University of Adelaide Week 1

Content

Having the chance to interview people from an industry that interest you will help broaden your network and further embed yourself in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This hands on learning experience may help open up new career avenues, win internships, access potential mentors, or even get hired!

For this task, you are asked to interview three entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or small business owners. That is, people who:

are currently business owners, or

have previously run a business or,

have currently been working within an organisation and has an active role in contributing to its vision and implementing its mission.

It is your responsibility to find the entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or small business owners to interview. The challenge of this assessment is for you to show initiative and find appropriate people to interview. The finding process starts during the first tutorial to get you get you finding appropriate interviewees and continues outside class during your own time if needed.

Your tutors will give guidance on (1) how to approach your interviewees, (2) how build your interview questions, (3) how to run interviews, (4) how to follow-up after an interview, (5) how to code and analyse your interviews, and (6) how to write up your findings.

These interviews are not for academic research purposes and will only be used as a point of reflection for you and assessment in this class. Ideally, you would want to make sure to run the three interviews no later than the end of week 7 to give yourself at least three weeks to write and submit your report by the end of week 10.

If your find yourself running out of time (meaning by week 3 you still haven’t found any response from any potential interviewee) do let your tutor know in order to try and help you mitigate your situation. In exceptional situations where you were unable to identify the entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or small business owners despite the help of your tutor, you may be given the green light to use secondary data to build and develop a response to your interview questions. In this case, the entrepreneurs that you are expected to research need to have been reported on from a variety of secondary data sources (articles, books, interviews, documentaries).

The people you choose to interview could be:

An entrepreneur or small business owner you know in Adelaide, Australia or from your home country.

A friend or family member who runs their own business.

Someone you know who runs a for-profit or not-for profit organisation.

Someone you have tried approaching via email and is willing to help out. It is very crucial here to indicate to the interviewee that the interviews are not conducted for academic research purposes and will only be used as a point of reflection for you and assessment in this class.

You are expected to:

Activity

Timeframe

· Make contact with the people you hope to interview, explain the assessment task and what you hope to achieve. Offer to provide the interviewee with a copy of your report.

Before start of tutorial 2

· Prepare a well thought out list of questions, based on the theory and concepts in the unit learning materials. Send to the interviewee in advance.

Before start of tutorial 3

· Conduct the interviews. Act professionally and respect the interviewee’s time.

By end of Week 7

· Analyse the interview and how it matches theory and write your report.

[Use the information compiled in the interview only for the purposes of this assessment]

By end of Week 10

Your report should have four sections:

A brief explanation of each entrepreneur/intrapreneur you interview, the business they run and its history.

How the characteristics of the entrepreneurs so far as you were able to observe them relate to the theories and concepts covered in the learning materials?

Higher marks will be given for each additional relevant theory referred to and properly explored.

Pick one of the three businesses to critique and analyse. How the characteristics of the relevant entrepreneur’s business relate to the theories and concepts covered in the learning materials, including whether the business remains entrepreneurial now. How do they fit theory? How do they differ?

Higher marks will be given for each additional relevant theory referred to and properly explored.

Reflection on what you have learned from the interview: entrepreneur’s tips about entrepreneurship or running a business? What they did right and what they would do differently? How have your ideas about entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset changed after talking to these entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs? How this shapes your behaviour going forward with respect to entrepreneurship?

Guidelines on content for each section

1. Brief explanation of the entrepreneurs, their business and its history

This is where you set the scene for your report. Provide enough information on the entrepreneurs and their business for the rest of the report to make sense. Information you might include is the entrepreneurs’ background before they started the business, what led them to start the business, what previous work experience or entrepreneurial experience they had, when they started the business and a brief history of its launch and growth.

2. Analysis of characteristics of the entrepreneurs

Review your observations of the entrepreneurs and the answers they gave to your questions. Compare them with the theories and models presented in the Learning materials. Look at both the recorded and written lectures and the learning materials. Explain how the entrepreneur you interviewed demonstrates (or does not demonstrate) these characteristics.

3. Analysis of characteristics of the entrepreneur’s business

Having picked one business to analyse, review what the entrepreneur told you about their business and their approach to identifying the opportunity and launching the business (or developing it if they bought the business as a going concern). Has the business remained entrepreneurial? Compare this with theories and concepts covered in class. Explain how the strategies of the entrepreneur in point demonstrate (or do not demonstrate) your chosen theories.

Note: If the business failed or was sold, comment on what was done well and what could have been done better.

4. Reflection on what you have learned from the interview

This section must be in first person because it is about what you have learned from this assignment.

Include what the entrepreneurs have learned and any tips they offered, but also explain what you learned from listening to their experience and their advice.

Good reflection is specific.

Format

It is suggested that you write this assessment as a report rather than an essay. That is, use the five headings (above) and provide analysis under each. Include an Introduction.

Use appendices to provide evidence of your preparation and results, such as your list of questions, your notes on the answers or even an interview transcript. Appendices, references and (optional) Executive Summary are not included in the word limit.

It is recommended that you write the assignment in first person. Show your tutor what you have learned from the interview.

You can sign up with https://otter.ai/login (Links to an external site.) for free to download your transcript. You can get up to 600 transcription minutes (max 40 min/ recording) per month for free. Or, if have recorded your interview on the cloud through Zoom you will be able to access your transcript there.

References

Do not forget to cite your references in-text and include a list of references at the end of the report, but before any appendices. References are not included in the word limit.

Marks will be deducted for incorrect citation and referencing format, but more marks will be deducted for not including references at all!

Appendices

Use appendices for any additional detail – for example your list of questions and transcripts. Refer to each appendix within your report. Appendices are not included in the word limit.

The report is 2000 words (excluding appendices).

Rubric

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