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This aim of this Unit 9 Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management ESBM Assignment is to assist students develop cognitive knowledge and skills needed in the field entrepreneurship and small business management, through understanding the importance of types, attributes and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, including contributions micro, small and medium-sized businesses make to a national economy.
This ESBM Assignment enables students to develop creativity, innovative-thinking and core business management skills necessary for start-up entrepreneurs, including skills-sets that assist aspiring entrepreneurs to evaluate economic variables relating to scale, managing risks, uncertainties and seeking opportunities.
Students will learn about the influence of national culture and the economy on entrepreneurship, including an exploration of the personal characteristics of entrepreneurs and the impact of personal situational factors, like education, background and life experiences.
Students will also learn about the role and importance of small firms to the economy, social enterprise and the social economy, including learning to balance the risks and rewards of starting a new venture, which requires investigation and reflection of their own entrepreneurial and enterprising characteristics.
Examples of entrepreneurs and start-up organisations will be discussed and students will be expected to draw on local, personal and general knowledge together with their learning to be able to identify the characteristics of entrepreneurial ventures.
Your primary role at the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Council (ESBMC) is to support your Line Manager, who reports to a Director. The Council primarily assists prospective entrepreneurs and start-up ventures to prepare to become successful entrepreneurs.
Your role is to contribute to development of resources used by your Line Manager, who makes presentations and issues publications on the subject, using the two (2) Case Studies below:
Case Study 1: Elizabeth Gooch and EG Solutions PLC
In 2006, Management Today named Elizabeth Gooch as the seventh most successful female entrepreneur in the UK. About 25% of the top entrepreneurs in the list were female.
Elizabeth is founder and CEO of EG Solutions, a small company selling operations management software that helps clients to generate improvements in operational performance and efficiency. EG Solutions prides itself on implementing its programmes on a fixed cost, fixed timescale basis. It is the only company that guarantees return on investment and its sales receipts/revenues are based on the results delivered. A typical implementation project pays itself within six (6) months.
Elizabeth started work for HSBC Bank aged 18 but left after only 12 months to work for a consultancy that helped large firms find better ways to use their staff. Eight (8) years later, she started her own business, EG Consulting, aged 26, financed by £1,000 borrowed from family and friends and a credit card.
EG Consulting initially offered consultancy and training on operations management to financial services companies. In its first year, turnover reached £600,000. However, the complexity of collecting the information needed to advise on improving efficiency led Elizabeth to develop software to help in the task.
In 1993, the software, called Operational Intelligence, was launched as a product in its own right. It allowed data to be collected in real-time, enabling all departments of a company to monitor the production process. At that point, the business had six (6) employees, several contract workers and a turnover of £1 million.
Elizabeth met Rodney Baker-Bates, then CEO of Prudential Financial Services and things changed dramatically. He believed that she was not making enough of the business and advised that she should focus on the software, rather than consultancy work.
In 2005, the company changed its name to EG Solutions PLC, with Rodney as the Chairman - engaged as a strategic planning consultant to help develop the business in a focussed way. The strategy worked, increasing turnover by 28% in a year to £4.2 million.
The business needed additional capital to fund an ambitious growth target so; Elizabeth decided to float the company on the Alternative Investment market (AIM), rather than approaching venture Capitalists, so as to retain control of the business.
The float was successful but EG Solutions suffered £700,000 and £800,000 losses in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Elizabeth cut costs by £1.2 million in 2008 and returned EG Solutions to profit, admitting that she took her eye off the UK market as she looked overseas for business opportunities that she had planned to achieve and ambitious growth.
She famously advised:
“There needs to be a lot more attention to strategy. Persevere and never see anything as failure. Look at what you can learn from something that does not go the way you want. It is all about attitude. I do not believe in failure. I have needed sheer determination - although my shareholders would probably describe it as stubbornness.”
Case Study 2: Tom Mercer and MOMA Foods (“MOMA”)
Tom Mercer, a graduate of Cambridge University, was a management consultant with Bain and Co. in the City of London.
He stated: “I spent most of my days dreaming up business ideas, but one in particular seemed to stick with me. As a city worker I thought there were loads of options for lunch and dinner but very few healthy and tasty breakfasts that commuters could pick up on their way into work. I ran this by friends and colleagues and it began to feel like this idea actually had legs.
Before going to work, he would blend smoothies with oats for his breakfast in his flat in Waterloo but this took time and he was often late for work as a result. Then, it suddenly struck him that his problem was actually a business idea: pre-prepare the blend and then, sell it to commuters from key points, like train, tube, tram and bus stations around London. And so, MOMA was born in 2006.
He further stated:“It was now time to think about what this healthy breakfast was actually going to be. I settled on a liquid mixture of yoghurt, oats and fruit (the very first draft of our current Oatie Shake). I needed to get the product into the hands of key consumers, so thought what better than a guerrilla style sampling session at Waterloo station.
I stayed up through the night chopping fruit, blending it with oats and yoghurts, breaking numerous blenders and pouring into water bottles I’d picked up from Tesco. 200 bottles later, with my trestle table set up outside the station, my friends and I were ‘busily exchanging bottles for email addresses.
A couple of months later, after receiving positive feedback from those that took a sample, my company offered me some time off to pursue the idea further.
This soon turned into leaving the company officially in August 05. I’d done my research standing in train stations counting the footfall (and getting kicked out of a few for looking too suspicious) and found the best stations to set up my pop-up stall.
By November I had the go ahead from Waterloo East station to start selling in February 2006. One converted filing cabinet, an old BT van, and a railway arch later, MOMA sold its first breakfast to the city of London’s commuters.
The next few months were hectic to say the least – we opened 2 more sites very quickly – one in Vauxhall and one in Canary Wharf. I used to get up at 1.45am, start work in our railway arch kitchens at 2.30am and then start selling at 6.30am.
After 4 months, the MOMA team had grown and it was time to hand over the night shift to someone else!
By the summer of 2008 we had nine stalls and sold into a few offices and shops, including Selfridges but unfortunately, this was also the beginning of the recession.
Commuters just weren’t as prepared as they were before to spend that little bit extra on healthy breakfast outside of the home. We started to move our focus away from the stalls and onto retailers and soon pulled in some great wins – Waitrose, Ocado, and Virgin Atlantic.
Since then we have been through two redesigns, three city wide marketing campaigns, many great retail listings and taken on some really talented team members.
We’ve become the number 1 Bircher Muesli brand in the U.K. and have our products in supermarkets, trains and coffee shops across the country. But this is still only the beginning; we have so much more room for growth and can’t wait to see what’s in store!”
MOMA’s distinctively colourful carts are now common sights around stations in London.
In 2009, Tom had twenty-five (25) people working for him, including ten (10) stall workers who were mainly students, wanting to earn extra money. The driver picks up the stall workers and the leftovers at the end of the shift.
Tom now plans to open more stalls and extend the company beyond London by selling through Ocado - a leading UK internet retailer.
LO1: Explore and illustrate the range of venture types that might be considered entrepreneurial.
Examine different types of entrepreneurial ventures and explain how they relate to the typology of entrepreneurship ventures, including examples of each type.
Explore the similarities and differences between Social Entrepreneurship and Lifestyle Entrepreneurship, including two existing examples of each.
LO2: Assess the impact of small businesses on the economy.
Interpret and assess relevant data and statistics to illustrate how micro and small businesses impact on the UK economy.
Explain the importance of small businesses and business start-ups to the growth of the social economy in the UK.
LO3: Determine and assess the key aspects of an entrepreneurial Mindset.
Determine the most likely characteristic traits and skills of Elizabeth Gooch and Tom Mercer, stating how they are differentiated from those of business managers.
Assess how aspects of the entrepreneurial personality of Elizabeth Gooch (Case Study 1) and Tom Mercer (Case Study 2) reflect their entrepreneurial motivation and mindset.
LO4: Examine different environments that foster or hinder entrepreneurship.
Examine, using Elizabeth Gooch (Case Study 1) and Tom Mercer (Case Study 2), how personal background and experience can hinder or foster entrepreneurship.