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Course 2015-2016 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLEAM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  3 credits SECS-P/01) - CLEF (6 credits - II sem. - OP) - CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  3 credits SECS-P/01) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  3 credits SECS-P/01) - BIEMF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  3 credits SECS-P/01)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives
OBJECTIVES: The main objectives of this course are:
  • to present the theoretical and empirical foundations that explain the choice to become an entrepreneur and the outcomes of entrepreneurial activities;
  • to illustrate how these foundations apply to existing real-life cases and to the business ideas that participant students may have. The course will cover the state-of-the-art of theoretical and empirical work in the economics of entrepreneurship, with a focus on the Italian case. We will consider both the determinants and the effects of entrepreneurship. After reviewing the conceptual and empirical foundations, attention will turn to how they actually play in real-life situations, by tracking them into the individual experience of participants, their possible entrepreneurial ideas, and the experience of existing entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ventures. This course appeal to both students interested in continuing research and study on the topic of entrepreneurship, and to those who intend to pursue a career as entrepreneurs after their studies. To both types of students the course will offer a rich and deep understanding of entrepreneurship as a conceptual and real-life phenomenon.
APPROACH: The first part of the course will follow a teaching approach aimed at rigorously conveying the conceptual and empirical foundations that explain the existence and the outcomes of entrepreneurial activities. The second part will be based on a highly interactive method, including active simulations, role plays, videos, guest lectures and real-case discussions to illustrate how these foundations apply to existing real-life cases and participants’ ideas. The assessment will be based for one third on an intermediate exam, one-third on an essay on topics and/or data presented in the classroom and one-third on class participation and short individual assignments. The essay can be done by groups of students. The topic will be chosen by the students themselves, after discussion and approval by the instructors.

Course Content Summary
  • Theories of entrepreneurship, focusing in particular on the occupational choice models with heterogeneity in ability, risk aversion and innovation capacity
  • Empirical evidence in the determinants of entrepreneurship: Who becomes an entrepreneur, and why?
  • Entrepreneurship financing: moral hazard and individual wealth; debt versus equity financing; venture capital and private equity: What are the best options to finance a new venture? What are the different opportunities to raise money available to would-be entrepreneurs? What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur, or a venture, that enhance the chances to receive financial support?
  • Entrepreneurship and family firms: Is the coincidence of ownership and control optimal? How can family firms enhance and transfer their entrepreneurial orientation across generations?
  • Italy’s growth problem and the Italian entrepreneurial structure: a model to be updated? What are the characteristics that make a country or region attractive to start entrepreneurial activities? How can they be recognized?

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Students will be assessed as follows:

Attending students
There is no final class exam for students attending this course. The assessment of attending students is based on the following activities, which are described in detail below:

1) Intermediate written exam: 50%
2) Group assignment (“Power pitch” + slides) 40%
3) Individual assignment: 10%
4) Additional points for class participation: 0-3
Total: 100%

Non-attending students
100% final written exam (Open questions on the indicated textbook)


Attending students

  • Simon Parker, The Economics of Entrepreneurship, Cambridge University Press, 2009 (ONLY CHAPTERS INDICATED IN THE COURSE PROGRAM)
  • Additional materials will be distributed in class to discuss case studies, examples, and to perform simulations.

Non attending students

  • Simon Parker, The Economics of Entrepreneurship, Cambridge University Press, 2009 (Chapters 1,2,4,7-14)
Last change 08/05/2015 12:58