Colorado Leeds School of Business
frank moyes   entrepreneurship and small business management | esbm 6100    






MBAX 6100

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management


Spring 2007


Course Overview:

This course provides students with an understanding of the entrepreneurial process. It exposes you to the concepts, practices and tools of the entrepreneurial world.  This will be accomplished through a combination of field projects, readings, cases, and speakers designed to convey the unique environment of entrepreneurship and new ventures.


The most effective way to understand entrepreneurship is to talk to a lot of entrepreneurs. This course takes a very experiential approach and students are expected to interact with the business community, participate in class discussion and be active participants in the teaching/learning process.


Course Objectives:

Students who take the course will:

Learn how to recognize and evaluate new venture opportunities

Understand the issues faced by entrepreneurs who start their own venture

Understand what is corporate entrepreneurship:

  • Innovation in large organizations
  • Obstacles faced by large organizations in becoming more innovative
  • How intrapreneurs operate in large organizations
  • The difference between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs

Acquire skills and tools that are essential in starting and growing a new business

Really understand:

  • Difference between an opportunity and an idea
  • Value proposition and how it applies to a new venture
  • Sustainable competitive advantage
  • How to determine the profitability of a new venture

Gain experience in interviewing investors, customers, and industry experts

Learn why entrepreneurship is a way of thinking and acting

Determine your own potential to be an entrepreneur/intrapreneur


Course Materials

Required Materials:

  • Bygrave & Zacharakis, 2004. The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship, 3rd edition, Wiley
  • Mullins, 2006. The New Business Road Test, FT Prentice Hall
  • Guy Kawasaki, 20004 The Art of the Start, Portfolio (Penguin Group)
  • Packet: cases and articles
  • Hand-outs: reading materials
  • Entrepreneur Interview: download from course website
  • Feasibility Plan: download from course website



Optional Readings:

  • Ray Smilor, Daring Visionaries (How Entrepreneurs Build Companies, Inspire Allegiance and Create Wealth), 2001, Adams Media Corporation
  • Brown and Eisenhardt, Competing on the Edge, Strategy as Structured Chaos, Harvard Business School Press, 1998.
  • Steingold, The Legal Guide for Starting Running a Small Business, 7th edition, Nolo Press, 2003.
  • Inc, Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine


Description of Assignments

  • Entrepreneur Interview

Students will select an existing entrepreneurial venture and conduct an in-depth interview with the owner. The goal is to provide you with insights about entrepreneurship that cannot be obtained from classroom experience alone.

  • Each student will visit the company to conduct the interview and observe how the venture operates. The company can be in any type of business, must be at least 3 years old, and employ 5 people. The objective is to drill down into the company and thoroughly understand the entrepreneur and how he or she does business.


Write a report thatt:

  • Describes the entrepreneur’s background, motivations for starting the venture, and challenges in growing the business.
  • Evaluates the value proposition (target market, product/service description and unique benefit).
  • Concludes with what makes the company successful (or not)? What are your recommendations for improvement?
  • Discusses how the findings of the interview apply or are meaningful to you. What have you learned about your own potential to be an entrepreneur?  Feasibility Plan
  • Small teams of 3 students will be formed to determine the feasibility of an opportunity that they have selected. It will be up to students to form their own groups based upon diverse backgrounds and similar interests.
  • The feasibility plan consists of three parts:

I  Market Analysis

II Competitive Analysis

III Venture Analysis

  • Both primary and secondary research will be required to determine feasibility. The underlying basis of the plan is interviews and discussions with relevant business people. You should meet with industry experts and organizations, competitors, distributors, investors, bankers, real estate companies, product and service designers, engineers, vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, subcontractors, consultants, etc.


Class Participation

Classroom discussion is vital to the learning process in this course. Each student is expected to participate in the class discussion of the assigned material and case studies. You should attend every class having read the materials and case study.


Case studies are a key element of this course. They have been selected to illustrate situations that are faced by entrepreneurs. Some are fairly complex and will require considerable thought and analysis. Students are encouraged to meet in groups before the class to discuss the issues that are raised. You are expected to draw your own conclusions, recommend a course of action and be prepared to explain your decision in the classroom discussion


In classroom participation, the quality of comments is more important than quantity. Quality comments are those that move the discussion forward by:

  • Revealing important issues
  • Bringing the making of a decision closer
  • Making decisions that are well thought-out, logical, and rationalized
  • Offering opinions that are well thought-out, logical, and rationalized
  • Debating or challenging your peers without personal attack



The evaluation of assignments centers on clarity of thought, conciseness of expression and thoroughness of research.




Entrepreneur Interview


Mid-term Exam


Feasibility Plan


  I Industry  & Market Analysis


 II Competitive Analysis


III Venture Analysis & Conclusions


Class Participation


       Total Points


  Grade Policy

                                                        A           95 --100

                                                        A--         91 --- 94

                                                        B+         87 --- 90

                                                        B           83 --- 86

                                                        B--         81 --- 83

                                                        C+         77 --- 80

                                                        C           71 --- 76

                                                        D           60 --- 70

                                                        F            59 and below


General Course Policies

1. Written assignments are due at the beginning of the class for which they have been assigned, unless otherwise specified by the instructor. Written assignments not received will receive a grade of zero.


2. Attendance Policy:

Students are required to attend every class. If you are unable to attend a class, please send to the instructor an email prior to class that includes as an attachment a write-up of what you would have prepared for the class, e.g. case notes. Absences may also affect significantly the class participation grade since the discussion of cases and written materials is an important component of class participation.


University Policies

The following university policies apply in this course:


Code  The purpose of the honor code at the University of Colorado at Boulder is to secure for students an environment in which all individuals have responsibility for, and are appropriately recognized for, their individual academic and personal achievements.  See .


Students with Disabilities  Students with disabilities who qualify for academic accommodations must provide a letter from Disability Services (DS) and discuss specific needs with the professor, preferably during the first two weeks of class. See


Religious Holiday  The University of Colorado at Boulder has a legal and moral obligation to accommodate all students who must be absent from classes or miss scheduled exams in order to observe religious holidays. 



Student Behavior  Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Students who fail to adhere to behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Faculty has the professional responsibility to treat students with understanding, dignity and respect, to guide classroom discussion and to set reasonable limits on the manner in which students express opinions.  See



Frank L. Moyes

Leeds School of Business

University of Colorado

Boulder, CO 80309-0419

Telephone: 303.492.2062

Office: Room 328A

Office Hours:

Monday   4:00 to 6:15pm

Wednesday 4:00 to 5:30pm

and by appointment


Web site:



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