• The Open University

This course is part of the Start Your Own Business ExpertTrack

Start Your Own Business: Your Business Idea

Build critical skills to assess your business idea, evaluate the resources you need for success, and plan your next steps.

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 1 of 4
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Develop your business idea into a viable business model

You’ve got an idea for your business, but how can you be sure it will work? This two-week course will encourage you to think critically about all aspects of your business idea so you can be confident it will be viable in the current market.

Understand the challenges of starting a new venture

There are some important differences between working for someone else and for yourself. On this course, you’ll discover what they are and what they mean for you. You’ll also be encouraged to think about the range of ambitions you could have for your venture.

Hone your idea using the Business Model Canvas

With guidance from Open University academics and using industry examples, you’ll assess the different ways you can make money from your idea and discover resources to improve its chances of success.

Using a framework known as the Business Model Canvas, you’ll clarify how your venture will generate a compelling value proposition. You’ll learn how to audit your resources and identify how these may need to evolve to meet your business needs.

Gain the skills to write a compelling business plan

You’ll gain practical skills to help you write a persuasive business plan, including a well-refined ‘elevator pitch’. With this, you’ll be able to confidently communicate with stakeholders such as customers, financiers, suppliers, professional advisors, and members of your personal network to bring them on board with you.

What topics will you cover?

  • Presenting your venture in compelling terms to others
  • Defining your ambitions and the business functions you intend to perform
  • Configuring your idea to launch a viable and sustainable business
  • Creating a business plan and refining your elevator pitch

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...

  • Identify what’s at stake when starting a business
  • Explore how your capabilities and mindset will contribute to the success of your business
  • Perform an audit of the resources that you bring to your venture
  • Develop the most appropriate business model for your venture
  • Produce a business plan and promote your venture to stakeholders

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

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...