• The Open University

This course is part of the Start Your Own Business ExpertTrack

Start Your Own Business: Creativity, Innovation and Research

Inject creativity and innovation to your business idea and learn to leverage your network opportunities.

Female business owner wearing apron in zero waste stock store
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 3 of 4
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Discover creative solutions to improve your small business idea

Creativity and innovation can be applied to all businesses to help you develop a more competitive venture.

On this two-week course, you’ll discover tools you can use to apply creativity and innovation to your business idea to improve its chances of success. Through the guidance of business experts from The Open University, you’ll uncover the steps you can take to effectively compete with your competitors and make your product or service more appealing to customers.

Explore how to approach creativity in business

You’ll learn how to find creative solutions that address the challenges of establishing a new business. Taking a methodical approach, you’ll understand how to justify and express your ideas to stakeholders who question the effectiveness of your ideas.

Improve your information gathering skills to understand your business sector

Being well informed about your sector and industry is the cheapest way to avoid costly business mistakes. You’ll learn about some low cost and easy methods to build this knowledge.

You’ll discover how to find relevant information, make sense of it, and put it in your business plan to help convince stakeholders that your ideas will work. You’ll also learn how to use interviews, surveys and other methods to gather useful data.

Unlock opportunities for your business through effective networking

Leveraging and expanding your current personal network can play a key role in the success of your business. To maximise this, you’ll learn strategies to analyse your personal network, enhance your network size and scope, and how you can engineer crucial opportunities for your business.

What topics will you cover?

  • Innovation and generating new ideas
  • Networking for success
  • Marketing research

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

Download a PDF

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

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

  • Explore creativity and innovation and how you can apply relevant techniques to your venture
  • Identify the different methods you can use to gather the information necessary for key decisions
  • Identify the different ways by which networking can be undertaken and the benefits that these can bring

Who is the course for?

Whether you plan to create a full-time venture or part time ‘side-hustle’ alongside a day job; you’re starting a brick-and-mortar business or an online venture; or you plan to utilise established platforms such as Etsy, Amazon and the like, this course will teach you how to get started.

It is suitable for learners at all levels, whether you haven’t ventured into self-employment and entrepreneurship before or have previously run a business and wish to refresh your skills for the current landscape.

Who will you learn with?

Haider is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the Open University and a visiting Professor at other Universities. He has consulted & taught globally and published in the Journal of Marketing Management.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

About this ExpertTrack

Gain the knowledge and practical skills to turn your small business ambitions into reality, with The Open University.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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