Impact of Business Simulations on Entrepreneurial Skills


Business simulations are widely accepted as an excellent way to give university students, particularly within courses such as business and management, some experience in running a company in a risk-free environment, and to give them the opportunity to put their knowledge from lecture courses into practice. But why do so many universities use them? Thanks to a recent study by the University of Huddersfield, we can see proof of the development of students, both in terms of their business skills and on a personal level.

The study took the form of a questionnaire based on the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship entrepreneurial outcomes, which the participants filled in, both before and after a simulation programme (in this case SimVenture, which has similar learning objectives and structure to the Executive Business Simulation by April Training) was run. The results, though preliminary and only of a small sample, are very promising:


Entrepreneurial Outcome Mean before Mean after
Opportunity recognition 3.29 5.71
Seeing things through 3.71 5.57
Achievement motivation 4.00 5.29
Networking 3.43 5.86
Failure tolerance 4.00 5.14
Independance 4.57 5.86
Market analysis 2.86 4.86
Stategic thinking 3.14 5.43
Uncertainty tolerance 3.86 5.57
Sense of ownership 4.33 5.86
Initiative 3.57 5.57
Ideas 4.17 5.43
Persuasion 3.71 5.50
Financial analysis 3.86 4.86
Locus of control 4.33 5.33
Creative thinking 3.71 5.14
Costing 3.57 5.14
Learning from competition 3.71 4.71
Future focus 4.00 4.71


Source: Dr. D Williams, 2010;

Impact of Business Simulation Games in Enterprise Education


This shows that students perceived themselves to have improved in every entrepreneurial area, from being more able to tolerate failure to improved financial analysis. Although there may be some bias, particularly immediately after the simulation, the results seem to show that simulations such as Executive really do benefit students in a tangible and useful way.

Executive focuses on developing these key skills in participants, as well as being an enjoyable way to learn and test out business strategy ideas in a risk-free environment. It is also an online simulation, meaning that it is easily accessed and fast-responding, a real bonus and a unique feature among training simulations. This makes Executive perfect for use as both part of a university or college-level course, and in corporate environments, to give employees and students alike the necessary personal and entrepreneurial skills to succeed in real-life busienss.

Tags: business simulation, entrepreneurial skills, online version, university

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