This article and another entitled, Trying to eat sustainably? Edmonton entrepreneur decodes food labels (by Paul Attfield, January 27, 2016), are case studies of entrepreneurial companies with some successful history that are now seeking to grow further.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Entrepreneurship, business management, marketing

Key Questions to Explore:

  • What strategies support organizational growth?
Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

This lesson enables students to look at challenging business situations from various perspectives.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Using the Dragons’ Den concept, divide the class into four equal groups, A, B, C and D.  Two groups will be making “the pitch” and two groups will be the Dragons.
  • Explain the concept of Dragons’ Den to the class.  Ask students to brainstorm what criteria are required for a good “pitch”.
  • Assign Group A the ‘case’ part of the eat sustainably article; Group B, the ‘experts weigh in’ section of the same article; Group C the ‘case’ part of marketing firm’s big challenge; and Group D the ‘experts weigh in’ section of the same article.
  • Have the expert sections leave the room if possible to review their advice.
  • Have each of the case groups read the case and embellish as they see fit, either by adding additional information obtained online or through experience.
  • Bring the class back together.
  • Have group A pitch to group B.  Group B can ask questions, offer advice as the experts have, and add some additional advice.
  • Following this, have Group C pitch to Group D in the same way.
  • Reflect with the class on the process of Dragons’ Den.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Have a class discussion on the strategies that were suggested and what other ideas that could be explored to assist these two growing companies.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students understand that there can be multiple solutions to a problem.

Confirming Activity:

  • In pairs, have students write a case study about a business idea they are interested in.  Once the case study is complete – perhaps in a week or so – combine pairs, have them exchange case studies and ask each other probing questions that will help the writers think about solutions.