CreativeLive: We've partnered with CreativeLive to give Oxford students access to thousands of online masterclasses. Anyone with an Oxford Single Sign-on (SSO) can experience handpicked classes covering themes such as creative inspiration, entrepreneurship, communication, creating a standout business, design thinking and emotional intelligence. 

Be creative

We've collated some resources to help you build your venture, from trusted sources we know and recommend:

Oxford's Sainsbury Library: Entrepreneurship resources: University of Oxford Said Business School resources. Open to all Oxford students from any division. 

Digital Business Academy, free courses from Tech Nation 

The Disciplined Entrepreneurs Workbook: Practical steps from our friend and expert Professor Bill Aulet at MIT. 

The Start-up Owner's Manual, Bob Dorf, serial entrepreneur

Podcasts we recommend:

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

The Tim Ferriss show

The Reboot podcast 

Mailchimp: Lifecycle of a Business

Here are 10 steps we recommend to help you start your journey: 

0. Evaluate yourself

What skills do you already have? What do you want to improve on? What are your motivations for exploring entrepreneurship?

Future Learn: Uncovering your entrepreneurial potential

Future Learn: Demystifying entrepreneurship: How to think like an entrepreneur

Lady walking

1. Get creative

Think of an idea - What problems do you experience? What problems can you see in society that need solving? 

EY- how to size your market (presentation). How AI is transforming business videos 

IBM: Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioners Badge - 2 hour online course:

IBM, Design Thinking: The Toolkit:

1. Hopes and Fears:
2. Playbacks:
3. Empathy Maps:
Big Ideas -
Prioritisation Grid -
Design Research:
Field guide:

Experience-Based Roadmaps -


2. Define your market

A combination of primary and secondary market research. Define who your potential customers are and the size of the market. Don't make assumptions. Pick up the phone and speak to people. Get at least ten champions on board to test your product. Build audience personas and map their journeys. 

The Mom test by Rob Fitzpatrick

AsIs -
Tobe -


Market research

3. Define your value proposition

What makes you and your venture different from competitors? What added value do you provide? How do you make your customers lives easier or better? 

The Business Model Canvas: Visualise and communicate the vision and model of your business, all in one simple page. 


Value Proposition Canvas: Understand your customers, including their jobs-to-be-done, pains, and gains.


Blue orange

4. Map how you will get your first paying customer

How will you go about getting your first paying users? Map the process to acquiring a paying customer.​​

Customer acquisition

5. Define how you will make money

Design your business model​, financial and pricing frameworks. What is the lifetime value of your customer?


working online

6. Develop your product or service

Build your minimum viable product. If it's an app this could be the concept on paper or basic website. Test your assumptions, get feedback, iterate, get feedback, iterate. 

Lean startup revisitedTeppo Felin, Professor of Strategy at University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

Finance plan

7. Protect you business

Investigate Intellectual Property (IP) and legal 101. 


OUI: IP and commercialisation



8. Build your team

What events and networks can you attend and join to meet a co-founder and team members? What skills do they need to have? How can they complement your skillset?

Team members

9. Finance your business

Explore different sources of funding for your startup - bootstrapping, friends and family, grants, angel investor groups, crowdfunding, bank loan. 

The definitive guide to London Seed funds

How to raise money: Why raise investment, fundraising versus bootstrapping, what does pre-seed, seed and Series A-C+ mean?, types of investors, crowdfunding, Initial Public Offering, pitching, risk, multiples and more. 


10. Grow and Scale

Incentivise your customers, reward loyality, have great customer service and build trust in you and your brand. Develop a product plan and calculate the Total Addressable Market. Take on the world! 



Entrepreneurship books in our lending library

Books can be borrowed from the Oxford Foundry. If you have borrowed a book please return it so someone else can use it. A-Z by title. 

12 Rules of Creativity, Michael Atavar

64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World, Kevin Roberts

A Business Guide for Beginners An Explanation of Business Concepts and Terminology, Des O'Keeffe

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled, Ruby Wax

Accelerated Leadership Development How to Turn your Top Talent into Leaders, Ines Wichert

Adapt Why Success Always Starts With Failure, Tim Harford

Agile Risk Management, Alan Moran

Barack Obama: Quotable Wisdom, Carol Kelly-Gangi 

Be Happy, Make Money How To Turn Your Skills, Talents, Hobbies & Ideas Into Multiple Income Streams, Jackie Headland

Beat Accelerating Customer Expectations With Trend-Driven Innovation Beat Accelerating Customer Expectations Henry Mason

Becoming Steve Jobs How a Reckless Upstart Became a Visionary Leader, Brent Schlender,

Beyond the Business Plan 10 Principles for New Venture Explorers, S. Bridge

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcom Gladwell

Blockchain Revolution How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business and the World ,Don Tapscott

Brand You Turn Your Unique Talents Into a Winning Formula, John Purkiss 

Branding Element Logos 4 Volume 4, Shijian Lin 

Branding Inside Out Internal Branding in Theory and Practice, Nicholas Ind 

Branding Yourself How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself, Erik Deckers

Brilliant Pitch What to Know, Do and Say to Make the Perfect Pitch, Shaun Varga

Build Your First Web App Learn to Build Your First Web Applications from Scratch, Deborah Levinson

Building Progressive Web Apps Bringing the Power of Native to the Browser, Tal Ater

Burn the Business Plan What Great Entrepreneurs Really Do (Hardback), Carl J. Schramm

Business Economics, Andrew Gillespie

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, Alexander Osterwalder

Calm: Calm the Mind. Change the World, Michael Acton Smith

Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley Money MachinAntonio, Garcia Martinez

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, Clay Shirky

Communicating Your Research With Social Media A Practical Guide to Using Blogs, Podcasts, Data Visualisations and Video, Amy Mollett

Content Design, Sarah Richards

Copy, Copy, Copy: How to Do Smarter Marketing by Using Other People's Ideas, Mark Earls

Creativity for Innovation Management, Ina Goller

Creativity in Engineering Novel Solutions to Complex Problems, David H Cropley

Customer Experience Branding Driving Engagement Through Surprise and Innovation, Thomas Gad

Dear Data, Giorgia Lupi

Demographics of Innovation Why Demographics Is a Key to the Innovation Race, James Liang

Digital Branding A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Strategy, Tactics, Tools and Measurement, Daniel Rowles

Disciplined Entrepreneurship, Bill Aulet

Disciplined Entrepreneurship Workbook, Bill Aulet

Drive, Daniel H Pink

Dual Transformation How to Reposition Today's Business and Create the Future Scott D. Anthony

Envisioning Information, Edward R Tufte

Everyone's a Genius Unleashing Creativity for the Sake of the World, Alan Briggs

Experiential Marketing A Practical Guide to Interactive Brand Experiences, Shirra Smilansky

Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it), Salim Ismail

Fans not Customers, Vernon W Hill

Financial Management for Technology Start-Ups A Handbook for Growth, Alnoor Bhimani

Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team, Simon Sinek

Finding My Virginity The New Autobiography, Sir Richard Branson

Fire and Fury Inside the Trump White House, Michael Wolff

Franchise Organizations, Jeffrey L Bradach

Free: How today's smartest businesses profit by giving something for nothing, Chris Anderson

Fundamentals of Project Management Joseph HEAGNEY

GDP: A brief by affectionate history, Diane Coyle

Get Backed Craft Your Story, Build the Perfect Pitch Deck, and Launch the Venture of Your Dreams, Evan Baehr

Getting It Done How to Lead When You're Not in Charge, Roger Fisher

Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application, Jason Fried

Good Morning Beautiful Business, Judy Wicks

Growth Hacker Marketing A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising, Ryan Holiday

Guide to your own Business, Kim Hills Spedding

Hacking growth – Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown

Handbook of CRM, Adrian Payne

Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow, Aurelien Goren

Happiness Your Route Map to Inner Joy, Andy Cope

Hegarty on Creativity There Are No Rules, John Hegarty

Helvetica/Objectified/Urbanized: The Complete Interviews: The Design Trilogy Interviews, Gary Hustwit

Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature, Mark Earls

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, Clay Shirky

Hiding in the Bathroom An Introvert's Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You'd Rather Stay Home),Morra Aarons-Mele

High Output Management, Andrew S Grove

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari

Hooked: How to build habit-forming products Nir Eyal

Hope Runs, Claire Diaz Ortiz

How to Be Brilliant at Public Speaking Learn the Six Qualities of an Inspiring Speaker - Step by StepSarah Lloyd-Hughes

How to Build a Billion Dollar App Discover the Secrets of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of Our Time, George Berkowski

How to Develop Self Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking, Dale Carnegie

How to Improve Your Critical Thinking & Reflective Skills, Jonathan Weyers

How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody, Abby Covert

How to Predict the Unpredictable The Art of Outsmarting Almost Everyone, William Poundstone

How to Sell With Complete Confidence, Gavin Presman 

How to Speak Money What the Money People Say - And What They Really Mean, John Lanchester

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World, Steven Johnson

I Want to Be Creative Thinking, Living and Working More Creatively, Harriet Griffey

Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies and Symbols, Nancy Duarte

Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet AgeCory Doctorow

Information is beautiful, David McCandless

Innovators The Stories Behind the People Who Shaped the World With 25 Projects, Marcia Amidon Lusted 

Knowledge is beautiful, David McCandless

Leadership and Self-Deception Getting Out of the Box, The Arbinger Institute

Lessons for Nonprofit and Start-Up Leaders Tales from a Reluctant CEO, Maxine Harris

Life's a Pitch... How to Sell Yourself and Your Brilliant Ideas, Stephen Bayley

Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream Clay Shirky

Live Your Dreams and Not Your Fears It is Possible. Become an Entreprenuer/Whatever You Want to Become, Peter Osalor

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing the Digital Revolution, Andrew Mcafee

Make Your Own Luck: A DIY Attitude to Graphic Design and Illustration, Kate Moross

Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, Chris Anderson

Making it happen Peter Sheahan

Management and Creativity From Creative Industries to Creative Management, Chris Bilton

Management C.R.A.P. I Learned, That Seems to Work. Second Edition.James R Guenther

Managing Change, Creativity & Innovation, Patrick Dawson

Marketing Paul Baines

Marketing Communications Discovery, Creation and Conversations, Chris Fill

Marketing Research Tools & Techniques, Nigel Bradley

Michelle Obama In Her Own Words, Lisa Rogak, Michelle Obama

Mindfulness for Busy People Turning from Frantic and Frazzled Into Calm and Composed, Michael Sinclair

Mindfulness on the Go Simple Meditation Practices You Can Do Anywhere, an Chozen Bays

Money Talks Explaining How Money Really Works, Nina Bandelj 

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Have Cornered Culture and What It Means For All Of Us, Jonathan Taplin

Myths of Leadership Banish the Misconceptions and Become a Great Leader, Jo Owen

Never Eat Alone And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, Keith Ferrazzi

Never Split the Difference Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It, Chris Voss

New Routes to Funding, Barry E James

No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics, Naomi Klein

No Logo, Naomi Klein

Now For Then: How to Face the Digital Future Without Fear, Ben Hammersley

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, Richard H Thaler

Originals How Non-conformists Change the World, Adam Grant 

Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations (TED 2)Dan Ariely

Perfect Phrases for Business Proposals and Business Plans Hundreds of Ready-to-Use Phrases, Don Debelak

Personal Brands Manage Your Life With Talent and Turn It Into a Unique Experience, Roberto Álvarez del Blanco

Pitch Anything, Oren Klaff

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions ,Dan Ariely

Python Data Science Handbook: Tools and Techniques for Developers, Jake VanderPlas

Python for Data Analysis, 2e, Wes Mckinney

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life, Adam Greenfield

Remote:office not required, David Heinmeier Hansson

Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences, Nancy Duarte

ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever, David Heinmeier Hansson

Riding the Innovation Wave Learning to Create Value from Ideas, John Bessant

Riding the Innovation Wave Learning to Create Value from Ideas, Professor John Bessant

Rough Diamond: Turning Disruption Into Advantage in Business and Life, Nicole Yershon

Running Lean, Ash Maurya

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari

Secrets of Social Media Marketing How to Use Online Conversations and Customer Communities to Turbo-Charge Your Business! Paul Gillin

Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager Gain the Mindset and Skillset for Getting What You Need to Succeed, Ken Blanchard 

Seven Mobile Apps in Seven Weeks Native Apps, Multiple Platforms, Tony Hillerson

Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity, Grant Snider

Shaping Social Enterprise Understanding Institutional Context and Influence, Janelle A. Kerlin

Small Business, Big Vision Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entreprenuers Who Did It Right, Matthew Toren

Social Media Strategy Tools for Professionals and Organizations, Phillip G. Clampitt

Social Media How to Engage, Share, and Connect, Regina Luttrell

Social Research Methods, Alan Bryman

Software Development, Design and Coding With Patterns, Debugging, Unit Testing, and Refactoring, John F. Dooley

Sprint: How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five day, Jake Klnapp

Start It Up Why Running Your Own Business Is Easier Than You Think, Luke Johnson

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, Simon Sinek

Strengths Finder, Tom Rath

Successful Time Management, Patrick Forsyth

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Nick Bostrom

Talent is overrated Geoff Colvin

Team WORKS! The Gridiron Playbook for Building a Championship Business Team, Chris Valletta

Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech, Sara Wachter-Boettch

TED Talks The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, Chris Anderson

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding How to Build a Product or Service Into a World-Class Brand, Al Ries

The 50 Secrets of Self-Confidence The Confidence to Do Whatever You Want to Do, Richard Nugent

The Alliance Managing Talent in the Networked Age, Reid Hoffman

The Art of Thinking Clearly (Hardback), Rolf Dobelli

The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, Nicholas Carr

The Business of Creativity How to Build the Right Team for Success, Keith Granet

The Business Plan Workbook A Practical Guide to New Venture Creation and Development (Hardback)Colin Barrow

The Creative Shopkeeper, Lucy Johnston

The Crossroads of Should and Must Find and Follow Your Passion, Elle Luna

The Crowd-Funding Revolution How to Raise Venture Capital Using Social Media, Kevin Lawton

The Curve: Turning Followers into Superfans, Nicholas Lovell

The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as If the Future Matters, Diane Coyle

The Fintech Book The Financial Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Visionaries Susanne Chrisiti

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Klaus Schwab

The Glass Cage: Who Needs Humans Anyway, Nicholas Carr

The Goal (Third edition), Eliyahu M Goldraft

The Growing Business Handbook Inspiration and Advice from Successful Entrepreneurs and Fast Growing UK Companies Adam Jolly

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work, Shawn Achor

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, Ben Horowitz

The Highly Paid Expert Turn Your Passion, Skills, and Talents Into a Lucrative Career by Becoming the Go-to Authority in Your Industry, Debbie Allen

The Idea in You How to Find It, Build It and Change Your Life, Martin Amor

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, Kevin Kelly

The Language of Branding Theory, Strategies, and Tactics, Dawn Lerman

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups, Randall Stross

The Leadership Skills Handbook 90 Essential Skills You Need to Be a Leader, Jo Owen

The lean start-up Eric Ries

The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses Eric Ries

The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists and Other Creative People Protect Your Work and Understand the Law, Kenneth P Norwick

The Little Black Book of Innovation, With a New Preface How It Works, How to Do It, Scott D. Anthony

The Meaning Revolution The Power of Transcendent Leadership (Hardback), Fred Kofman

The Million Dollar Blog, Natasha Courtenay-Smith

The Mind Management, Prof Steve Peters

The One Page Business Plan Start with a Vision, Build a Company! Jim Horan

The Second Machine Age - Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, Erik Brynjolfsson

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi Klein

The Smart Entrepreneur How to Build for a Successful Business Bart Clarysse

The Social Enterprise Zoo A Guide for Perplexed Scholars, Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, Leaders, Investors and Policymakers, Dennis R. Young 

The Start-Up of You Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, Ben Casnocha, Reid Hoffman

The Startup Way: How Entrepreneurial Management Transforms Culture and Drives Growth, Eric Ries

The Talent Lab How to Turn Potential Into World-Beating Success, Owen Slot

The Tech Entrepreneur's Survival Guide How to Bootstrap Your Startup, Lead Through Tough Times, and Cash in for Success, Fraser Doherty 

The Unauthorized Guide to Doing Business the Bill Gates Way 10 Secrets of the World's Richest Business Leader, Des Dearlove

The Unauthorized Guide to Doing Business the Richard Branson Way 10 Secrets of the World's, Des Dearlove

The University of Oxford A History, L.w.b Brockliss

Think Like Zuck The Five Business Secrets of Facebook's Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Ekaterina Walter

Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Naomi Klein

Tim Cook Industrial Engineer and CEO of Apple, Amy Hayes

Tips for Public Speaking, Louise Spilsbury

Tools of Titans The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, Timothy Ferriss

Tribe of Mentors Short Life Advice from the Best in the World (Hardback)Timothy Ferriss

Turn Your Talent Into a Business A Guide to Earning a Living from Your Hobby, Emma Jones

Turn Your Talents Into Gold Create the Business of Your Dreams with Your Unique Abilities, Skills, and Experience, Debbie Barwick

Ultimate CV Over 100 Winning CVs to Help You Get the Interview and the Job, Martin John Yate

Ultimate Interview 100S of Great Interview AnswersLynn Williams

Ultimate Job Search The Definitive Guide to Networking, Interviews and Follow-Up Strategies, Lynn Williams

Un Contain ableKip Tindell

Understanding Social Enterprise Theory and Practice, Rory Ridley-Duff

Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home, Dan Ariely

Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer), Alexander Osterwalder

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, Cathy O'Neil

Whatever You Think Think the Opposite, Paul Arden

Who Can You Trust?: How Technology Brought Us Together – and Why It Could Drive Us Apart, Rachel Botsman

Why Women Mean Business + How Women Mean Business Set, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox

Wild Courage, Elle Harrison

Women & Power: A Manifesto Professor Mary Beard

Women in Business Theory and Cases, Martha E Reeves

Women in Business The Changing Face of Leadership, Patricia Werhane

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World, Steven Johnson

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us, Tim O-Reilly

Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future Peter Thiel