Business Course

Beyond Profit Business Course 2015


Beyond Profit Business Course Poster “To provide today’s students with the skills required to transform tomorrow’s businesses such that the values of socio-economic sustainability are at their core”

The Beyond Profit Business Course teaches basic business with a focus on Social Enterprise and a hands-on approach. Its aim is to equip participants with the skills necessary to launch their own start-up. This business course focuses on companies that make a profit while conducting business in an economically and socially sustainable manner. 8 sessions of 2h taught by working professionals will cover thorough business analysis, teaching basics of business (numbers, marketing, web technology, supply chain& production), soft skills, and creative input from Social Entrepreneurs. The course will be held once a week, every Monday of the Lent Term. Participants are expected to attend all 8 lectures and upon successful completion of the course they will receive a confirmatory certificate. The participation fee is £50 and based on the turnover of the applications in previous years, we advise you to sign-up early to avoid disappointment.

Why is there a need for the business course? There has recently been a dearth of entrepreneurship in the UK and this is partly because for many students – especially those from a non-business background – the daily operations of a business are a black box. While Cambridge is a brilliant university for building academic skills, the resources to teach students the skills necessary to succeed in business aren’t always readily available. We believe the business course will help equip the students with the basic skills they need to start thinking about running a business, or skills that will be highly valued in any career they choose to join. Furthermore, we hope to teach the students how to use the skills in an economically and socially sustainable manner. For more information please e-mail Liam at

The application deadline is Tuesday 6th January. You can find the application form by clicking here or by scanning the QRcode from our Business Course poster.

The need for a Business Course

In these unstable economic times, students are finding it increasingly tough to start their own business or start a career in a top firm. While Cambridge is a brilliant university for building academic skills, students are not automatically taught the skills necessary to succeed in business. This is particularly true of students from a non-business background, to whom the business world is inaccessible.

Furthermore, many do not appreciate the possible social benefit of businesses. The Business Course will expand upon the work of the Beyond Profit Society as a whole, in order to engage the students in social enterprise – that is making money and making a difference.

We believe the Business Course can address these issues by imparting the necessary business skills and demonstrating how they can be used in a manner both economically and socially sustainable.

The primary aim of the Business Course is to give its participants a hands-on experience in business, encompassing the fundamental areas of the term (see outline on the following page). By learning from experienced professionals in Social Enterprise, Business and Academia, participants will pick up the necessary skills to confidently consider starting up or joining a business.

Structure of the Business Course and Objectives for Each Session

Throughout the duration of the business course, there will be a strong emphasis on case studies. In addition to shorter case studies conducted at each session, students will have the opportunity to get in touch with experts from the field to discuss their individual ideas.

There will be 8 sessions spread over 8 weeks during Lent 2015. Each session will last for 2 hours, unless otherwise stated. The planned sessions are shown below.


Week 1 (19th Jan 2015, 7-9pm)
Introduction to Social Enterprise and Economic Markets

• Understand the relevance of social enterprise in today’s markets
• Understand what a market is and the different market structures that exist
• Learn about market failures, particularly in terms of its link to sustainability and the social impact market failure has
• Understand the legal differences between types of companies, such as limited liability
• Understand the financial and logistical differences between a business and a social enterprise

Week 2 (26th Jan 2015, 7-9pm)
Enterprise Strategy and Organisation Structure

• Understand the importance of a clear business strategy
• Understand different hierarchical models
• Learn how to write a business plan

Week 3 (2nd Feb 2015, 7-9pm)
The Important Numbers

• Understand key financial terms and metrics
• Understand the three key financial statements: income statement, balance sheet and cashflow statement
• Understand what the numbers don’t tell you in terms of sustainability and social impact

Week 4 (9th Feb 2015, 7-9pm)
Financing your Social Enterprise

• Understand what impact investors want to see
• Financial and social returns: achieving both
• Learn how to raise equity finance
• Understand the relevance of crowdfunding
• Understand the opportunities and limitations of securing investment and funding for start up companies
• Learn about how to make an investment sustainable and how to achieve efficient financial structures

Week 5 (16th Feb 2015, 7-9pm)
Pitching and Negotiation workshop

• Understand the basic theory behind negotiating
• What are traps and pitfalls – how to achieve your goals
• Learn how to ‘Sell Your Company in a Minute’
• Improve communication skills

Week 6 (23rd Feb 2015, 7-9pm)
Supply Chains and Production

• Learn about the challenges of securing supply chains
• Understand managerial structures
• Understand the logistics of setting up a supply chain
• Understand the logistics of outsourcing and setting up a company dependent on material from other producers

Week 7 (2nd March 2015, 7-9pm)
Maintaining Sustainability in Social Enterprise

• Understand the logistics of starting and running a new company sustainably
• Understand what it means to be sustainable
• Learn about the importance of sustainability

Week 8 (9th March 2015, 7-9pm)
Marketing your idea

• Understand basic marketing principles
• Understand basic microeconomic theory, such as market sizing and pricing
• Learn how to profile your customer and target market
• Understand the opportunities of social media marketing