Interviewing an entrepreneur

Interviewing an entrepreneur

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.

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.


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