Introduction to Rural Entrepreneurship (UG)


Introduction to Rural Entrepreneurship Microcredential: Online distance learning

Duration: 10 weeks
Credits: 10 Academic Credits (UG)
Delivery: All course content is delivered on Moodle, our virtual learning platform. You will converse with the tutors and fellow students in online forums.
Timetable: Fully online and flexible, with no scheduled classes to attend.
Funding: You are eligible for a fully funded place on this course if you are Scottish-domiciled and/or work for an organisation based in Scotland.
College: College of Social Sciences
School: School of Social & Environmental Sustainability

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Entrepreneurs often cite ambition, flexibility, freedom, and a desire for change as motivating factors for starting their own business. Rural entrepreneurs share these same motivations, but face unique challenges due to a lack of experience, support, and necessary skills. This Upskilling course is specifically designed to address these challenges and provide individuals and teams based in rural areas with the skills and knowledge needed to launch and sustain successful businesses. It will focus on researching and identifying robust, scalable, and impactful business models that are suited to operating in a rural context. In undertaking this course, learners will develop the expertise required to overcome the hurdles and obstacles that come with entrepreneurship in rural areas. Join us to gain the practical skills and tools necessary to maximise the success of your rural business.

Why this course

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the challenges and opportunities associated with rural enterprise;
  • Identify and understand different theoretical and conceptual models of entrepreneurship and innovation;
  • Identify techniques for developing business models through developing your own sustainable business model;
  • Understand and articulate the social and environmental impacts of rural businesses;
  • Formulate a framework and plan for the development of your own rural business.

Course structure

This course is designed to help learners to confidently start, build and develop a rural business. It will cover the following topics:

Week 1: Welcome: Introduction to Business & Entrepreneurship

Week 2: A Good Idea

Week 3: What are Business Models?

Week 4: Developing a Business Model Canvas

Week 5: Developing Problem Solving Skills

Week 6: The Challenges of The Rural Context

Week 7: Research & Assess The Market

Week 8: Money, Money, Money

Week 9: People & Place

Week 10: Leading The Charge



  • Analysis & Proposal (30%) (optional)

Learners will prepare a 750-word outline of a business proposal for an entrepreneurial business project. This can be a written submission or a business model canvas. Due in Week 5.

  • Business Proposal (70%) (optional)

Building on their Analysis & Proposal assessment, learners will submit a 1500-word proposal that sets out a sustainable business model, an articulation of its economic, social and environmental benefits, and an associated action plan. Due in Week 12.

Learners who choose to submit both assessments will be awarded 10 Academic Credits towards a relevant Undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow.


Meet The Team

This course is designed and delivered by Prof. Douglas Shand.

Douglas Shand is Professor of Leadership and Enterprise at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Douglas is a globally recognised leader in delivering business benefit from emerging and disruptive technologies. Before joining the University of Glasgow, he spent thrity-five years building, managing and leading technology businesses in the UK, Europe, USA and the Middle East. His career has included senior leadership and executive roles at global blue chip businesses such as Oracle and PwC and a number of global technology start ups. Douglas has won international awards for innovation and is an expert in the application of Agile methodologies in both software development and general business strategy. He provides strategy and M&A advice to Private Equity and Venture Capital investors and mentors a number of companies in the telecoms and emerging technology sectors.

Douglas teaches leadership and enterprise skills to undergraduate and postgraduate students and develops innovative programmes to build sustainable futures for people and businesses in rural regions and communities. He lectures across a number of programmes and is focussed on developing a new generation of leaders that are digitally aware and embrace and apply new methods of leadership to transform the outcomes for businesses and the economy.


Course alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all courses as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a course. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

This course is designed to equip learners with skills to progress into the following roles and industries:

  • Entrepreneur or employee of a business in a rural area

Completion of this course grants potential for:

  • Further academic study
  • Promotion
  • Increased earning potential
  • New career path

Entry requirements

It is suggested that learners on this course are educated to at least SCQF level 6 and have an IELTS equivalent of 6.5. Learners will not be asked to prove their academic or professional history.