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Bursting with ideas and eager to get a head start in building your own business? Take a look at this list of tv shows, films, blogs, websites and articles to get started on your university course

9 min read

Joining university is an exciting adventure, exploring a new city, making friends, and jumping into a degree. 

Studying a BA (Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship degree will open your mind to the knowledge and skills you’ll need to either create your own start-up or for exciting managerial careers in other organisations.

students studying

1. Books

Why not use the summer to gain some entrepreneurial knowledge to get you prepared for your course. These books are packed full of great information, to get you used to the language and maybe some key theories. 

Give these a go:

  • The E-Myth revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About it by Michael E. Gerber – Discover the dreaded myths surrounding starting your own business. Live the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed, and show how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business.
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B Cialdini – Understand the psychology of why people say yes and learn to apply these understandings. Dr Cialdini the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion.
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell – Why do some people achieve more than others? Read into the success of Rockstar's, scientific geniuses and many more to show that the story of success is more inspiring and surprising than we ever imagined.
  • The Lean Start-up: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Business by Eric Ries – The Lean Start-up is a new approach to business that’s being adopted around the world. Changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. This book will teach you how to understand what your customers really want. Testing your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it is the end.
  • Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers – Listen to ten years of experience in one hour. 

2. Blogs

There's nothing better than sitting down with a blog if you’re not looking to start a heavy read. Blogs are a great resource for business owners to share their thoughts and opinions and are easily accessible.

Try reading:

  • Guy Kawasaki Blog – This blog will open your mind up to fascinating people and their stories, hand picked by Guy Kawasaki.
  • Women on Business by Susan Gunelius – This blog will shine a light on powerful business women, and start the discussion between today’s male and female business leaders. Women on Business delivers valuable information as well as career and educational resources to an audience of business women working in all areas of business, from solopreneurs to corporate executives, across the globe. 

3. Websites

 Websites are a great way to gain up-to date information quickly, so why not take a look at the ones we have provided and maybe find out something new. 

Why not take a look at:

4. Podcasts 

If you would like to learn more while completing your daily activities then a podcast is just for you. You can listen while shopping or exercising or even when you're at the beach.

Have a listen to:

  • Adam Grant – Listen to organisational psychologist Adam Grant as he takes you inside some truly unusual places, where they have figured out how to make working not boring. 
  • Master of Scale with Reid Hoffman – What better than to find out how companies go from zero to a gazillion just by tuning in to this original podcast. 
  • Overcast: How I built This with Guy Raz: Spanx –Take a listen to the story of Sarah Blakely to find out how she invented a new underwear called spanks and became the youngest billionaire in America.
  • Castbox: How I built This with Guy Raz – If you're interested in listening to the stories of entrepreneurs, innovators and idealists to find out how they built their movements then this is the podcast for you. 

Student using a laptop

5. Ted Talks and YouTube Videos 

Here we have a list of inspiring and interesting Ted Talks for you to watch and listen to. You might find that some of them help you to start thinking about your own business ideas. YouTube videos are easy to watch, informative and are packed with useful information, images and text to create a stimulating experience.

Try watching:

  • Why do ambitious women have such flat heads? – Listen to Dame Stephanie Shirley who founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK. In this TED talk she explains why she went by “Steve”, how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women. 
  • How to build a business that lasts 100 years – Martian Reeves shares startling statistics about shrinking corporate life spans and explains how executives can apply six principles from living organisms to build resilient businesses that flourish in the face of change.
  • The single biggest reason why start-ups succeed – Bill Gross has founded a lot of start-ups and incubated many others, and he got curious about why some succeeded and others failed. So he gathered data from hundreds of companies, his own and other peoples, and ranked each company on five key factors. He found one factor that stands out from the others – and surprised even him.
  • How great leaders inspire action- Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership – starting with a golden circle and the question: 'why?'. His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King Jr. and Wright brothers. 
  • Entrepreneur – Business ideas and trends from Entrepreneur Network partners. The latest news, expert advice, and growth strategies from small business owners. 

6. TV Programmes

There's nothing better than being told to watch Television for homework, but this is something we think will be beneficial to you, and you can sit back and relax (what more could you want).

Sit back and relax with:

  • Dragons Den (BBC One) – This show lets entrepreneurs pitch for investment in the Den from the Dragons, five venture capitalists willing to invest their own money in exchange for equity.
  • The Apprentice (BBC One) – Watch as 20 young entrepreneurs compete in several business tasks, and must survive the weekly firings in order to become the partner of one of the most successful businessmen.

7. Films 

What about a Friday night movie night? Grab some snacks, a warm blanket and snuggle up while you watch some of the best films that are not only great to watch but will also give you insight into what you will be learning within your degree. 

Have a go watching:

  • The Founder – The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into the biggest restaurant business in the world, with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness
  • The Social Network – As Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, he is sued by the twins who claimed he stole their idea, and by the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business 
  • Steve Jobs – Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac. 

You should find some of these marketing-related activities a great way to  prepare for starting a Business Management and Entrepreneurship degree. 

If you’re starting at the University of Portsmouth this autumn and you have any questions or concerns, then please get in touch with our Admissions tutor Nicholas at nicholas.ford@port.ac.uk