Business Plan

Course description

This course aims to be a multidisciplinary seminar that requires students to explore a potentially profitable business idea and to develop an appropriate business plan. The central focus of this course is the business plan as a document increasingly adopted for the submission and evaluation of business proposals.

This interactive business laboratory will lead students from the assessment of their business idea to the definition of a detailed market research and the description of a trustable strategic planning. Finally, students will be also required to devise an accurate budget and a basic pro-forma financial statement in order to give accounting consistency to the business idea described in the first part of their business plans. Topics covered include: market analysis, strategic planning and organizational structure, cost definition & analysis, break-even point, budgeting and performance representation.

Required course materials

Readings: from number 1 to number 5.
Recommended (not required) textbooks:
- Timmons J.A. and S. Spinelli, New venture creation: entrepreneurship for the 21st Century, Mcgraw-Hill.
- Timmons J.A., A. Zacharakis and S. Spinelli, Business plans that work, Mcgraw-Hill.
Course material:
Lecture material, readings and slides will be made available throughout the course. This class is intended to offer the tools to design the business plan of a new small or medium size venture. Students are expected to deliver a comprehensive group project composed by a large descriptive introduction (microsoft word© and basic descriptive statistical knowledge are required) and a detailed microsoft excel spreadsheet. In order to develop this extensive business plan, it is beneficial to refer to materials from marketing, strategy and accounting classes.

Course objectives

The basic goal of this class is to provide each student with the opportunity to formulate and implement a business idea through the realization of a comprehensive document that could attract banks, venture capitalists, business partners, employees, managers and stakeholders in general. This course focuses on the proactive writing of an effective business plan; in addition this class also highlights students’ competence in evaluating a detailed business proposal. Accordingly, the objective of this course is to encourage the development of teamwork skills, but also to improve students’ ability to underline potential weak points and latent inconsistencies of a business proposal.

Course assignments & student evaluation

Grades in this course will be based on:

  • Final business plan (word + excel) 60 %
  • In-class presentations & peer evaluation 40 %

Total: 100%

Intermediate exam: presentation of the bp (market analysis, strategy & positioning)
Final exam: presentation of the final bp (economic and financial analysis)

In-class discussion & presentations

This course will be conducted mainly in an interactive lecture/discussion format. The lectures provides basic knowledge regarding the different sections of a business plan and the important link between the descriptive analysis and the excel spreadsheet. The process of developing new ventures will mainly be presented trough the identification and verification of a comprehensive set of key assumptions. The in-class discussions will focus on how to apply business planning techniques and previous business knowledge to each group project. An effective team work is an important pre-requisite in order to deliver a successful business plan. Students will enhance decision making and problem solving techniques as well as entrepreneurship aptitude. In particular, students will share their work with group-mates in the role of junior consultants with different areas of expertise and backgrounds. The instructor supervises the work of the different teams simulating the senior component of the consulting team. Students are expected to present the project to their classmate twice during the final weeks.

Department of Economics and Management 
Master Office
Via U. Bassi 1 (4th floor),  35131 Padova
Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00-14:00
phone: +39 049 8271229