Core Module Information:

Taught by:


Keith Willey
MSc Technology Entrepreneurship and MSI PGT affiliate students only
Term 2
3-hour class (x 10 weeks)
2x individual case study write-ups (50%), 1 x group project (40%), class participation (10%)

This module considers the challenges faced by small firms that are aiming to become big ones. This is an integrative course that concentrates on the general management challenges facing founders or managers in entrepreneurial, high-growth and high-tech businesses.

The main objectives are to:

  • Give students an insight into what running an early stage growing business actually entails.
  • Provide an overview of the major strategic and operational issues that typically confront young growing businesses.
  • Provide frameworks for anticipating the likely growth issues in the business.

Topics covered include:

  • Barriers to growth and strategies to overcome them
  • Finance for high-growth enterprises – including cash management, funding growth
  • Organising for growth
  • Stakeholder perspectives in a growing business
  • Growth models, adaptation and evolution and managing transitions
  • Non-organic growth – e.g. roll-ups, buy/sell businesses

The course will draw on a range of case studies of ventures (not just high-technology) to illustrate the challenges of creating high potential enterprises.

You are required to submit write-ups for two of the case studies (weeks 3and 8) (50%). You also need to form a team of 4 to research a real business and submit a report after the end of term (40%). At the last session you will make a presentation of your preliminary findings to the class – unmarked but you get feedback to help your final report. We also maintain a mark for class contribution to encourage participation in the extensive case discussions (10%).

A selection of case studies and readings distributed with the course pack.