Financial Analysis of Entrepreneurial Ideas

Shahid Ansari, Babson Global

The Course

In this course we will introduce you to some of the accounting and financial management techniques that any entrepreneur inside - or outside - an organization needs to successfully launch a new idea. All entrepreneurial initiatives including new business ventures, social innovations, and new products or processes go through a four-stage entrepreneurial cycle. The stages are: (1) develop; (2) test feasibility and plan; (3) launch; and (4) scale, grow and sustain. This course introduces accounting analysis needed at each of the various stages.

The course is action- oriented and provides students the opportunity to test the financial feasibility of a new opportunity, test its financial impact, develop a financially credible business plan, and examine the financial consequences of proposed actions. It teaches students to develop an entrepreneurial initiative into either a profitable or economically sustainable venture.

This course does not call for a great deal of prior accounting knowledge and is not designed for individuals who wish to be accounting or finance professionals. We assume that students have basic familiarity with accounting terminology and concepts, and we provide access to background resources for students who lack that background.

This will be an interactive course, requiring not only individual learning but also teamwork for completion. You will learn from short video lectures, online discussion of practice exercises, examples from the real world, team discussions, and feedback from team members.

More Information


Expect to spend between 3 - 5 hours a week on the course if you are familiar with basic accounting terms and concepts. If you lack that background, the course will require more time.


This is an introductory course and there are no prerequisites. Work experience will be very helpful.

Technical Requirements

You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures and examples, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will include spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.

Statement of Accomplishment

Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructors. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Babson or an accredited institution.

The Instructors

Shahid Ansari

Professor of Behavioral and Managerial Accounting; CEO, Babson Global

Dr. Shahid Ansari is a faculty member in the accounting division at Babson College and is currently assigned to be the CEO of Babson Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of Babson College. He has previously served as the Provost and Dean of Faculty of Babson College.

Dr. Ansari received his Ph.D. in Accounting and Organizational Behavior from Columbia University and has been a faculty member at UCLA, NYU, the Naval Postgraduate School and California State University Northridge before coming to Babson. He has also been a visiting faculty at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France, Macquarie University, Australia and Pretoria University, South Africa, Marshall School at USC, Rice University and Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia.

Dr. Ansari has won several awards and honors for distinguished teaching during his career. The Consortium for Advanced Management International (CAM-I) awarded Dr. Ansari the prestigious Bob Bonsack Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Advancement of Cost Management for his thought leadership. He also received the Jim Bulloch Innovation in Management Accounting Education Award from the American Accounting Association.

Dr. Ansari's has extensive consulting and executive education experience with major national and multi-national firms including several years as a faculty for Shell Learning Center in Houston and Holland. He has served on the Board of Directors of many new start-ups, some of whom have grown into significant mature businesses.

Jan Bell

Weintraub Professor of Accounting

Jan, a chaired professor at Babson College, earned her PhD from UCLA and is a CPA. She has taught at Columbia University, Santa Clara University, and California State University Northridge (CSUN.) Bell’s expertise is in strategic management accounting. She is the coauthor of Management Accounting, a Strategic Focus and of articles and books on target costing. In the past five years, she has published more than 20 journal articles and interdisciplinary cases, won two awards for case writing, and an award for best paper in the annual manuscript competition for the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

Currently, Jan is working on a strategic management accounting text; engaged in a research project on Sodexo’s quest for sustainability; and writing a chapter on social responsibility and ethics in management accounting education for the United Nation’s PRIME project. Jan is active in Babson Global and works with its partner schools developing curriculum and training faculty to teach and practice entrepreneurial thought and action.

  • 1 December 2015
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  • Language: English Gb


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