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BUU22570 Creative Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Action

(5 ECTS credits)


Dr. Francesca Di Pietro

Module Content/Outline:

The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical perspective of the major trends, dynamics, and opportunities currently marking the field of entrepreneurship. Over the past decade, entrepreneurship has become one of the most relevant disciplines in business and has attracted the interest of scholars, policymakers and practitioners from all over the world. Entrepreneurship is deemed a key driver to innovation and economic development, regional and urban competitiveness, and a critical source of jobs. Yet entrepreneurship has also been criticized for underpinning wealth and income inequality, particularly in sectors where “the winner takes all”.

As entrepreneurship progresses and spreads globally, and generates opportunities and controversies, a multi-disciplinary and international approach is required. Acknowledging the complexity of modern entrepreneurship, this module will draw on both theoretical and practical resources. Each week of the module will be devoted to the study of a specific topic, mostly by discussing state-of-the-art literature and analysing successful cases in a variety of global industries. Departing from in-class discussions, students will be working on group projects focusing on the resolution of distinct issues, as well as on the development on their own business plan.

Learning Outcomes:

The completion of this module will provide students:

  • A thorough understanding of the chief dynamics underlying the formation and growth of entrepreneurial ventures;
  • The ability to develop and present a business idea;
  • Critical thinking skills;
  • Personal skills including creativity, idea generation, initiative, research and reflection.

Reading and Additional Resources:

The module draws on academic articles, cases, practical examples, newspaper articles and exercises. In addition, podcasts and video clips will be occasionally used in class and guest speakers will also be invited to share their experiences. A full reading list will be provided via Blackboard. You are asked to supplement this with your own literature reviews as relevant to your coursework and assessment requirements.

Suggested books:
- ‘Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers’ (2010), by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, Wiley Publishing
- ‘Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley’ (2016), Antonio Garcia Martinez, Harper Collins Eds.
- ‘Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise’ (2008), Saras Srasvathy, Edward Elgar Publishing.
- ‘The Slow Fix. Lasting Solutions in a Fast-Moving World’ (2013), Carl Honorè, William Collins Eds.
- ‘The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses’ (2011), Erik Ries, Crown Publishing Group.

Examples of Useful Websites:

Academic Research/data on entrepreneurship and innovation (please note - these websites may become unavailable over the academic year):

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

Kaufmann Foundation

Stanford Entrepreneurship Corner

Martin Trust Centre for MIT Entrepreneurship

European Commission – SMEs, Promoting Entrepreneurship

European Commission  - Industrial Innovation
(includes Innovation Union Scoreboard)

EU’s Innovation Union Strategy

Innovation Policy and Cooperation in Europe


Starting your own business - business support and planning (please note - these websites may become unavailable over the academic year):

Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Boards - Ireland

Citizens Information Bureau on setting up a company in Ireland

Small Business Finance

Social Finance Foundation

First Step MicroFinance

DJEI (includes the Microenterprise Loan Fund Bill (2012))!t=Small%20Business#!y=#!s=#!ty=#!k=

Business Regulation

Enterprise Europe Network – Info2Innovate: A Directory of Innovation Supports and Services for SMEs

Silicon Republic

Intertrade Ireland (supports SMEs across Ireland, North and South)

Dublin Business Innovation Centre

Business Start Up – resources for starting a business

Basis – Business Access to State Information & Services

Small Business Can: A website run by business people for business people


Business Plan/Idea Competitions, Awards, Forums and Accelerator Programs:
Please Note: the following events were run in the academic year 2015/2016 and it is expected they will be run again in 2016/2017 (please check websites to confirm)

Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards

Startup Bootcamp: The European Startup Accelerator

The Irish University Entrepreneurship Forum – an event to connect business leaders with entrepreneurs in third level education in Ireland

USASBE (United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Launch

Newspapers and Radio (please note - subject to change):

  • Irish Times: Business and Innovation supplement (on Mondays), Business and Technology (on Thursdays), Business This Week (on Fridays)
  • Irish Independent: Business Section on Thursdays)
  • Sunday Business Post
  • Financial Times
  • Newstalk: ‘Down to Business’ 11am Saturdays

Trinity College (please note – subject to change):

Module Communication:

Relevant module material (module outline, supplementary materials etc.) as well as administrative information and any module announcements will be posted on the module intranet site (Blackboard). Please ensure that you have access to the module site on Blackboard and please check this regularly along with your college email. If needed, the lecturer and others involved in delivering the module will contact you directly via your college email. If you experience difficulties with this module or have special needs, please make contact as soon as possible to arrange a meeting and discuss any supports that may be required.

Evaluation and Assessment:

Please Note: Additional details on the specific deliverables in relation to assignments will be discussed in class. Support for the completion of the assignments will also be provided by the mentor.  

Assessment number

Individual or Group

Assessment title

Submission Due Date

% Total Module Marks



Development of a business plan for a new business idea





Written exam