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ENTREPRENEUR INTERVIEW

- Individual Assignment -
A. Problem Statement
Each student will interview an entrepreneur of his/her choice. The purpose of this project is to
provide you with an opportunity to see a real entrepreneur at work and observe his or her actions
and behaviour. It will help you to gain an insight into the types of challenges and problems that the
entrepreneur encounters and how these are dealt with and resolved.
hose an entrepreneur in an industry that is personally interesting to you !you would like to learn
about". Ask if he or she is willing to be interviewed for about #$ minutes to one hour.
%hile you may find it difficult to cold-call an entrepreneur& you will find that most entrepreneurs
will be honored to be asked about their e'periences and will be willing to meet with you.
Entrepreneurs( schedules are often tight& and your biggest challenge will be to find free time to meet
them.
Each student will visit the company to meet the entrepreneur& observe how the venture operates.
The company must be from Romania, at least years ol!, an! employ " people. The
entrepreneur must be the ori#inal foun!er of the business or current o$ner, an! shoul! not
be your relati%e. The objective is to drill down into the company and thoroughly understand the
entrepreneur and how he or she does business.
)lease remember that you are representing A*E& and your behaviour could reflect on whether or not
potential employers have a favourable impression of our students. These will be busy people who
are doing us a big favour. )lease show up on time for your appointment and dress in business attire.
*end a thank you note afterwards.
&. Steps to pursue
STEP '
ontact the person you have selected and make an appointment that suits his or her convenience. +e
sure to e'plain why you want the appointment and give a realistic estimate of how much time you
will need. The interview should take about #$ minutes.
STEP (
Ask these interview ,uestions and take notes on their answers. -ecording the interview on
audiotape can be helpful and is recommended unless you or the person being interviewed objects.
-emember that you will learn more if you are an interested listener.
.. %ould you tell me about yourself before you started your first venture/ 0id you have role
models/
1. %hat was your educational e'perience/ %as it helpful in starting your own venture/
2. 3ow did you decide to become an entrepreneur !instead of taking a job with someone else"/
#. 3ow did you get started in the specific line of business/ 3ow did you spot the opportunity/
$. 0id you have a start-up business plan of any kind/
4. 0id you have partners or start by yourself/
5. %hat do you like most about being an entrepreneur/
6. %hat were the biggest challenges you faced at start-up/ And what keeps you awake at night
today !your biggest challenge today"/ !e.g.& finding customers& suppliers& marketing& finance&
hiring people& balancing work and family life"
7. %hat advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur/
.8. 3ow would you rate the future of your business/ !very bright& bright& not so bright& worrying"
... Are there any ,uestions you wished I had asked& from which you think I could learn valuable
lessons/
Please as) for a business car! to attach to your report an! to ha%e the a!!ress for your than)
you note.
STEP
%rite your interviewee a thank-you note within a week(s time.
STEP *.
%rite your type-written report.
+. Written Assi#nment
Each interview should be documented in a $95 page paper !single spaced& .1 pt. T:- font& 1.8 cm
margins" and include the following;
.. Introduction. )rovide an opening paragraph that tells us something about the industry and
business !the history and nature" we are going to read about and how you conducted your
research& as well as how the rest of the paper is organi<ed.
1. The Opportunity. 0escribe the opportunity that the entrepreneur decided to pursue. %hat
influenced the entrepreneur to identify and pursue this opportunity !e.g. family history&
education& work e'perience"/ 0iscuss the background and characteristics of the
entrepreneur& motivations for starting the venture& and challenges in growing the business.
2. From Opportunity to Business. %hat did the entrepreneur do !identify specific activities" to
turn the opportunity into a business/ %hen did the entrepreneur do these activities/ !)rovide
dates; month and year". %hat major problems did the entrepreneur encounter during the
creation of this business/ 3ow were those problems dealt with/ )rovide a financial history
of the company !i.e. 3ow much start-up capital was needed/ %here did the start-up funds
come from/ %hat types of subse,uent funding were used/ %here did this money come
from/ %hat about cash flow/ etc.".
#. The Entrepreneurs Network. %ho did the entrepreneur use for help and guidance during the
start-up of this business/ 0escribe the social conte't of the entrepreneur.
$. The Future. %hat future does the entrepreneur see for this business/ =or his or her career/
%hat is the growth strategy for the business/ Include a discussion of lessons learned by the
entrepreneur as related to you.
4. Analysis and Conclusion. %rite an analysis of your thoughts about why this entrepreneur
was successful at getting into business and an analysis of the venture itself. Include your
evaluation of the entrepreneur& and what you can personally take from the e'perience. %hat
have you learned about your own potential to be an entrepreneur/ %hat are your
recommendations for improvement/ 3ow can you use the information provided in the
interview in the development of your own business/
5. Section of !A !Thinking *tyle *urvey 9 E'aminarea modului de g>ndire ? your @(s&
his/her A(s". This can be added verbatim as an appendi'.
The entrepreneur inter%ie$ is !ue April , an! is $orth '"- of your #ra!e.

.. Tips for stu!ents
Interview must be approached rigorously& not casually.
0o not wait to set up an appointment. Entrepreneurs by definition are busy people and you need
to fit into their schedule.
The student should prepare ,uestions in advance. It is helpful to first walk through the ,uestions
in a mock interview with a friend.
The student should develop an efficient means for taking notes or capturing the key points made
by the entrepreneur.
The student should attempt to establish a personal rapport.
It is critical that students do not just deal with superficial ,uestions and answers. The key is to
probe& to ask why.
0on(t just dwell on the positive. Try to cut through the bias or propaganda.
+e sure to e'amine the effect of the venture on the person(s total life.