Unit 1 Course Materials

Welcome to Unit 1: Introduction to Business! In this unit, we will explore the fundamentals of business: what defines a business, how businesses are categorized from a profit perspective, and some important terms we’ll rely on throughout the semester like profit, loss, and value.

By the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  • Explain the concept of business
  • Distinguish between for-profit and nonprofit businesses
  • List and explain the four factors of production required to sustain a business
  • Identify the primary functional areas within a business and describe their contribution to the organization
  • Identify business stakeholders and describe their relationship with business organizations
  • Identify the external forces that shape the business environment

In order to successfully complete this unit, you’ll need to do the following:

1. Read this Open Educational Resource (free to access): Module 1: Why It Matters: Role of Business.¹ You do not need to complete any of the assignments at the end of the reading after following this link.

2. Watch this Introduction to Business video on YouTube (embedded below)2

3. Read this Harvard Business Review article on whether your business should be For-Profit or Nonprofit.3

As always, if you need more information, you can ask me a question. For information on due dates, check our Course Schedule.


1Why It Matters: Role of Business. Authored by: Linda Williams and Lumen Learning. LicenseCC BY: Attribution

2Alanis Business Academy on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnQTs_q7Juo

3Should Your Business Be Nonprofit or For-Profit? in Harvard Business Review. Authored by: Jane Chen (February 01, 2013): https://hbr.org/2013/02/should-your-business-be-nonpro