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PhD - an Entrepreneur? (3-4 cr)

Course, October 10 - 11 & October 31 & November 1 - 2
Aalto University School of Economics Small Business Center (SBC)

This five-day-course is organized together with Aalto University Graduate Schools: GETA, RYM-TO & FICS and is focused mainly to their doctoral students, but is open to all against a fee (see more below please). Course is not only for  becoming an entreprenuer, but also for those who want to be prepared to their work at companies (business skills).

Registration is closed the course is full!  By mailing to reserve list: marja.leppaharju ( at )

Brochure (pdf.)

PhD – an Entrepreneur-study curriculum is a customized program for full-time graduate students. The objective of this training is to improve participants´ over-all information, knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship and start-up-businesses.  It helps participants analyze, what components and competencies are needed to conduct a business successfully.

In addition to transferring knowledge and insights on modern theories of strategic thinking, the program also deals with other skills and competencies such as:  how to manage sales in terms of reading, interpreting and analyzing financial reports, what are the modern methods in customer-oriented marketing (the role of social media e.g.), how to interact successfully with people of differing style, how to be persuasive, how to manage in time pressure.

Content of the course:

Day 1                  Considerations on Starting-up your own business, October 10, 2011, 9:00-16:00

-          What knowledge and competences are needed to build up an own company?

-          Entrepreneurial  vs. academic profile ( including a test on personal competences and characteristics)

-          Company presentations: steps to build up your own business (finance, company forms, taxation, enterprise support system in general e.g.), Case-studies from Aalto Start-Up-Center

Day 2                  Leadership and strategic thinking in today ´s business world, October 11, 2011, 9:00-16:00

-          Identifying and Developing Opportunities

-          Strategic and business planning process in the praxis

-          Competitive advantage and competitive strategies

-          Value orientation

Day 3                  From invisible to well-known, October 31, 2011, 9:00-16:00

-          Development of modern marketing

-          Customer oriented/centered marketing

-          How to take the full advantage of the internet (e.g. social media)

Day 4                  Financial Issues - What to find behind the numbers?, November 1, 2011, 9:00-16:00

-          Introduction to financial issues – development of awareness on financial issues

-          Analyzing financial reports

-          Investment calculations supporting decision making in companies

-          Simulation game

Day 5                  Interaction is the key! , November 2, 2011, 9:00-16:00

-          How to convince your customer of your product´s/service excellence

-          Assertiveness above all

How to improve your time management

-          Organizing daily tasks

-          How to plan working hours and build realistic expectations to get things done

Trainers/Specialists are all entrepreneurs, and regular lecturers at Aalto University or at Hanken School of Economics.

Training methods

Methods of this training program are theoretical lectures, conceptual frame work building, and evaluating and commenting individual and group work, during which theoretical considerations will be reflected and implemented into the practice. In addition to this, participants are instructed to read relevant articles, and other literature to study.

Comprehension of the studies: 2 credits = active participation in all five seminars, 3 credits=some additional home work.


Free of charge to GETA, RYM-TO & FICS doctoral students. Doctoral students from universities 100 EUR and from companies 200 EUR. (Price includes lecture materials, coffees and a networking event / lunch).

The venue of the training

Aalto University School of Economics, Small Business Center,  Arkadiankatu 28, 00100 Helsinki.

Aalto University School of Economics Small Business Center  (SBC) was established in 1980 as an SME service center of Helsinki School of Economics, the leading university –level business school in Finland. Our purpose is to improve the efficiency, profitability, and productivity of our customer companies. Our main activities are further education, research, and the activity of Star-Up Center. There are three main topics covered by further training objectives:

  • Entrepreneurship programs
  • Business management and leadership programs
  • Programs promoting and developing internationalisation.

SBC has permanent offices in Helsinki, in St. Michels´,  in St. Petersburg, and in Tallinn.

For further information: Aira Davidsson, aira.davidsson [at] hse [dot] fi,  and:  Marja Leppäharju/GETA, Tuulia Puustinen/RYM-TO, Ella Bingham/FICS (