Small Business Development

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Small Business Development

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Entrepreneurship, Research

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    SBD 3.5 specifically addresses the Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) phenomenon: how are general trends and specific strategic issues and theories different (or: the same) when it comes to managing small businesses. This starts naturally with the birth of a startup and the development towards an established business and further growth, stagnation or demise.

    The course is part of the Bachelor Specialisation Entrepreneurship and is a stepping stone towards the Master of Business Administration Strategy and Organization. This shows in the topics covered, the papers used, the guest lectures and the assignments. Essential papers of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategy and Organization are presented within the context of SME's.

    Academic & research skills:
    • argumentation – ability to put forward well-founded, substantiated points of view, both in spoken and written format.
    • application – applying acquired knowledge to other problems and in other contexts
    • analysis – examining and understanding problems from different perspectives

    Bridging theory and practice:
    • has fundamental knowledge about the those disciplines relevant to the fields of entrepreneurship, strategy and organization
    • has specialised, in-depth knowledge and insights in the field of business development
    • is able to apply theoretical knowledge in a specific business situation
    • is encouraged to actively experience the chosen field in real-life during the study

    Social Skills:
    • excels at presenting (both orally and in writing) on substantive aspects of the discipline
    • ability to work in a team and reflect on your own role in the team.

    Self Awareness
    • takes responsibility for his own learning

    With regards to theory this course builds upon courses like Organization Theory, International- Strategy, Organisation Behaviour and Human Resource Management. With regards to the research and fieldwork to be done, this course most specifically builds on Business Research Methods I (BK and IBA), Business Research Methods II (BK and IBA) and uses the learnings and experience from the Integrative Research Project (BK and IBA) in the second year. The students will employ previously learned qualitative research skills to research into SME cases and their own startup case.

    Small and Medium Sized Entreprises (SME's) are facing tremendous challenges, with the ongoing digitalization and globalization today’s world of business is facing. Next to the distinction in terms of size, SME businesses can also be distinguished on the basis of their qualitative characteristics, such as the crucial role of the owner-manager, the strong local and regional focus and the presence of family in the business.

    The theory and practice of the startup will be covered. After that aspects of growth and development will be covered such as planning, organizing, strategizing and leading small organizations. Different aspects of innovation both in theory and practice will be part of the course.This course offers a balance between theory, research and practice within the frame of small business.


    Written exam – Individual assessment
    Group project - Group assessment
    Portfolio assignment - Individual assessment


    Organization Theory; Strategy; Corporate Entrepreneurship;


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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