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Finance for Business Growth

Free Online course
The Digital Economy: Finance for Business Growth
18 September 2017

Every business needs cash to grow and develop. Some businesses are able to find enough cash from their own operations to take advantage of growth opportunities. Others might need to use external sources of finance, like a bank loan. How does a business make robust decisions about borrowing?

Evaluate how to fund your business investment
Whether you are managing a micro business, a small- or medium-sized company, or a large corporation, this free online course will guide you through the finance options to help you evaluate what type of funding is suitable for your business investment and how to develop a funding strategy to make the right decision about the type of borrowing for your business. You will consider the role of traditional and alternative finance options and learn to use financial statements to asses the financial health of a business. You will also learn to use cash flow forecasts to help you make decisions about managing a business’ finances.

Throughout the course, there are interviews with business experts and business managers, who will show you how to make successful financing decisions.

Thrive in the digital economy
The Digital Economy: Finance For Business Growth is one of four courses from The Open University about the digital economy, designed to help experienced managers get to grips with today’s technology-enabled business environment.

The course has been developed by The Open University Business School – a pioneering institution that is triple accredited by AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB.

What topics will you cover?

  • Assess the role of cash management in business and the relationship between cash management and business performance
  • Consider the benefits and drawbacks of different sources of finance
  • Understand the relevance of liquidity and solvency when managing a business
  • Evaluate the role of cash flow forecasting and assess future cash requirements
  • Understand the risks, benefits and drawbacks of different types of funding
  • Decide on a suitable type of funding and assess risk-return issues
  • Assess how and why alternative finance activities, such as crowdfunding, have evolved
  • Assess the benefits and risks of alternative finance for business borrowers
  • Evaluate the use of equity funding, both private and public equity issues
  • Assess the role of private equity, and the benefits offered by different types of private equity for funding business growth
  • Explore behavioural finance issues in investment decision-making
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you'll be able to...
  • Assess borrowing requirements and develop a strategy for your business finance needs
  • Assess and critique finance available to your business, both traditional and newer sources, such as crowd funding
  • Apply and consider the role of traditional sources of finance, i.e. debt and equity, as well as alternative finance options, such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending
  • Collect and learn to use a cash flow forecast to help you make decisions about managing business cash
  • Assess the risks, benefits and drawbacks of different types of debt
  • Evaluate funding opportunities for business growth and development
  • Record and learn to use financial statements to assess the financial health of a business
  • Investigate and find out how you can develop a funding strategy and make the right decision about the type of borrowing for your business

Who is the course for?
This course is intended for those with an interest in developing their financial skills to make robust decisions when managing business finance. The course does not require any previous experience of this subject.

Who will you learn with?
Dr Jane Hughes is a lecturer in accounting and finance at the Open University. She is a professional accountant, with over twenty years of business experience in both corporate and financial services.

Who developed the course?
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.


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