Entrepreneurship and business model design

NBD405 Entrepreneurship and business model design

Høst 2023

Vår 2024
  • Topics

    The objective of this course is to provide students with the tools and theories to understand how entrepreneurs can create a business that allows them to follow their passion, provide value to the world and make money at the same time. Groups of students will closely collaborate with entrepreneurs and help them solve their real-life business challenges. Students then write a group term paper in the form of a practical consultancy report intended to help the entrepreneur design a better and more viable business model.

    Regarding theory, we first dive into the topic of entrepreneurship, discussing what kind of resources, networks, competences and strategies are necessary to advance innovative and entrepreneurial ideas. We then learn how these skills and processes can be applied to the design of new business models that underlie the creation of any business. We learn about different types of business model design (e.g., sustainable/circular business models, social business models, platform business models, etc.). We work on designing innovative business models by building a strong and convincing value proposition and finding smart ways to monetize this value.

    Regarding practice, this course seeks to give students not only a command of relevant theoretical perspectives but enable them to apply these perspectives and frameworks to real-life business situations. At the beginning of the course, we invite entrepreneurs to the class who will present the real-life challenges that they are experiencing with their start-up (e.g., finding new customers, new sources of revenues, expanding to new markets, etc). Groups of 4-5 students will be assigned to closely collaborate with entrepreneurs and help them succeed with their start-ups. The term papers come as a practical consultancy report that relates theories and frameworks derived from the classes to specific challenges these entrepreneurs face in their efforts to design a viable business model, and finally provide concrete strategy recommendations (including an implementation plan) on how to implement the business model in practice. Students present their consultancy reports in front of the class and the entrepreneurs.

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completing this course, you will have gained

    Knowledge of

    • the most recent research in the field of entrepreneurship on an individual level, i.e., how an entrepreneur identifies a commercial need in their community, crafts a business idea and takes the lead role to start their business.
    • business model design (how to create a business model from scratch) as well as business model innovation (the process of changing a business model over time).
    • trends that are disrupting different industries and how these require new business models (e.g., the sharing economy, disruptive innovation, digitalization, social entrepreneurship)
    • social entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurs can design a business model that integrates social and commercial value creation into the business model

    Skills in

    • Business model design for entrepreneurs: The ability to understand and analyze core challenges with regard to setting up and growing a new venture.
    • Responsible citizenship: The ability to design business models that contribute to social and sustainability goals while generating commercial value.
    • Reflective critical thinking: The term paper challenges students to critically reflect on complex, real-life business challenges.
    • Business-embeddedness: By closely collaborating with real entrepreneurs, students learn how to apply theory to practice and help the entrepreneurs solve their business challenges.

    Gained general competence in:

    • advanced research ability, problem-solving, and critical reflection
    • planning and executing project work in an international team during the length of the semester
    • communicating findings of the project in a clear and engaging manner

  • Teaching

    This course serves as an introductory course to Gründerskolen but can be taken by all NHH students. Furthermore, this course is part of the ENGAGE program.

    This is an interactive course that requires active participation by students throughout classes. Lectures will provide students with a solid theoretical foundation of entrepreneurship and business model design. In addition, students work in groups (4-5 students) on a term paper (consultancy report) in which they analyze the challenges of a startup and recommend a suitable course of action, short- and long-term. Through this work, students learn to connect theories and frameworks covered in the lectures with real-life issues of business model design.

    Overall, students are expected to take an active role in their own learning experience and contribute to a positive and open learning environment in class. Also, students are expected to reflect on and discuss the status of their term paper against the background of the topics covered in the classes.

  • Restricted access

    Please note that registration to this course ends on 10 January 2023

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    GRU401 - Gründerskolen

  • Compulsory Activity

    Students will be expected to be prepared for, and active, in class discussions.

    For all NHH students, physical attendance is mandatory (students can miss two classes; missing three classes will result in being excluded from the course). In addition to regular physical attendance, all students must be actively involved in the development, submission, and final presentation of their group’s term paper.

    For ENGAGE students participating from other ENGAGE institutions , online attendance is mandatory (students can miss two classes; missing three classes will result in being excluded from the course). In addition to regular online attendance, students must be actively involved in the development, submission, and final presentation of their group’s term paper. The final presentation for Engage students will be online.

    Course approval is valid for one semester.

  • Assessment

    Group term paper accounts for 100 % of the grade, 4-5 students in each group.

    Must be written in English.

    All elements have to be taken in the same semester, and in the semester you attend class.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    The required readings in this course will consist of a selection of articles and case study texts. A list will be published upon course start.

  • This is an ENGAGE-course

    This course is offered as an Engage-course



Spring. Offered spring 2023. Please note that registration to this course ends on 10 January 2023.

Course responsible

Associate professor Tina Saebi, Department of Strategy and Management, NHH