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Case Study report: The life experience of entrepreneurs

Prepare a case study based report on the “ life experiences” of entrepreneur. The case report should be based around in depth interviews with 2 entrepreneurs and would ideally include people who have experienced failure as well as those who have experienced success, and also those who are new to entrepreneurship as well as people with considerable entrepreneurial experience. To get the greatest benefit from this exercise you need to build rapport with your entrepreneurs and get them to “open up” to you; talking about the things they have experienced and how it felt … you need to talk them, not administer a questionnaire!

??   Required 3500-4000 words
??  Due in by Thursday 21st September
??  In-depth interviews with 2 entrepreneurs
??  Ideally a range of entrepreneurial experience and success/failure.

Tasks
??  Identify and obtain appointments with suitable 2 entrepreneurs
??  Prepare a list of discussion questions and probing questions to structure your interviews
??  Conduct the interviews
??  Write each interview up as a case ?study
??  Identify the key points and discuss them.
??  What did you learn from the exercise?

Some of the topics you should cover include:
??  What motivated them to become an entrepreneur?
??  What were their expectations?
??  How did they identify the business ?opportunity?
??  How did they fund the venture?
??  What are the most important lessons they have learned?
??  What do they like most about being an entrepreneur?
??  What do they hate the most about being an entrepreneur?
??  What are the hard things they have had to do?
??  What are the most enjoyable things they have had to do?
?? How has being an entrepreneur affected their…
?? Health?
?? Enjoyment of life?
?? Finances?
?? Leisure? ??Family?

??  How have they changed, as a person, as a result of their entrepreneurial experiences?

??  How have their relationships changed?
??  What ethical dilemmas have they ?encountered?
??  What do they regret about their entrepreneurial career and what would they do differently if they had their time over again?
??  How do they deal with significant failure and/or success?
??  What do they believe are the key determinants of success?
??  What critical points/cross roads have they encountered where their venture “could have gone either way”
??  What entrepreneurial training have they had and/or need?
??  How have they built their networks, and from where have they received valuable support (and what type of support)?
??  What are the most dramatic changes (industry, the market, technology, people, etc.) they have seen during their entrepreneurial career?

There is no particular required format for the case-study report, but the report should include a presentation of each case as well as a summary of the over all findings that emerged form the case studies. Rather than being simply a descriptive exercise, the report should show a level of insight and understanding about the life of entrepreneur, the highs and lows, the success factors and how the life/lifestyle has impacted on them and their family. The report should conclude with a discussion of the key points and lessons learned by the student from the study that will better prepare the student for life of entrepreneur.

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