Online course

The Digital Economy: Finance for Business Growth

Learn how to develop a funding strategy for your business; explore different types of finance and learn when, and how, to use them

  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $84 Find out more
This course is part of the The Digital Economy program, which will enable you to thrive in the digital economy and earn 15 credits towards an MBA.

Evaluate how to fund your business investment

Every business needs cash to grow and develop. Some can find enough cash from their operations. Others might need external sources of finance, like a bank loan. So how does a business make robust decisions about borrowing?

Whether you are in a micro business, a small to medium-sized organisation, or a large firm, this online course will guide you through finance options.

You will consider traditional and alternative finance options; evaluate what type of funding is suitable for your business; and develop a financial statement and funding strategy, to make the right decision.

What topics will you cover?

  • Assess the role of cash management in business and the relationship between cash management and business performance
  • Consider the benefits and drawbacks of different sources of finance
  • Understand the relevance of liquidity and solvency when managing a business
  • Evaluate the role of cash flow forecasting and assess future cash requirements
  • Understand the risks, benefits and drawbacks of different types of funding
  • Decide on a suitable type of funding and assess risk-return issues
  • Assess how and why alternative finance activities, such as crowdfunding, have evolved
  • Assess the benefits and risks of alternative finance for business borrowers
  • Evaluate the use of equity funding, both private and public equity issues
  • Assess the role of private equity, and the benefits offered by different types of private equity for funding business growth
  • Explore behavioural finance issues in investment decision-making

Academic credit
If you are aiming to use your study of courses in the Digital Economy program to obtain academic credit, please be aware that the final planned presentation of the Open University Assessment Course BXM871 Managing in the Digital Economy starts July 2020. Please ensure that you allow yourself enough time to obtain all four Certificates of Achievement from courses in the program before registering for the Assessment Course. The start dates of the relevant FutureLearn courses in 2019 and 2020 are available here.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 1 April 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Assess borrowing requirements and develop a strategy for your business finance needs
  • Assess the risks, benefits and drawbacks of different types of debt
  • Assess and critique finance available to your business, both traditional and newer sources, such as crowd funding
  • Evaluate funding opportunities for business growth and development
  • Apply and consider the role of traditional sources of finance, i.e. debt and equity, as well as alternative finance options, such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending
  • Record and learn to use financial statements to assess the financial health of a business
  • Collect and learn to use a cash flow forecast to help you make decisions about managing business cash
  • Investigate and find out how you can develop a funding strategy and make the right decision about the type of borrowing for your business

Who is the course for?

This course is intended for those with an interest in developing their financial skills to make robust decisions when managing business finance. The course does not require any previous experience of this subject.

Find further information about OU registration, the assessment module and MBA in the entry requirements.

What do people say about this course?

The Digital Economy: Finance for Business Growth is one course by the Open University which l cherish very much, and which l will forever treasure. I have learnt a lot of terminologies under business and finance/accounting. Thanks to the lead educator and her team of facilitators.

Robert Adom-Boateng

Who will you learn with?

Jane Hughes

Dr Jane Hughes is a lecturer in accounting and finance at the Open University. She is a professional accountant, with over twenty years of business experience in both corporate and financial services.

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.

Free
$0

Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 6 weeks

Upgrade
$84

Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible
New

Unlimited (New!)
$269 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.