Keys to Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The course seeks to introduce the concepts of enterprise, innovation, small business and their interrelationships. It aims to provide a guide to the key facts, ideas, theories and thinking about enterprise and innovation, to look at their relationship to small businesses and to consider the methods that are taken to promote and finance them. The word enterprise is used in a variety of contexts with a wide range of meanings. Within this range there are narrow meanings of the word specifically related to business and there are wider meanings indicating a way of behaviour that can apply in a variety of contexts, including business. The narrower meanings are closely associated to entrepreneurship, and in turn, the concepts of enterprise and entrepreneurship embrace much that would be considered to be expressions of small business activity. Management research confirms that innovative firms - those that are able to use innovation to improve their processes or to differentiate their products and services - outperform their competitors, measured in terms of market share, profitability, growth or market capitalisation. However, the management of innovation is inherently difficult and risky: most new technologies fail to be translated into products and services, and most new products and services are not commercial successes. In short, innovation can enhance competitiveness, but it requires a different set of management knowledge and skills from those of everyday business administration.

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