Product design ideas


GCSE Business introduces students to the world of small businesses and looks at what makes someone a successful businessperson. Students will find out how to develop an idea and spot an opportunity and turn that into a successful business. They understand how to make a business effective and manage money. Students will also see how the world around us affects
small businesses and all the people involved.

Unit 1 - Investigating Small business

This unit concentrates on the key business concepts and skills involved in starting and running a small business. Students will be introduced to local and national business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions.

Unit 2 - Building a business

This unit examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources considering the impact the wider world has on business growth decisions. Students will be introduced to national and global business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions.

Curriculum information

Year 9

Learning outcomes

In Year 9 students will learn the different features of business which exist and the reasons why entrepreneurs start businesses and how they are affected by changes in the economy.  Students will develop and awareness of the different sources of finance which are available to small businesses and the reasons some are more appropriate than others to business situations.  They will begin to estimate and calculate the costs, revenues and break even and suggest financial solutions to a situation.  Students will create market research resources, analyse the marketing mix and create relevant marketing materials for a small business.

Topics taught

Entrepreneurs and business 

  • What is an entrepreneur?
  • Features of business
  • Risks and Rewards


  • Market research methods 
  • Market segmentation
  • The marketing mix


  • Sources of finance 
  • Costs and revenues
  • Break even
  • Cash flow

Business Economy

  • What is the economy?
  • Interest rates
  • Exchange rates

Year 10

Learning outcomes

In Year 10 students will begin to apply their business knowledge and understanding to business issues and different types and sizes of business in local, national and global contexts.  They will develop their ability to think commercially and creatively to demonstrate business acumen and draw on evidence to make informed business decisions and solve problems.  

Topics taught

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

  • The dynamic nature of business
  • Risk and rewards
  • The role of business enterprise

Spotting a business opportunity

  • Customer needs
  • Market research
  • Market segmentation
  • Competitive business environment

Putting a business idea into practice

  • Business aims and objectives
  • Business revenues costs and profits
  • Cash and cash flow
  • Sources of finance

Making the business effective

  • Options for small business start up
  • Location
  • Marketing mix
  • Business plans 

Understanding external influences

  • Business stakeholders
  • Technology in business
  • Legislation and business
  • The economy and business
  • External Influences

Year 11

Learning outcomes

In Year 11 students will investigate and analyse real business opportunities and issues.  They will then use these to construct well-argued, evidenced, balanced and structured arguments, demonstrating depth and breadth of their business understanding.   They will continue to develop and apply quantitative skills relevant to business, including using and interpreting data.  Students will fully prepare for two external exams which contribute 50% each to the overall grade.

Topics taught

  • Growing the business
  • Business growth
  • Changings in the business aims and objectives
  • Business and globalisation
  • Ethics and the business environment

Making marketing decisions

  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place
  • Using marketing to make business decisions

Making operational decisions

  • Business operations
  • Working with suppliers
  • Managing quality
  • The sales process

Making financial decisions

  • Business calculations
  • Understanding business performance

Making Human Resource decisions

  • Organisational structures
  • Effective recruitment
  • Effective training and development
  • Motivation
Link to exam specification
Business has increased my knowledge and understanding of the concept of money when I leave school and it has also helped me to develop my writing and mathematical skills.
Year 11 student