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English for Business and Entrepreneurship (Coursera)

Welcome to English for Business and Entrepreneurship, a course created by the University of Pennsylvania, and funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs. This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in learning more about the global business economy.

In this course, you will learn about topics and language necessary to succeed in the international workplace. You will explore business English through authentic readings and video lectures, while learning about business vocabulary, concepts, and issues. Unit 1 will provide an introduction to entrepreneurship by examining ideas, products, and opportunities. In unit 2, you will learn about the basics of market research, including how to identify an opportunity. The next unit in the course will focus on business plans, why these plans are important, and will give you a chance to practice composing a business plan. In the final unit of the course, we will present basics for funding a business and will help you create a persuasive presentation, or pitch, based on a business plan.

Anyone may take this course for free and get a Statement of Accomplishment issued by the University of Pennsylvania. If you want to get a Coursera Verified Certificate for free, please fill out the Financial Aid form.

Unless otherwise noted, all course materials are available for re-use, repurposing and free distribution under a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution license.

Supplemental reading materials were provided by Newsela, which publishes daily news articles at a level that’s just right for each English language learner.



Unit 1: Becoming an Entrepreneur

In this unit, we will introduce course goals and logistics, then discuss basic concepts and vocabulary related to entrepreneurship.

Graded: Self-Assessment of Business & Entrepreneurship Vocabulary Knowledge

Graded: Check Your Understanding: “Entrepreneurship Seen as Solution to S. Africa’s Unemployment Crisis”

Graded: Check Your Understanding: “Women taxi startups gaining speed globally”

Graded: Check Your Understanding: “This recent grad brewed a startup by managing the details”


Unit 2: Identifying an Opportunity

This unit will cover how to do market research to determine whether a new product presents an opportunity in a market. We will focus on surveys and questions.

Graded: Check Your Comprehension: “Washington state’s new apple joining a changing industry”

Graded: Check Your Comprehension: “Bugs are the new food”

Graded: Unit 2 Assessment 1: Questions and Intonation

Graded: Analyzing Sample Survey Data

Graded: Unit 2, Assessment 2: Your Survey and Results


Unit 3: Creating a Business Plan (Part 1)

This first part of Unit 3 will review the importance of writing a business plan and will focus on the first two sections: operations and marketing.

Graded: Check Your Understanding: “Nigeria’s Wecyclers for reusable future in Lagos”

Graded: Check Your Understanding: “Chinese Go to Los Angeles for Kobe Bryant, But Skip the Beach”


Unit 3: Creating a Business Plan (Part 2)

In this second part of Unit 3, we will learn about the Financials section of a business plan and how to create a simple, brief business plan of our own.

Graded: Unit 3 Assessment 2: Written Business Plan


Unit 4: Attracting Investors and Obtaining Financial Support

In this unit, we will discuss different ways to get the money needed to start a business. At the end you will create a “pitch” to present your business ideas.

Graded: Unit 4 Assessment 1: Reflective Response

Graded: Check Your Understanding: “Microfinance gives voice to rural Indian women”

Graded: Check Your Understanding: “Crowd-sourced funding provides ‘Kickstart’ to new business ventures”

Graded: Check Your Understanding: “How to Pitch a Business”

Graded: Unit 4: Assessment 2: Persuasive Pitch