Project 2: Team Based
Worth: 20%
Due: Week 9 (see Calendar)
Deliverables: Interview. See requirements below

The Assignment

The activities in this assignment are focused on you arranging and carrying out an interview of an entrepreneur from your community. This entrepreneur could represent a non-profit enterprise or a commercial one, and could be in manufacturing, retailing, or service industries.

You should schedule completion of the various phases of the assignment over a two-week period.

Deliverables

    Deliverable
1. In your groups, Interview an entrepreneur using approximately 25 questions. You are then expected to present the interview as a video, podcast or in any other creative format. Interview presentation of maximum 10 minutes in length
2. Write an individual blog based on the interview.  Focus on the most relevant and interesting information from the interview.  Do not try to get every piece of information from the interview on paper. The report should stress the interesting facts, not the mundane.  

NOTE:  Follow the RUBRIC as a guide too.
200-word minimum individual blog on www.weebly.com or any other blogging platform (wordpress, google sites...)
3. In your group, write a thank-you letter and send it to the Entrepreneur that you interviewed.  You can thank them for taking time out of their busy schedule to help you out with an assignment.  You could elaborate on how many things you have learned from the interview (required time, money, everyday tasks, risks, business, etc.). Thank you note and proof that it has been sent.
4. Complete the assignment checklist (original file --> here). Assignment Checklist
5. Submit the 10-minute edited video. Edited video submitted on a USB disk with clearly labelled CRN and Group number
6. Peer review/comment on other blogs Make comments on at least two other blogs

Suggested times for completing tasks:

1. Interview 20-40 mins
2. Thank you note 10 mins
3. Report 2-3 hours
4. Proof, layout and corrections 30 mins

Selecting an Interviewee

To identify and select an entrepreneur to interview, you could draw from one of the following possible sources:

1. Relatives, friends, or acquaintances might be able to recommend someone they know whom they consider to be an entrepreneur.
2. Most communities have business development agencies that deal with entrepreneurs on a regular basis. Perhaps you could write a letter, explaining what you require, and ask that a list of potential interviewees be supplied.
3. Local newspapers are another possible source. Perhaps one student could be assigned to approach the newspaper person who handles the business news and ask about potential interviewees. Television and radio media members might also be able to help.

Interview Process

To identify and select an entrepreneur to interview, you could draw from one of the following possible sources:

1. Contact the person selected and make an appointment. Be sure to explain why you want the appointment and to give a realistic estimate of how much time you will need. Be sure to clarify the purpose of the interview and the fact that it must be video or voice recorded for educational purposes.
2. Identify specific questions (approximately 20-25 questions) you would like to have answered and the general areas about which you would like information. Using a combination of open-ended questions, such as general questions about how the entrepreneur got started, what happened next, and so forth, and closed- ended questions, such as specific questions about what his or her goals were, if he or she had to find partners, and so forth, will help to keep the interview focused and yet allow for unexpected comments and insights.
3. Conduct the interview. Remember, that you most likely will learn more if you are an "interested listener."
4. Evaluate what you have learned. Write down the information you have gathered in some form that will be helpful to you later on. Be as specific as you can. Jotting down direct quotes is more effective than statements such as "highly motivated individual." And be sure to make a note of what you did not find out.
5. Write a thank-you note. This is more than a courtesy; it will also help the entrepreneur to remember you favorably should you want to follow up in some way on the interview or be looking for future employment.

Possible Entrepreneur Interview Questions

Background

1.    What is your definition of an entrepreneur?

2.    Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur?

3.    How do you motivate yourself?

4.    Why did you choose the type of business you are presently in?

5.    Have you been in any other type of business that you owned?

6.    What are some of the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur?

7.    When did you first decide that you wanted to work for yourself?

8.    What were your career plans when you graduated from high school?

9.    How many hours do you work per week?

10.  Do you enjoy doing something just to prove you can?

11.  Do you believe that there should be security in a job?

12.  Do you plan your tasks before getting started?

13.  What are your hobbies?

14.  How much time do you spend watching television?

15.  How much time to you spend with friends and family?

16.  Do you feel that owning your own business has been worth the conflicts that you had to deal with?

Background of the Entrepreneur

17.  Were any of your relatives or close friends involved in entrepreneurial activities?
a. If so, briefly describe these activities.

18.  Describe your secondary school education experience (courses taken, subjects liked, extracurricular activities, particularly as these relate in some way to entrepreneurship).
a.    Which of these experiences proved valuable and which proved irrelevant to your present endeavor?

19.  What previous types of work experiences did you have?
a.    How was this experience helpful to you in relation to your present enterprise?

20.  Had you any sales or marketing experience prior to starting your own enterprise?
a.    How important was this experience, or lack thereof, in starting your own enterprise?

21.  How did you spot the opportunity or develop the idea for your enterprise?

22.  What types of goals did you have just prior to starting your own enterprise?

23.  What type of lifestyle did you have just prior to when you started your enterprise?

24.  How did you evaluate your idea or opportunity in terms of:
a.    Market?
b.    The competition?
c.    Key elements of success?

25.  What type of planning did you do prior to starting up?

26.  How did you obtain the necessary funds to start up your enterprise?

27.  Did you prepare an entrepreneurial plan prior to start-up?
a.    (If answer is yes:) Was the plan helpful in the preparation for your start-up?
b.    What lessons did you learn from the preparation of an entrepreneurial plan?

Operations (Early Stage)

28.  How much capital was invested in your enterprise?

29.  How long did you take to reach a positive cash-flow position (break-even point)?

30.  How long did it take for your company to show a profit?

31.  What pressures did you face in the early stages of your enterprise?

32.  Did anyone tell you that it wouldn’t work?

33.  What type of outside help were you able to obtain (Lawyers, accountants, tax experts, patent and trademark specialists, etc.)?

34.  Explain how these experts were able to help you in your enterprise.

35.  What did you learn about yourself during this start-up experience?

36.  What did you discover about your strengths and weaknesses?

37.  What has been the highlight of your entrepreneurial career to date?

38.  What has been the low point of your entrepreneurial career?

39.  What do you see as the strengths of your enterprise?

40.  What do you see as the weaknesses of your enterprise?

Operations (Later Stage)

41.  What problems did you discover once your operation was well under way?

42.  How did you find the key people for your enterprise?

43.  What personal attitudes, characteristics, and skills were necessary for the success of your enterprise?

44.  Do you spend more or less time at your enterprise now than in the early stage?

45.  What are your future plans for this enterprise?

46.  Have you met your initial goals?

47.  Have your goals changed?

48.  What are your present goals?

Personal Observations

49.  Has your personal life changed as a result of this enterprise?

50.  What would you do differently if you were to start all over again?

51.  What things would you not change if you were to do this all again?

52.  Looking back on your experience, which of the following do you feel are the most critical:
a.    Skills?
b.    Attitude?
c.    Knowledge?

53.  What are the things that you find personally satisfying and rewarding as an entrepreneur ?

54.  What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur?

55.  What are the most important lessons you have learned as a result of your experience?

Entrepreneurship Interview Assignment Checklist

Task
Date Completed
Initials
Comments
Entrepreneur Identified      
Entrepreneur Contacted and Interview Arranged      
Interview Questions Finalized      
Interview finished      
Interview Video/Audio Completed      
Blog account created and work has started on the blog entry      
Blog entry completed and other blog-related tasks (see RUBRIC) done      
"Thank you" note written and sent      
Other (Any other item/issue you want to record      

Grading Rubric - Entrepreneur Rubric

Criteria/Level
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Marks Awarded
0 - 5
6 - 7
7 - 8
8 - 10
Entrepreneur Characteristics Some are mentioned Some are mentioned with examples Good discussion of characteristics with examples Excellent discussion Clear understanding of characteristics of entrepreneur /10
Quality Video/Podcast quality was not clear Video/Podcast Quality was clear and easy to understand Video/Podcast quality was easy to view and understand Video/Podcast quality was superior and access was easy /10
Interview Interest Mildly
Interesting
Attempt is made to make the report interesting Entertaining and creative report Outstanding job making the video/podcast interesting, creative and entertaining /10
Blog Writing Style Below acceptable standard in spelling, grammar and style Below standard spelling/grammar Spelling/grammar good, style flows, good paragraphs Excellent use of Language to weave a wonderful tale. Strong command of the language and writing conventions /10
Venture Description Some description of venture Venture is clearly described Evidence of good understanding of the venture Excellent understanding and explanation of venture /10
Blog Content Blog does not relate to  basic course content Blog relates to basic course content Blog is related to course content and reflects student understanding Blog is very interesting, relates directly to course content and reflects the students experience and learning /10
Peer Review No response to a classmate’s blog One average response to a classmate’s blog Two average responses to a classmate’s blog Two above average responses to classmate’s blog /10
Total Grade       /100