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Business start-ups - advice for fish fryers

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

BBC Radio 4 has a 5-part series this week which follows eight budding entrepreneurs on a course in Leeds, specialising in how to run their very own Fish and Chip shop. I caught the first episode yesterday; with each episode only 15 minutes long, it seems like a very good set of programmes for students who are beginning a Business studies course, as it covers a wide range of the issues that they will be learning about.

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The Young Millionaire’s Dilemma

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An interesting and inspirational story for all AS Business Studies students. Nick d’Aloisio wrote an app called Summly at his parents’ home when he was 15. At 17 he sold it to Yahoo for £20million. He now works for the internet giant in California, project managing the rebranded app News Digest… whilst still sitting his A-level exams!

The young entrepreneur is now deliberating whether or not to go to University. Attached is a short research task with videos and articles that asks students to create a balanced, evaluative argument about the pros of cons of Nick going to university. They must then apply the same question to themselves to see how the reasons differ.

It works well to introduce the key skills of application, analysis and evaluation, whilst learning about one of the UK’s most successful young entrepreneur.

Business Simulation - The Trading Game

Friday, September 12, 2014

There is nothing that better epitomizes the concept of being entrepreneurial than trading - buying and selling - hopefully profitably!

That's the idea behind The Trading Game - an interactive teaching and learning resource developed by tutor2u.

To request your free copy of The Trading Game simulation, please submit the following form and we will automatically send you the download link

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The Perfect BUSS1 Video – Steve Jobs Billion Dollar Hippy

Monday, September 08, 2014

The story of Apple, from inception up until 2011, is told beautifully in this 50 minute BBC documentary (available on Netflix or via this link) and literally covers all 15 sections in the BUSS1 specification (and quite a few from BUSS2 too). As an added bonus, I’ve created this 30-question worksheet to keep students focused.

A fantastic insight into one of the biggest companies in the world, a ready-made lesson... and chance for you to put your feet up for an hour!

Hope it helps!

Gallery of Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The first lesson of the year with any group is always difficult – usually by the time I get to know their names, hand out the textbooks and go over the course outline we are all in need of a fun activity.

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Growth with Inflation

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Over the last couple of days I have been watching balloons take off at Bristol's Balloon Fiesta. An evening out with friends, and a few pints may have inspired Don Cameron to take a risk, but a love of aeronautics or flying helped.

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Marketing Strategy - Twins Add Value to Humble Homewares Through Design Innovation

Monday, August 04, 2014

The use of innovative design as a source of competitive advantage lies at the heart of this entrepreneurial success story - detailed here in an excellent Guardian interview.

It is always good to see twin brothers succeeding in business! And the Joseph twins seem to have combined their talents very effectively to help re-invigorate their family business.

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Entrepreneurship - How Failure Drove the Success of Dropbox

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We're all big fans and users of Dropbox here at tutor2u - and the story of how Dropbox has developed into a hugely valuable business is a great example of how failure can inform and inspire successful entrepreneurial activity.

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The do’s and don’t's of pitching for business investment

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Here is an article which might be worth hanging on to for the start of next term, when new students start on their Business Studies course. The BBC has spoken to three venture capitalists - not the well-know Dragons, but some different names: the founder of Google Ventures, and managing partners of two funds based in India and in New York. They compare what they look for in a startup, what they avoid, and the best way for businesses to approach them.

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Vending Machine Pizza

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

This could be an excellent starter activity for a group discussion September?

Ask students to consider whether this is a good idea? Is it worth the price? What is its USP? Wonderful for getting students who havent studied business before (and those who have) to start thinking about many business concepts. I find that students tend to engage well with the concept of enterprise when they find the idea interesting?! And who doesnt love pizza???

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Women make better shoppers

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's official - women are better at shopping than men. I have just finished listening to a brilliant edition of Peter Day's 'In Business' called Price Conscious, and one of the revelations was that men can be fooled into thinking they are getting a bargain simply by using red price stickers, whereas women are much more analytical about pricing and can look beyond the colour used on a label. Far be it from me to comment on this any further.....

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The value of failure

Thursday, April 24, 2014

An item on the BBC website looks like a good source of revision about entrepreneurs and what drives them, and how they respond to failure. Eight high profile entrepreneurs, including Richard Branson, Richard Reed, Liz Earle and angel investor Dale Murray, talk about their biggest failures, and what they have learned from those - so offer plenty of opportunities for the vital Application which students can add to their exam answers. This could be useful for students sitting all four of the BUSS papers, as the examples cover a wide range of business topics, from dealing with suppliers to the risks of entering new markets, and from aspects of leadership to the best way of exiting a business.

The written article uses extracts from an edition of 'On the Money' which was broadcast on Radio 5 on Sunday - and available to listen to on i-player until Sunday 27th April.

If you can’t think of anything inspirational to say, let Google do the work for you

Monday, March 17, 2014

I talk way too much in lessons, I can’t help it. So, to reduce my word emissions, my students and I collated a handful of concise quotes from artist, sportsman, writers, leaders and businessmen on the topics below. Some are great, many are cheesy, but they make for a good display and help students find links between business studies, entrepreneurship and the other subjects they are studying.

Risk Taking

Creative Thinking


Planning & Preparation

Hard Work

BUSS4 The impact of legislation relating to business, and the government’s Red Tape Challenge

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yesterday, David Cameron told the Federation of Small Business conference that more than 3,000 rules affecting business are to be scrapped or amended, saving more than £850m a year. BUSS4 students need '...a broad understanding of the scope and impact of legislation relating to business', and will be well aware that the legislation adds to business costs. Cameron is proud to say that his government would be the first in modern history to end a term in office with less regulation on the statute books than when it came into power.

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The story of the Tangle Teezer (and the importance of perseverance).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”

This is the perfect quote to accompany the story of Shaun Pulfrey and the Tangle Teezer. Despite failing (quite miserably) on The Dragon's Den in 2007, he went on to sell millions of products in over 60 countries.

Here is the link showing parts of his 2007 pitch, and a This is money article from last week. There are lessons in market research, patents, marketing, sources of finance and growth, but most striking is the power of perseverance.

Revision Presentation - Market Mapping

Friday, January 10, 2014

To improve its chances of success, a new business needs to take care positioning its product in the market.  That involves market research, segmentation and a process some call “market mapping”...

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Combat flip flops - bad for running, worse for fighting

Sunday, December 15, 2013

This is the tag line of a US start-up business whose story appeared on the BBC website this week, and it is a great story.

It has all the best elements of entrepreneurialism, and would be very much at home on Dragons Den. Matthew Griffin, a US soldier spots a rather obscure similarity between two markets which could not be more different - the US and Afghanisan; a change of career gives the opportunity to start up a business; he gains funding and support from family and friends; he makes successful prototypes but then has stumbling attempts to find a reliable manufacturer - which result in setting up production at home in the garage; he has orders but difficulty in finding the capacity to meet the current level of demand; and the set-backs he meets result not in abandoning hope but in seeking alternative solutions to the problem.

Ultimately the business has strong social entrepreneurship objectives, as it aims to bring jobs and security to factories in Kabul. It is selling, and has many orders on its books, which it cannot fulfil from the garage at home. The idea is to find funding to take a mobile flip-flop factory to Afghanistan, and it that is successful, Mr Griffin hopes the concept can "be extended to other former combat zones, to help provide employment and boost their economies". In the meantime, Combat Flip-Flops continues to also sell both sarongs and scarves that are made by Afghan women.

If you are still looking for a Christmas present ideas, this could be the answer. Although at around $70 a pair they are not cheap!

Micro-Tyco: A Superb Enterprise Competition for Schools

Monday, October 28, 2013

During our EntrepreneurLIVE 2013 roadshow we've been delighted to have been accompanied by the team from WildHearts and their superb enterprise competition Micro-Tyco.

We've provided some details below for schools and colleges that would like to get involved.

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Is luck an essential ingredient in entrepreneurship?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Entrepreneurship, finance, research, corporate culture, marketing, product development, changing management structures are all part of the ingredients in this BBC entrepreneurship feature about the development of Charlie Bingham's Foods.

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Innovation Innovation Innovation

Friday, October 11, 2013

Innovation turns business markets upside down, it alters the price and use of resources, it creates and destroys revenue flows and profitability as well as the way we work.

Peter Day a former BBC presenter considers a significant changes in a BBC Radio 4 series this weekend. Consider how the internet, search engines and 3D printing or additive manufacturing might alter market production processes, job opportunities marketing and economies.

There is much to discover and discuss in his superb introductory article linked above. The broadcasts are linked here.

Being Entrepreneurial - Entrepreneurial Skillsets

Monday, September 16, 2013

What skills are required to be an entrepreneur? Many entrepreneurs achieve success without a hat full of formal academic qualifications - so what skills have they used along the way? How important is it for entrepreneurs to have a broad portfolio of skills they can apply?

Those are key questions that we consider in the Being Entrepreneurial qualification through a series of structured learning activities and resources.

Each resource approaches skillsets in a slightly different way and students are encouraged to consider other skillsets that might be important and examples of how and why they play a part.

Set out below is a brief summary of some of the key entrepreneurial skillsets - can you think of some others that might be included? Add your suggestions to the Disqus box further below!

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Being Entrepreneurial - Entrepreneurial Mindsets

How do entrepreneurs think? What ideas and beliefs influence the way that they identify and then pursue entrepreneurial activity?

Those are key questions that we consider in the Being Entrepreneurial qualification through a series of structured learning activities and resources.

Each resource approaches mindsets in a slightly different way and students are encouraged to consider other mindsets that might be important and examples of how and why they play a part.

Set out below is a brief summary of some of the key entrepreneurial mindsets - can you think of some others that might be included? Add your suggestions to the Disqus box further below!

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Fat Profits? The Risks of Investing in a Franchise

Saturday, August 31, 2013

There is profit to be made in the diet and fitness industry. But, do the risks outweigh the rewards for franchisees looking to run local classes?

This article in the Daily Mail will not make pleasant reading for the Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness franchise, particularly if they are looking to recruit new franchisees. We should always question the validity of the data included in the article and perhaps the motives for publishing it. Nevertheless, for business students it contains some very useful insights into the risks involved in investing in a franchise.

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Maker Movements - Garage Manufacturing

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Collaboration and innovation are often fast-tracked by creating the right spaces for people and ideas to mingle.

This seven minute video from the Economist is deeply interesting - it looks at the Artisan's Asylum near Boston, Massachusetts in the USA which is host to a number of new hardware businesses. They are built around cheap work space, high-tech tools and crowd-sourced funding. The project has spawned some notable success stories many built around digital 3D printing - is there anything like an equivalent Maker Movement in the UK?

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Entrepreneurship - the Early Days of Amazing

Sunday, August 11, 2013

This is well worth watching A fantastic 20 minute speech & Q&A by Jeff Bezos, the founder of

Lots of great insights into the early entrepreneurial journey of Bezos and Amazon, including an admission that his parents gambled a large proportion of their life savings into his high-risk start-up.

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Business Finance - New Sources for Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Setting up a business is hard enough. Setting it up in this economic climate is nearly impossible. So entrepreneurs are having to seek out some imaginative solution. With banks seemingly reluctant to lend to new and smaller businesses, start ups are having to be more imaginative in how they raise cash to get going. This Channel 4 news report looks at the growth of unregulated peer to peer lending such as Zopa, Rate Setter, Funding Circle and KickStarter.

The UK’s peer-to-peer lending market remains small in the context of total commercial bank lending but it has trebled in size in just three years. According to a new report from the Open Data Institute, "lenders have been attracted by the relatively high rate of returns available by lending in this market, given the current low yield in bank and other conventional debt instruments."

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Business Location: Entrepreneurs Get Creative with Where to Locate their Businesses

Sunday, May 05, 2013

A terrific video here from Jonathan Moules, the Enterprise Editor of the FT, which showcases some creative choices of business location in London.

This would make a great stimulus piece for a lesson on startup business location - what are the attractions of some of the unusual locations featured?

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The problems of overnight success – and how to prepare for growth

Saturday, May 04, 2013

I’ve come across a great article and video clip about the problems faced by a company whose business boomed overnight.  A nice problem to have, and an interesting problem too!

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Is there a Business Opportunity from Your Digital Afterlife?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What happens when we pop our digital clogs?

I'd like to think that my collection of Tweets and Blogs might be acquired by the British Museum and placed in a special room that you could all visit. My collection of fascinating photos on Facebook are surely destined to become a national treasure - possibly.

Or possibly not.

But what happens to everything you do online once you've passed to a different kind of social network in the cloud?

There are an increasing number of businesses who spot an opportunity here. And now Google has decided that it has the ability to offer services to help people manage their "Digital Afterlife".

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Can Healthy Fast Food be Turned into a Global Success?

A great video to share here with your students and pose the question - can a fast food chain based on healthy eating succeed?  

Students at tutor2u's EntrepreneurLIVE 2012 events met Vincent McKevitt, the entrepreneur behind Tossed, a healthy-eating fast food chain based in London.

It looks like Vincent might soon be facing some competition from an ambitious Canadian startup Freshii which is also testing the idea that fast food can be healthy by building a chain of healthy fast-food restaurants in the U.S. and around the world.

Can the concept work? Why not? But what will it take to encourage more of us to switch from the instant satisfaction of a burger or fried chicken.

And can businesses like Freshii and Tossed compete with established multinational fast food giants like McDonalds and Subway who may simply alter their product offering if significant numbers of customers decide to start looking for a healthy-eating alternative?

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The Link between Immigration and Entrepreneurship

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Look at the personal background of successful entrepreneurs and you will often see evidence of achievement against the odds. Around the globe, many entrepreneurs overcome adversity, building a successful business after migrating from their home countries to a different country.

This excellent video from the FT explains how many of the world's best entrepreneurs have been immigrants and examines what links being an outsider to business success? 

Ravi Mattu, Business Life editor, talks with three immigrant entrepreneurs at different stages of their careers to hear what has driven them and the challenges they have faced.

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Raising finance for startups - the real-life Dragons

Monday, February 18, 2013

This is a useful short video from the BBC which illustrates the process of business angel investing. 

There is a strong flow of entrepreneurs who attempt to raise capital by pitching their companies to so-called angel investors. So what are the investors looking for before they part with their cash? And how helpful is the process for the entrepreneurs themselves?

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Is the Teapigs approach to branding effective (and ethical)?

Monday, January 07, 2013

As reported in Private Eye, when is a small business not a small business?  At first glance, Teapigs looks like a small company on a mission to introduce quirky, premium teas to the mid-market segment.  The company’s website tells a reassuring story of Nick and Louise who “met while working for a really big tea company”.  What you won’t find out by reading the website is that the really big company is in fact…

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Revision Presentation - Cost Basics

Sunday, December 30, 2012

This revision presentation looks at the key concepts of business costs.  What are the main types of business cost and how can they be categorised?  Why is the distinction between variable and fixed costs so important?  Why do new businesses often find it hard to estimate the costs of the business - particularly in the startup business plan?

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Revision Presentation - Cash Flow Forecasting for Startups and Small Businesses

Every startup should consider the likely future cash flows of the enterprise in the first few weeks and months of trading.  This revision presentation takes students through the basics of the cash flow forecast.

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Revision Presentation - Recruitment for a New Business

Many new businesses or start-don’t recruit people until the enterprise has become reasonably well established.  Others need to recruit people before trading can begin.  This presentation looks at the basic employment options for a new business and some of the employment challenges facing an entrepreneur.

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Revision Presentation - Raising Finance for a New Business

This revision presentation looks at the options and issues for a new business looking to raise finance.

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Revision Presentation - Risks and Rewards to Enterprise

Entrepreneurs taking calculated risks expect to enjoy suitable rewards for their endeavour.  But what are these risks and rewards?  And how can an entrepreneur minimise risk? This updated revision presentation provides an overview…

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Revision Presentation - Limited Liability

The important concept of limited liability is explained in this revision presentation

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Revision Presentation - Startup Business Structures

This revision presentation examines the choices of potential business structure for a startup.

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Hotel Chocolat - British Chocolatiers on the March!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Angus Thirwell the co-founder and CEO of Hotel Chocolat is immensely grateful to Joanne Harris and Juliet Binoche. respectively the author and star of the hit film Hotel Chocolat. The movie educated a generation of aspirational chocolate lovers in how to pronounce Hotel Chocolat and has helped millions of consumers in Britain and around the world advocate the hit chocolate retail brand without committing a pronunication faux-pas! I wonder how many satisfied customers realise that Hotel Chocolat does not exist? Perhaps they have typed the name into Trip Advisor hoping for a review of a retreat flowing with rather wonderful chocolate made from a St Lucian plantation? 

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Qualities of an Entrepreneur - Bounce-Back-Ability

Monday, October 29, 2012

Amongst the various qualities required to succeed as an entrepreneur, persistence in the face of setbacks and disappointments has to be one of the most important. This interview with Rachel Lowe in the Guardian  provides students with an excellent example of the role persistence plays.  Rachel was one of the first-ever contestants on Dragons Den and although Rachel failed to gain investment (in fact, she took a mauling from the original dragons) her idea for a board game proved popular with the viewing public and went on to become a huge success. 

However, a poor business decision at the wrong time resulted in her business failing and Rachel being declared bankrupt. Rachel's response? She picked herself up, handled the significant personal disruption and had the courage and tenacity to try again. That, my friends, is known as persistence.  They say that starting and building a successful business is 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration. Hard work, in the face of adversity, is what it is about. 

Management Today: 50 Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I must admit this came as something of a surprise, albeit a very pleasant one!  Management Today Magazine today announced their "Top 50 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter".  There are some pretty predictable names on the list, with Sir Richard Branson (or "Branston" as a recent BUSS4 candidate wrote) coming out on top of the list. There's a listing for the Dragons, Martha Lane Fox, Richard Reed and two good friends of tutor2u - Will King and Kirsty Henshaw.  But number 45...well. A surprise!

All business teachers and students really ought to be on Twitter. It is a fantastic way to connect directly with people in business and many of the names on the Top 50 have a good track record of responding to student/teacher tweets. Why not give it a go! 

Retailers that have collapsed in 2012

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

This isn't meant to be depressing, just a possible stimulus for a discussion about businesses that have failed already this year.

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There’s More Than One Right Answer: Ownership

Monday, October 01, 2012


This mini case study activity deals with the subject matter of ownership status but is more focussed on developing students skills at writing answers for Business Studies and demonstrating that business is not an exact science.

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What makes a good business idea?

Friday, September 28, 2012

This Powerpoint can be used as a discussion starter to look at what makes bad and good business or product ideas and what elements are essential for a business or product to be a success.

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What does it take to be a successful start up?

With the launch of Rovio Entertainment's new game Bad Piggies this interview looks back on the early days of the technology and marketing phenomena that is Angry Birds. This case study provides a good discussion topic for entrepreneurism and business start ups with a business the students have a good understanding of.

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Sources of Finance- so many to choose from!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

This worksheet will hopefully get students thinking about which source of finance is suitable to specific situations

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Be Your Own Boss - Episode 1: Commentary & Observations

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Entrepreneur Richard Reed looks for the next generation of start-up superstars, setting aside up to a million pounds to invest in three of the big ideas pitched by 500 hopefuls. Episode 1 of the excellent Be Your Own Boss was shown on BBC Three  and well worth recording to use as part of any unit on entrepreneurship and enterprise.

500 people have been given £100 each by Richard Reed. That's a very speculative investment of £50,000 by Reed to gain some insights into potential business ideas that might start to generate a return on the risk he's already taken.

What do you think of some of the business ideas featured

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Great BBC Shows for Business Studies

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Read on about a couple of new shows ideal for business students

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