Interviewing an entrepreneur

| December 27, 2014

Interviewing an entrepreneur

Order Description

For your Assignment 1 where you interview an entrepreneur, you have to find a person you know or is connected in someway in your work, family or friendship networks as this interview has to be done personally or on the phone if overseas. You fill in the whole of the interview template and will need about an hour of a person’s time. You may send them the interview template before hand so they know what to expect. You then type the interview and that is one peice of the assessment.

The second peice in Assignment 1 is to relate what you found with your entrepreneur to the literature on VU Colalborate and in the text book; asking for example how did they begin, how did they chose their business, what is their personality and motivation and what does the literature say about those aspects of entrepreneurship. Compare your observations and experiences of your entrepreneur with the research findings on entrepreneurship and write this up a two page report.

The final part of assignment 1 is to do a summary poster that captures the key aspects of your entrepreneur, eg about the business, its timeline to success, what the business does/sells/makes etc, the business model and what are the characteristics of the entrepreneur and his/her family – what drives him or her and keeps her motivated. Make this poster creative and attractive, develop it electronically. Please do not cut a paste things from the internet, make it reflect your entrepreneur and their unique personality, life journey as an entrepreneur and his or her business products and business journey including activities such as financial trajectory. You can share your assignment with the entrepreneur if they are keen to see it, a nice thing to give back to them.

You get 3 marks if you complete in full and transcribe the interview ie type it up

You are marked out of 7 for your poster, it’s creativity, inclusion of detail and the story it tells about your entrepreneur

You are marked out of 10 for your report, the writing style, the links to the literature and connecting what you learned about your entrepreneur to the readings and chapter topics.

That makes up the 20 marks for this assignment.

There is a rubric in the study guide.

There are no resubmissions if you fail this or any other assessment in this unit.

Best wishes


Assignment 1
Dismiss Assignment 1

Posted 28 November, 2014 13:25

Dear students

For assignment 1 You submit

A signed Assignment Declaration Cover Sheet

The typed up interview schedule marked out of 3

A poster presenting all aspects of your entrepreneur in images in words marked out of 7

An essay report linking observations to facts from the research on entrepreners published the scholarly literature ( eg Jnl of Business Venturing etc but not internet pages/blogs news print or rubbishy low grade and trade journals). You will find relevant material and resources on WebCt and especially in your text book chapters. This report is marked out of 10

You submit in class in hard copy on the due date.

You lose a mark for each day late unless you have a medical certificate.

Enjoy it, you will learn a lot


There are four assessment tasks in this subject.

Assessment 1: Interviewing an entrepreneur

Weight: 20%

Due: 20 December 2014

Objective of the Assignment

The objective of Assessment 1 is to review theoretical models and empirical evidence that describe and define innovation and entrepreneurship and apply to an example or experience in your life (to your own experience or that of another person you know).


Each individual does this exercise to build your understanding of individual differences ininnovation and entrepreneurship. You find a person known to you in your family and network and arrange to interview them. Consider what personal characteristics and what situational characteristics led to their becoming an innovator or entrepreneur. A tool is provided in the resources on VU Collaborate. Select some of the questions from each section to use. If you wish, you can submit to the person you have chosen to interview beforehand so they can complete sections or prepare. The person must identify themselves as an entrepreneur and have attempted or have a business in place, having gone through the stages of having an idea to starting up a business. As you share examples among your group during workshops and tutorials, think about your own experience of innovating or entrepreneurship and listen to those of your group.

Describe the key characteristics experience of the entrepreneur with the evidence from your reading and present as Two Page Report and a summary Poster Interview about the person and how their experience links to the literature. The length of the report is two A4 pages and attached the scanned copy of the completed interview document.


Find and entrepreneur and seek permission to interview him or her face to face or on the phone

Arrange an interview and complete relevant questions from each sections of the Interview Schedule

Write a summary report about the person AND the business. For example, what motived them, what sort of business they chose and why, what helped them, how long did it take to breakeven, and what has been successful or note.

Of critical importance is that you link your findings from your entrepreneur/innovator i.e.their experience to the literature from the text, readings or research evidence, this must be scholarly literature from journals and books NOT Wikipedia or internet sites. You will fail if you source literature that is not from top entrepreneurship, innovation and business venture journals and text books

You can give your interviewee a copy of your report on them if you wish.

Prepare a poster that summarises they key elements of your findings, you can use graphics and interesting ways to present this information making sure that you do not betray and confidences or display sensitive material.

You will share the poster in your groups during one of the seminars.

Assignment documents to be handed in

Completed Interview Schedule

Summary Two Page report outlining key issues (demographics, motivation, business idea, challenges, personality, family, support)

Reference list (4 references is fine but must be good ones)

Summary Poster for also sharing among your group

Turnitin Report (sourced through VU collaborate)


Weight: 35% (Individual)

Due: 6 January, 2015

Objective of the Assignment

The objective of this project is to examine the interaction between an innovation, the implementing entrepreneur, and the environmental considerations affecting the innovation’s introduction, implementation and success. This is a literature review so must be structured in that way and draw on 10 or so journal articles from entrepreneurship, innovation, business enterprise, small business venture type journals and texts.


As an individual you select a well-known entrepreneur (or entrepreneurial team if you wish) who has been responsible for the successful introduction of an innovation anywhere in the world, there are many examples, eg Sir Richard Branson, Kerry Packer, Steve Jobs or even from far history eg the inventor of the Telephone or IBM. Entrepreneurs fromChina, Taiwan, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Philippines or other parts of Asia are important to focus on or from your country and culture. The person does not have to be famous. The innovation may have resulted in a new start-up venture or it may have been introduced within an established organization or a major change e.g. Google or Facebook. Any organization, empire, medical breakthrough, product or application that captures your interest can be used as your example. Describe the person characteristics, the market and opportunity, the economic, cultural, social and organizational context, the business and value proposition and how these interacted with the person qualities that led to this innovation and success. For the industry context, you can choose private/public, for profit/not for profit, charitable, semi-government, start-up, spin-off or any other form of industry including education, welfare or social or environmental innovations that have bought benefit. Link your observations and explanation about this innovator or entrepreneur to the literature that explains their success or opportunities. The important task here is analyse the situation by referring to scholarly work.

Write a Literature Review of any aspect of Innovation and Entrepreneurship that explains the Case Study or Person you have selected.

Identify the background that led to the emergence of the opportunity for the innovation,

Explain how, and by whom, the opportunity was recognized,

Briefly outline the innovation itself,

Describe the entrepreneur or lead team that was responsible for the implementation of the innovation. This description should concentrate on the key capabilities or competenciesand actions that were critical for the innovation’s commercialization and subsequent implementation.

Clearly identify why the innovation was successful.

Support your observations by linking with the literature; that is use articles from referee journals to examine and explain the phenomena.

The articles will not likely be written on the case or person, though you might find some. More likely you will general understanding from the theory and practice of entrepreneurship applied to this situation. So you will be generalising theory and empirical literature to your case study.

In doing so you will be able to explain, and demonstrate your understanding of how current knowledge of entrepreneurship theory and practice builds your knowledge of entrepreneurial experiences.

For your subsequent assignments 3 and 4, you will apply this knowledge collectively subsequently in your groups as you plan a new venture together.

Essential to apply APA or Harvard Referencing style

Length: Written Essay of 3000 Words


NB. Submit the assignment through VU Collaborate which will be connected to Turnitin; this is an individual effort.


Role in Business: role>

Business Name: name/website>

Date of interview: interview date>

Name of interviewer:


Can you describe the most enjoyable and ideal way of working and why you feel that way about it?

Could you please describe how ideally you’d like your business to develop over the next 5 years?

What are your short and long term business plans?


Can you describe where your business idea came from?

Can you describe how you transformed the business idea from idea to reality?

Conflict and Challenges

What has been the most difficult situation/s you have had to deal with in your business?

How do handle this situation and, given the opportunity, would you do anything differently in your business?

Decision Making

Tell me of a difficult decision you have had to make quickly in relation to your business.

In hindsight, was it the right decision?

How are decisions made in your business?

Accountability / Results

Can you tell me how you measure the results of your business?

How did you fund your business start up

How much time elapsed from start up before your business was successful in your terms?

Did /Do you access business or government grants or supports to help your business? If yes Please describe them.


Who are your business partners? If any

What is the number of employees you have and what are their roles?

What are the most important workforce issues and your major challenge?

Business Approach

Why did you select this business?

What is it about > you particularly enjoy?

How does your business solve a problem or answer a particular need (social, community, and business, environmental?


Can you describe your strengths in terms of character and professionalism


What skills in you or your team have made this business work?

Please give me an example of the most important skills of an entrepreneur in your business sector

Family and Support

What siblings do you have and where do you fit in birth order?

How did your family of origin influence why you went into business and the way you run your business?

In what ways does your family currently support or contribute to your business operations

What other supports have helped you


Can you give examples of how you market your idea?

What is your niche market?

Who or what are your main competitors?

What has been your most successful marketing tool or approach?

Goods and Services

Can you describe your unique business offering?

What has been the most lucrative aspect of your business?

What aspect has the most potential for development?

What major changes have you made to your offerings since start up to now?

What major changes to your business process have you made that have helped your business?

Do you operate in international markets, if so where?

What economic conditions affect your business?


What motivates you most to keep going in your business

What personality characteristics help you?

What social and network skills help you?

How do you deal with disappointment and failure?

What advice do you have for others entering your business?

Do you share this advice currently eg business mentoring/teaching or seminar?

Anything else?

Appendix 1




Student Name:____________________________________________________________________________


Student Number: __________________________________________________


Marking Criteria:


(N: 0-49%)


(P: 50-59%)


(C: 60-69%)

Very Good

(D: 70-79%)


(HD: 80-100%)






Completion of the full interview with a real entrepreneur known to you and completed interview template.

The extent to which have adequately linked your observations and learning from the entrepreneur’s experience to the scholarly literature on entrepreneurship and book chapters. Tightness, focus and coherency of thought, writing and presentation Correct References and Referencing

Imaginative and creative summary of your entrepreneur’s journey in a 1page poster that incorporates key elements oftheir business and success timeline and reflects the main findings in your report. Original work ie not copied from internet.

Signed Assignment Coversheet Missing

(N: 0-49%)


(P: 50-59%)


(C: 60-69%)

Very Good

(D: 70-79%)


(HD: 80-100%)


Summary of Entrepreneur and their business using available sources (5marks)

Analysis of Entrepreneur and their business using peer reviewed literature, research texts (20%)

depth and relevance of literature covered

application of theory to explain the entrepreneur (input, process, outcomes)

critical analysis, interpretation and integration of literature

Organisation 5 Marks

clarity of writing

style, structure, presentation



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