August 9, 2017

Sample Project Materials

Sample Course Curriculum for Food Entrepreneurs

Sample Course Curriculum

The curriculum detailed below is a sample curriculum for the Level 5 EQF course currently being developed as an output of the Creating Entrepreneurs in Food Erasmus project. It is not the final version of the curriculum but does indicate the learning outcomes and modules expected to be achieved after completing the course. The course curriculum and module syllabi will be tested with the target group over the project lifetime. If you are involved in the short food supply chain and would like to provide feedback on the curriculum and syllabi please monitor the events section of the website for details on upcoming events and training activities. 
Course Title: Creating Entrepreneurs in Food
Level: EQF Level 5
Weighting: 30 credits
Course Delivery Method: Blended Learning (a combination of online learning and classroom based learning)
Notional Hours: 100 hours for every 10 credits
Modules: Four

Course Aim

To develop entrepreneurial skill sets in early stage food entrepreneurs and to facilitate innovative thinking that will develop the potential for participants to recognize and critically analyse opportunities within the sector and in turn create employment in their local regions.

The course is designed to provide food producers with the skills and the mind set required to remove themselves from long food supply chains, add value to their business and create short food supply chains. In order for food producers to enforce short food supply chains, they will need to acquire the skills to be able to carry out the processing, logistics and distribution steps normally associated with long food supply chains. The course will provide those skills.

Course Objectives

  1. Develop farmer’s entrepreneurship skills
  2. Increase income for food producers
  3. Increase awareness and understanding around supply chains and value chains
  4. Create collaborative learning that advances knowledge base
  5. Teach processing, logistics and regulation skills
  6. Establish key skills of communications
  7. Teach Business and ICT Skills
  8. Create awareness of food sustainable
  9. Develop Innovation and Technology Transfers
  10. Demonstrate the importance of ICT in business and enhance digital business skills

Learning Outcomes of the Course

This course takes the approach of combining industry relevant skill sets with soft skills development related to enhancing entrepreneurial mind-sets within participants. The course builds knowledge and know-how of entrepreneurship through the topics outlined, however the teaching style of experiential (learning through experience) and challenge based learning enhances the competence of the participants for entrepreneurship and therefore venture execution.  This approach requires a non-traditional learning environment that blends teaching and assessment techniques.

Entrepreneurship development

Entrepreneurs have a unique mindset that enables them to visualise new ideas and to take action to harness the opportunity that leads to change for the entrepreneur or society in general. They play a key role in employment, innovation and change in society. The perception of entrepreneurs is that they are risk takers and highly motivated, however the mindset is much more analytical and composed. With entrepreneurs playing such a significant role in our society it is important to nurture the mindset and skill sets entrepreneurs require. Entrepreneurship is a creative process of idea development to execution. This process like any other can be improved in students by creating a more entrepreneurial mindset. This is also beneficial for employees who can see problems in their companies or industry and take action to create and implement solutions.

This entrepreneurial process requires both hard and soft skills development and both are nurtured in this course. Resilience is a common soft skill required to implement a new idea or venture.  Through the creation of a challenge based environment students are exposed to situations that take them fully out of their comfort zone. Through facilitation and reflective practices, the students create an awareness to their resilience levels, which gives them a solid skills platform for taking on a new venture. This example can be replicated for many other soft and hard skill development.

Specific Learning Outcomes of the Course

  • Critically analyse and understand European long/short food supply chains
  • Design and implement Lean start up principles and evaluate in the context of a food venture start-up
  • Obtain an understanding of customer development for food businesses and be able to develop insights into the customer development process
  • Have an awareness of business creation dynamics and have the ability to generate Food Business models and critically analyse business model strengths and weaknesses
  • Have the ability to create new food business concepts or the ability to nurture business concepts in other people
  • Have an awareness and insights of the personal, interpersonal and professional entrepreneurial traits
  • Evaluate customer discovery techniques
  • Have a working understanding of the various business model and lean start up tools and through their use have the ability to create insights and interpretations for a venture creation process
  • Have a deep understanding of marketing principles for venture creation process and design and implement marketing strategies
  • Develop insights into brand awareness and have the ability to formulate brand strategies
  • Evaluate options for advanced product design and testing
  • Interpret food law and hygiene standards and apply to product development and business plans
  • Interpret and evaluate basic financial modelling for new food ventures and have the ability to conduct financial planning, control and pricing.
  • Have a critical understanding of business planning and business plans and develop insights into their application and development
  • Propose and plan advanced prototyping and testing
  • Use Problem solving ability through a range of tools and thinking techniques
  • Have a systematic knowledge of design thinking as a tool to developing products or services
  • Develop a critical awareness of the creative thinking process and the ability to demonstrate a range of tools and techniques used to stimulate creative thinking
  • Analyse team work skills and apply analysis to their own business, personal or interpersonal situations
  • Develop an awareness of optimal presentation skills in the context of developing a business
  • Analyse emotional intelligence and empathy and use a self-evaluation instrument

Skills taught throughout the course:

This course is specifically designed to provide participants with the extensive knowledge and skill set required to become an Entrepreneur. In addition to that, the course will also provide participants with the transversal skill sets such as Creativity, Design and Innovation, Critical/Analytical Thinking Skills, People and Management skills. The course and its graduates will feed into achieving the goals outlined in National and European policy and will contribute to a growth of entrepreneurs in the sector.

Module One focuses on personal development, developing interpersonal and communication skills and creative thinking. The topics covered in the module will include:

  • Characteristics and qualities of an entrepreneur
  • Self-assessment of existing skills
  • Team dynamics
  • Communication
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Influencing and negotiating
  • Idea Generation
  • Communications

This module will focus on developing the soft skills required to become a food entrepreneur i.e. Creative thinking and Innovation will contribute to the growth of an entrepreneurial mind set and allow students to safely executing idea. Team dynamics and Team Theory will enable students to develop skills by networking, collaborating and understanding their place in a team and other team personalities. Customer discovery will provide an understanding of empathy for the customer.

Module Two: focuses on the implementation discipline of entrepreneurship and innovation and the skills and knowledge required to do so. The module include topics such as:

  • Product design/ Design Thinking
  • Customer engagement
  • Market research/Customer Development
  • Lean Start up
  • Business model generation
  • Business Collaboration
  • Business theory/financial planning
  • Competitor analysis
  • Supply chain design/dynamics
  • Sales and marketing
  • Business management
  • Business management skills
  • Pitching and Presenting skills
  • Strategy for early stage growth

Module two will develop the hard skills associated with entrepreneurship. This module is based on experiential learning so students will “learn by doing”. Students will be set challenges putting theory into practise, therefore giving them the real life pressure of entrepreneurship i.e. testing their prototype with their target audience and the general public.

Module Three: focuses on Business and ICT skills, how to grow business using digital technologies and create opportunity via online collaborations. The modules will include the following topics:

  • Website design
  • Digital marketing and skills
  • Online platforms
  • Financial transactions
  • Digital security
  • Branding
  • Communication

The module will also include CV workshops, personal professional development, interview techniques, mock interviews and building a professional profile on social media channels.

Module Four: focuses on developing the core skills required for venture creation in food and will include the following topics:

  • Regulations
  • Quality assurance
  • Logistics, distribution, market access
  • Market characteristics
  • Processing
  • Food Science and Nutrition
  • Sustainability and Adding Value