Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Module
Interview an Entrepreneur Exercise.
Deadline for project submission: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Project presentations in the period Monday May 2 – May 9, 2011
To find out more about entrepreneurs, how they think, what “motivates” them, what they do and how they behave. To apply your classroom learning (i.e. the theories of entrepreneurship) to structure your interview.
To gain experience in interviewing and writing cases.
To learn by doing.
To produce a series of cases on local Egyptian entrepreneurs.
NB. This is more about the Entrepreneur as a person and as an entrepreneur than about the interviewee’s current business..
Generally, entrepreneurs are proud of what they have achieved and are happy to share their experiences with others. Entrepreneurship is infectious. We can learn about entrepreneurs by being exposed to them and hearing their life-story. At the same time, we can learn from them and consider whether we share many of their attributes in the process.
Thus it is not unusual for entrepreneurship programmes to bring Entrepreneurs into the classroom to “tell their stories”. They act as role models.
However, this is very much passive learning. Entrepreneurs are activists – they learn by doing. Hence, the rationale for this exercise is that in addition to bringing entrepreneurs into the classroom and being told/taught, you will learn by going out to meet and interview the entrepreneurs and find out for yourselves. This way you will learn to be more pro-active, and will gain valuable research, interviewing and case writing experience.
If you use your group interview with your selected entrepreneur in a way that explains the process and brings to life the experience of a successful entrepreneur not only will you score good marks on your project but your project may also be used to help future BUE students better understand entrepreneurship. Indeed, with a number of successful entrepreneurial case-study projects, it should be possible for us to produce a “book” of entrepreneurship cases that can be used as role models in the future, and can be easily updated and extended by subsequent student cohorts.
In so doing, it should be possible for us to produce a “book” of entrepreneurship cases that can be used as role models in the future, and can be easily updated and extended by subsequent student cohorts.
In groups of 6-8 students from the same tutorial group, you will
Devise a series of questions you wish to ask the entrepreneurs based on your understanding of entrepreneurship (gained from the lectures and your reading). Produce a standardised, semi-structured interview schedule (based on your knowledge of the subject and issues that have arisen in the lecture programme). Identify an entrepreneur you wish to interview
Check that no other group is planning on interviewing him/her Contact the entrepreneur to see if he/she is prepared to see you. Arrange an appointment to meet/interview the entrepreneur
Conduct the interview (ideally tape record it but seek permission first) Write up your case creatively and innovatively
Allocate or agree separate sections of the presentation for each member of the group.
Suggested areas to be covered.
It is the responsibility of each group to organize itself , to recruit the entrepreneur and to agree their own schedule of questions for the interview. For those who are having difficulties in agreeing the questions schedule and planning the presentations, some important broad question areas could include (though not necessarily in this order): What is the main business of the firm?
How did it start?
What is the entrepreneur’s background?
Why did the entrepreneur start the firm and what motivate him/her to continue? What were the main problems that had to be overcome?
What are the plans for the future?
What advice would the entrepreneur give to...
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