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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Raising Start-up Capital

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 3.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: May 09, 2010 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: The material is designed to provide an extensive list of online resources to assist entrepreneurs in obtaining start-up capital for their business ventures. Given tough economic times, the material presents a series of alternative financing options that may be easier and more practical for starting smaller companies. The material emphasizes that before any new commercial venture is undertaken, a proper business plan must be created. In order to create such a business plan, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of the different types of available financing options. Start your capital search with a good business plan that shows investors and lenders your company's potential. Follow that up with a thorough knowledge of the resources available and a determination to make your business a reality, and you should be on your way to uncovering a source that fits your new business's cash needs.
Learning Goals: - Recognize the importance of obtaining proper start-up capital for any new business - Develop a knowledge of available financing options to obtain start-up capital - Tailor available financing options to suit business needs, situation, etc.
Target Student Population: Undergraduates or graduate students in a course on entrepreneurship or in an introductory management or business strategy course with a unit on entrepreneurship.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Understanding of financial terminology and concepts. Understanding of basic concepts about business and business start-ups.
Type of Material: Reference Material
Recommended Uses: Homework: could be tied to a project on small business development and on various ways that a small business might find funding, issues around financing a small business start-up, and stories about entrepreneurs.
Technical Requirements: Material is compatible with both IE7 and Firefox.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Articles were all prepared by professional staff at Inc magazine for their target demographic. Very practical focus. Provides an extensive and in-depth demonstration of the concept of raising start-up capital. The material is clear and straightforward. The external links referenced by the material provide extensive information on the subject.
Concerns: Some of the external resources referenced by the material do not provide much in the way of concrete information. In other words, some of the links contained in the material provide mere generalizations and commentaries instead of reliable, tangible business advice/information.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: As they are written in a journalistic style, the articles are relatively accessible and practical in orientation. For a non-traditional set of students, there is likely to be higher credibility of the materials because of their non-academic origin.
Concerns: For the most part, the material is just a collection of links to external online reference materials. Thus, the user is forced to click through dozens of links to other sites that contain lengthy discussions. To make it easier on the user, the material could incorporate short summaries of the concepts outlined in the external materials at the beginning of section. This would assist the user in processing the large volume of material. - The material does not clearly identify learning objectives and does not demonstrate or summarize the relationship between the different subjects discussed.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Site is easy to navigate. Each link to an article is accompanied by a brief description (or headline) identifying the content of the article. Site design is what you would expect from a high quality magazine.
Concerns: There is a moderate amount of clutter on the sides and bottom of each page. There is a lot for the user to take in visually, which might create some difficulties in processing all the available information.