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Digital Entrepreneurship & Financing

Introduction

This module represents the confluence of two of the most critical developments in modern business: the growth of digital enterprises and the digital economy; and the importance of digital technologies in the disruption and reshaping of many industries and the creation of new business models. The importance of digital technology in the modern economy is undeniable. Indeed, McKinsey Global Institute have estimated that 98% of the US economy is impacted by digitalisation to some degree (Manyika, 2016). For new business and for the entrepreneur, digital technology offers the transformative potential to reduce costs, increase agility and speed to market, and for “growth hacking” (rapid experimentation based, primarily, on digital tools). In some instances, the integration of digital technology into an organisation’s operations, or the inception of new digital enterprises, can go beyond this to a process of digital disruption, whereby technologies come to entirely reshape the whole industry they are applied to. There are numerous examples of this, including: Amazon and book retailing; Uber and the taxi industry; Airbnb and in hotel and accommodation retailing; and many more. At the same time, there are important concerns and developments in the area of funding for such businesses, and a growing interest in new models of financing such as crowdfunding, investment angels and similar.

The principal aim of this module is to introduce participants to this exciting, dynamic and highly relevant area of modern business management. Participants will be given the tools, case studies and best practice strategies required to develop a digital enterprise, and to identify and act upon opportunities for digital disruption.

The modules culminates in the creation of a full funding proposal detailing an innovative business model of the participants design, along with strategies for the marketing and development of the business. This business model will utilise the latest and emerging technologies to identify new opportunities for digital disruption.

Objectives

Upon successful completion participants will be able to:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of digital entrepreneurship and digital disruption
  • Critically evaluate relevant case studies to determine best practices and strategic models
  • Critically evaluate markets and industries, and identify opportunities for disruption and innovation.
  • Demonstrate a thorough comprehension of, and an ability to apply best practice in digital entrepreneurship.
  • Create the financial elements of business case proposals for e-opportunities including financial appraisals.
  • Create, evaluate and develop a digital business model including the financial elements of an e-businesses cost structure, revenue generation/pricing and its value proposition

Syllabus

  • What is a Digital Enterprise?

a. Definition and comparison with traditional businesses.

b. Case studies.

  • What is Digital Financing?

a. Definition.

b. Case studies.

c. Identification of opportunities for Digital Financing.

  • Forming a Digital Entrepreneurship

a. Market research and idea development.

b. Digital business model development.

c. Digital technology development and innovation.

d. Funding – including seed funding and crowdfunding.

  • Growing a Digital Enterprise

a. Digital technology development and enhancement.

b. Growth and digital hacking.

c. Managing a digital enterprise.

d. Continuous deployment.

e. Innovation, dispersion and diversification.

Assessment

  • Business Model & Financing Plan Presentation (30%)
  • 4,000 words Post Module Assignment (70%)

Duration

2 weeks including 24 hours of lectures and 21 hours of seminars