory) supported by an example from the real world (practice)
2.      Students complete the BMC for a business case from the region and for their own business idea
3.      Students receive feedback and are given the opportunity to reflect and evaluate

The structure of the workshops is based on different levels of mastering the BMC. First, students learn to reproduce the content (know the different parts of the BMC and understand what should be filled in). Then, by explaining the model with a familiar example (e.g. McDonalds), they are also challenged to apply the theory in familiar situations. Secondly, the level of mastery of the model is increased because students have to apply the model in unknown situations: with a business case from the region and their own business idea.

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Business Pitch

Business Pitches are increasingly common in the world of entrepreneurship. Essentially, a pitch is a presentation of a business idea to potential investors. People pitch a business because they need resources. If the goal is to raise startup cash, the target of the pitch is an investor. Other businesses pitch to potential customers to sell their product. In this idea, students have to make a presentation pitching their business idea. They have 8 minutes for it and within time they have to cover all aspects of their idea in an informative and engaging way. They are provided with videos of some of the best business pitches we can find (Dragon Den Style) and theoretical knowledge about how to succeed in a pitch sale.

The presentations will be made in front of a specialised jury (businessmen/women, local agency technicians, teachers, etc.) who will evaluate them using a judging template.

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CIE Model

The CIE model consists of three rooms – a creative room, an innovative room and an entrepreneurial room. You can re-visit rooms if necessary. While working through the rooms the students also work with the 5 supporting innovative competences/skills:  creativity, navigation, communication, cooperation, competence to act/take action.

The Creative room Objective: Lots of ideas without limitations and reason • Divergent thinking • Accept EVERYTHING • Many perspectives • Tight time-control

The Innovative room Objective: choosing the final idea and making it a useable and workable solution • Convergent thinking – analysis, add value, investigate • Argumentation and discussing • Using the knowledge, crafts and network of everybody in the group • Chosing the “right” idea or solution • Prototyping • Tight time-control

The Entrepreneurial room Objective: Getting the idea ready for sale and implementation • Divergent and convergent thinking • Presentation and marketing  • Planning – time tasks  • Economy, budget and preconditions for the idea  • Prototyping • Network and how to use it

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IP Workshop

The Intellectual Property workshop provides students with all information they need to know about Intellectual Property (IP) and should be delivered by an expert in this field. IP is quite complicated and should not be underestimated. Before choosing a new product or brand, you have to be aware that there are all kinds of IP Rights including patents, brands, trade secrets, trade names, domain names etc. If you do not deal with this carefully, it can cause you trouble. The workshop has a practical and involving character and includes some sessions to actively engage the students. In addition, the workshop uses many (funny) examples from the real world which makes it very practical and recognisable for the students. This direct relation to practice is essential for the success of this workshop.


NOTE: this requires collaboration with an expert in IP to provide the workshop.
NOTE: it is recommended the students have a basic level of entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.

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Launch Game

The Launch Game is a three-hour simulation game in which student groups (teams) will lead and experience a start-up during its first two years. The game starts with the presentation of two technologies. The teams have to come up with an innovative application (product) for one of the technologies. Each student group will start-up their own firm around this innovative application. Think of product development, but also choosing a legal form, the application for a grant and/or loan, but also finding investors and ultimately the launching customer. The game is divided into four rounds and each round simulates half a year. During the 4 rounds, there are advisors available who can consult the teams on the abovementioned topics.

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Radiant Thinking

Each Student draws a circle on an A3 page and writes a word in it.  They must then draw five branches coming out from this word with a circle at the end of each.  They then have two minutes to think of five words to place in each circle which are related to the first word.  From each circle they then draw five more branches with a circle on the end of each.  They then have 10 minutes to think of twenty five words for the new branches.  The words must relate to the former words but not the original word the students started out with in the beginning.

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Random Request

This activity is about entrepreneurial skills development, with a special focus on teambuilding. Divide the group into teams of 4 to 6 persons. Each group will get a sheet of paper with a number of questions/assignments. Each question/assignment is allocated a different number of points. Within a limited time frame, the teams have to gain as many points as possible by completing as many questions/assignments as possible. The team with the most points wins. This activity has proven to be successful with any kind of group (e.g. students, entrepreneurs, teachers, employees). NOTE: it is strongly recommended to lead this activity with at least 2 teachers.

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Self Reflection

Self-Reflection is like looking into a mirror and describing what you see. It is a way of assessing yourself and is an important part of learning. This Self Reflection activity is designed to helps students understand the skills they already possess and what entrepreneurial skills or areas they may need to work on and develop further.

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