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Final Project for ENG 494

Interview an Entrepreneur
Purpose

To find out more about entrepreneurs, how they think, what motivates them, what
they do and 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 not about the Entrepreneurs business but about him/her.

Rationale
Entrepreneurship is infectious. We can learn about entrepreneurs by being exposed to
them. At the same time, we can learn from them and acquire 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 interviewing and case writing experience.
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.

Process
In groups, 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.

Each case should be no more than 7 pages in length.


You will present your case both in writing and orally. Each presentation should take no
more than 10 - 15 minutes, including time for Questions and Answers.

Assessment
You will receive a mark for the case (30% marks)

An (A-grade) is 80% + assignment will demonstrate:-

Excellent foundation knowledge, rigorous and essentially error-free


Appropriate interpretation and application of theoretical principals, concepts,
frameworks and techniques
Evidence of commitment to and self-discipline in engagement with the literature,
showing wide reading and extended study to broaden the knowledge base.
Competent acquisition and collation of data, the development of clear, sound and
coherent and authoritative arguments and judgments from the data.
Articulation and communication of material effectively, accurately and reliably in
a fresh, clear way
Evidence of development of a critically evaluative and analytical approach
Innovation, creativity, originality and imagination of insight.

Reading
Anonymous (2008), The Path to Growth: Experiences of Egyptian Entrepreneurs.
Ministry of Finance, Cairo.
Beveridge, L. (2001), Cambridge Entrepreneurs in the business of Technology.
Cambridge: Granta Editions.
Cooney, T.M (2005), Irish Cases in Entrepreneurship. Blackrock: Blackhall Publishing.

Curran, J. and Blackburn, R., (2001), Researching the Small Enterprise. London: Sage
Publications
Hague, D. and Holmes, C. (2006) Oxford Entrepreneurs. London: The Council for
Industry and Higher Education.
Handy, C. (1999), The New Alchemists. London Hutchinson.
Hine, D and Carson, D. (2007), Innovative Methodologies in Enterprise Research.
Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
SMEPol Project (2007), Egyptian Women Entrepreneurs: Profiles of Success. Ministry
of Finance, Cairo.
*Stockdale, S. (2005), Secrets of Successful Women Entrepreneurs: How Ten Leading
Business Women Turned a Good Idea into a Fortune. Lean Marketing Press.
*Wanogho, E., (1997), Black Women Taking Charge: Profiles of Black Women
Entrepreneurs. London: EW International Ltd.
Yin, R.K. (1994), Case Study Research: Design and Method. London: Sage Publications
* Based on authors MBA dissertation.