Minor

Develop your mindset, understanding & competence

The Entrepreneurship minor at Maastricht University highlights the (societal) dynamics that produce new opportunities, explains why and how individuals discover opportunities, and explains how individuals transform opportunities in economic activity. Hence, this entrepreneurship minor explores entrepreneurship as a process in which enterprising individuals play a key role.

Programme objectives

 

You just need to think of any well-known company (e.g., Rituals, TomTom, G-Star) to ask whether these organisations had not existed if there had not been someone daring enough to grasp a perceived opportunity and to establish a new business.

 

Research has revealed that most of our employment, Gross National Product and economic growth is dependent on the venturing initiatives of (teams of) individuals that start and grow new companies.

 

Indeed, the societal importance of entrepreneurship as an engine for innovation, renewal and job creation is well understood by economists and policy makers. Yet, knowing the importance of entrepreneurship does not equal understanding the entrepreneurial process. Such would require one to explore the contexts, structures and processes that allow enterprising actors to turn business opportunities into viable companies. The process characteristics are often overlooked.

 

This is unfortunate because entrepreneurship can be so extremely fascinating to study and rewarding to practice. Venturing yourself is actually not as daunting as it may seem to be. Smart entrepreneurs de-risk their venture, or at least they try to have others share in the risk taking (and the returns). Key to entrepreneurship is spotting and acting on business opportunities. Entrepreneurs do not only to spot opportunities they also must mobilise (financial and other) resources that are needed to milk the opportunity.

 

That is why this minor highlights the (societal) dynamics that produce new opportunities. It also explains why the courses will will challenge you to explain why and how individuals discover opportunities, and to explain how individuals transform opportunities in economic activity. The entrepreneurship minor at Maastricht University explores entrepreneurship as a process in which enterprising individuals play a key role. This entrepreneurship minor allows you to explore the virtues of scholarly insights on the triggers, process and outcomes of new business venturing.

 

It could gear you up for an entrepreneurial career in business, or at least help you to build a better understanding for the entrepreneurial process in which opportunity is transformed into business. You will, also, learn to appreciate the contributions of scholarly research of entrepreneurial processes, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ventures.

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Course design

 

The courses of the entrepreneurship minor at Maastricht University blend traditional problem based learning with case teaching. Tutorials deploy use a problem based learning methodology in small groups of up to 15 students. Case lectures use larger lecture rooms. Case discussions will challenge you to explore how the academic findings explored in the PBL sessions can be used to inform the practice ofentrepreneurship.

 

The readings for the PBL sessions can be obtained for free from the university library. The cases can be obtained from The Case Centre. For each course, you will have to pay a license fee of about €30 for your cases. If you want to opt for a 30 ECTS version of the minor then you can sign up for a skills course that comprises of workshops and practical assignments that will help you identify promising entrepreneurial opportunities.

Programme Structure

 

The structure of the Entrepreneurship minor is as follows:

 

minor structure

 

As you can see above, the Entrepreneurship Minor at Maastricht University is a 26 ECTS programme that can be easily enlarged to 30 ECTS. Those students that cannot complete the 26 ECTS programme (e.g. because you visit Maastricht as an exchange student) can also opt for individual courses of the minor.

BIRTHING NEW VENTURES: THE INTERPLAY OF INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITY (EBC2145)

Not many will contest the societal impact of enterprising individuals and entrepreneurial ventures on our economies. Entrepreneurs often start-up new companies with the intention to challenge (and sometimes even overthrow) incumbents.

 

In the process, they create new jobs and apply competitive pressure on established firms. Entrepreneurs supposedly have an important direct and indirect effect on driving innovation. Not surprisingly, academics have sought to unravel the entrepreneurial process.

 

From their findings we learn that all that happens prior to a formal launch of a new venture is critical to understand the essence of entrepreneurship. For example, we know that many more people see opportunities than individuals that actually seek to exploit the opportunities that they have discovered.

 

In this course you will explore why and how opportunities are created and/or discovered by more or less enterprising individuals. In addition you will explore why only a few of those that see an opportunity will actually engage in efforts to further explore and exploit the opportunities that they have spotted.

 

You will identify factors that drive entrepreneurship at the level of enterprising individuals. You will explore how personality characteristics, experience & education, and social embeddedness shape entrepreneurial journeys. You will learn that entrepreneurship is not necessarily about taking risk as many entrepreneurs put a lot of effort in minimizing (or even outsourcing) risk prior to the launch of their venture.

Mobilizing resources for entrepreneurial start-up and growth (EBC2146)

The societal impact of enterprising individuals cannot be contested. They found companies that challenge (and often replace) incumbents and they have an important role in introducing innovative products and services to new or established markets.

 

However, entrepreneurs never operate in isolation; many entrepreneurs co-found their venture with others and establish partnerships to gather the resources necessary for launching and growing their ventures.

 

We start the Resource mobilization course with exploring the two most essential resources for launching and growing a venture: human and financial. In so doing, you will explore how to put together an entrepreneurial team, examine team dynamics as well as how to recruit the best employees.

 

You will review different types of financial resources available to entrepreneurs as well as how to select the best one for a specific type of venture. Based on this, you will also examine the role of business planning as part of a venture’s resource mobilization strategy.

 

This course will explore the concept of bootstrapping or how to get things done when you do not have the required resources. In all of the above, attention will be paid to how a venture’s resource mobilization strategy is not a static concept, but is one that changes dynamically over the life-cycle of a venture.

Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship (EBC2147)

Social & Environmental Entrepreneurship aims to combine social goals with financial sustainability. Social ventures such as Annie Connect or Onze Saar showcase that profit can be made while serving a social cause. Other social ventures such as the Aravind Eye Hospitals do not seek to generate profit. They want to maximize the social value that they create. Social & Environmental Entrepreneurship further incorporates environmental ventures, such as Solar Century, Lemnis and E-Max, which showcase that profit can be made while serving an environmental cause. Other environmental ventures do deem the serving of an environmental cause as more important than generating (shareholders) profits.

This course explores the special features of Social & Environmental Entrepreneurship (creating social or environmental value) in comparison to regular entrepreneurship (creating economic value). Attention is given to the variety in issues addressed by social entrepreneurs, how traditional business concepts such as strategy, performance and finance are translated in a Social & Environmental Entrepreneurship setting as well as limitations of and problems encountered in social and environmental venturing.

Commercialising Science and Technology (EBC2144)

Commercializing Science & Technology helps you to understand and master the process of turning science into products and products into businesses. University labs and corporate R&D department increasingly rely on professionals that help bridging science production (conference presentations, scientific publications, and patents) to value creation (revenues, funding for scientific and applied research). Topics to be discussed include legal, fiscal and governance issues.

 

For many years, scholars have sought to understand (and improve) technology transfer. Recent developments push publicly financed research institutes and research universities to exploit the economic value of their research.

 

As a result, companies and entrepreneurs will find that academics have become more willing to share and collaborate. Yet they expect to gain from such knowledge and technology transfer.

 

For example, they may want to increase research budgets and/or seek to find better employment opportunities for their students. Also companies have several incentives to seek closer collaborative ties with researchers outside their own organisations. They are increasingly willing to partner with (and even invest in) ventures that were started to commercialize university know-how.

 

In this course you start building an understanding for the bridging of science to business. It provides insight in technology transfer and licensing as well as an understanding of the dynamics of science production and deployment.

Creativity and Business Concepting (EBS2144)

This optional skills training course at Maastricht University can be used to expand your Entrepreneurship minor to 30 ECTS. It is focused on two of the most important triggers for new ventures:

 

  1. spotting opportunities
  2. developing business concepts that could be deployed to exploit the discovered opportunity

 

Creativity plays an important role in several, maybe all, aspects of what makes organizations work and flourish. Creativity is also an essential skill for entrepreneurs to master if they want to start, build and grow a company.

 

But on the other hand, the concept of creativity is barely understood. Is creativity a personality trait, is it something you can learn by exercise, is it the outcome of a process, or something that is greatly dependent on the environment of the creative person?

 

If you want to build a creative company is it sufficient to hire creative people, do creative individuals make up a creative team, does the “creative personality” exist? During this skills course we will touch upon all these important aspects of creativity.

 

But, most of all, we will try to find ways to develop your own creativity. The starting point of the training is the fact that everyone is creative, that creativity is a skill that can be learned and trained. We will follow different paths to help you to investigate your own creativity and to find the best way to improve your creative skills.

 

Entrepreneurial opportunities are rarely discovered through systematic search, yet systematic search can play a critical role in the further development of embryonic ideas for new business.

 

Creativity plays a key role in opportunity recognition, ideation, and in business concepting. Yet, entrepreneurs usually also need to be creative in mobilizing resources (people, capital, equipment etc.), in starting-up, and in growing their business. That is why this skills course helps you to develop your creative problem solving skills.

Registration

 

The Entrepreneurship Minor is open to third year Bachelor students of Maastricht University of all faculties and starts every year in the Fall Semester.

 

As of September 2015 Maastricht University will have a coherent structure that integrates minors into (almost) all its bachelor programmes. As a result you may be able to easily register for this minor.

 

If you’re studying at another faculty of Maastricht University than SBE and would like to follow the Entrepreneurship Minor (or one of its courses as an elective), then you should submit a request via Special Course Approval in My UM.

 

Login to My UM and go to the “Courses” tab. Choose “Special Course Approval” in the menu on the left-hand side. A full manual is available at My UM – go to “Help” – “Help documents (PDF) for the STUDENTS”.

 

There may also be students who study at another Dutch university that would like to opt for our minor. That is (of course) possible (as it should also be possible for our students to opt for a minor elsewhere). In the past we have had students from Delft and Eindhoven in our minor programme.

 

Such students should register as a “non UM subsidiary student”. After successful registration you can register for the courses by sending an email  to informationdesk-sbe@maastrichtuniversity.nl in which you list the 4/5 courses of the minor for which you would like to register and you should attach:

  • A copy of passport / identity card
  • A passport photo (so we can produce a Maastricht University identity card for you)
  • A certificate of enrolment from your current university
  • An email from the minor coordinator stating permission to enroll in the selected courses.

 

Students who study at a foreign university can (of course) also register for the minor. The registration procedure for them is slightly different. Students from abroad that would like to spend a semester at Maastricht University to do the Entrepreneurship minor are advised to register through the university’s Center for European Studies. This Center can also assist with issues that relate to visa and housing.

 

Students who successfully complete the minor will receive a certificate from the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship.