ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN ACTION:SOME SUCCESS STORIES JEAN CLARKE LEEDS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS SCHOOL
AIMS OF THE LECTURE • To provide students with practical experience of entrepreneurship through examining some “success stories” • To provide some theoretical input on role-models • To outline a number of relevant case studies of entrepreneurs who could potentially be used as role models • To complete group tasks which emphasise utility and importance of role models
ENTREPRENEURIAL ROLE MODELS • Career theorists suggest identification with role models is critical to individual growth and development(Krumboltz, 1996) • Providing nascent entrepreneurs with role models may increase instances of entrepreneurship • Use of role models are limited by their availability – providing case studies can open up opportunities for new role models to be developed • By seeing similar others achieve, this can encourage us to create our own venture
ROLE MODELLING THEORY • The term role model draws on different theoretical traditions. • Role identification theories - individuals emulate people they feel similar to because of their attitudes, behaviours, goals or status position(Foote, 1951; Kohlberg, 1963) • Modelling theories - individuals look to role models to help them learn new tasks skills and norms(Bandura, 1977) • “a person in a social role that an individual perceives to be similar to him or herself…and desires to increase perceived similarity by emulating those attributes”(Gibson, 2002)
ROLE MODEL IDENTIFICATION • The act of identification makes another person a role model, regardless of the role model’s actions(Fisher, 1988). • Identification as social influence process: individuals accept the influence of another person because the other person is attractive or appealing in some way. • Role model represents a goal that individuals would like to attain • By illustrating valued goals, role models help individuals define and develop their self-concept.
A PROCESS OF SOCIAL COMPARISON • Social comparison theory – individuals compare themselves to similar others as basis for assessing abilities and attitudes • Social comparison referents not only used as a basis for assessing current abilities • Individuals may compare themselves to others who are superior to them on some ability/skill • When individuals are presented with a superior other in a relevant field with attainable accomplishments they feel positively about comparison gaining inspiration & motivation(Lockwood and Kunda, 1997)
DISTANCE AND SIMILARITY • Role models may be highly salient and proximal people • May also be leaders in their field (e.g. Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Bill Gates) who are observed solely through mediated communications • Role models from an individual’s past experience may also exert motivational power • Therefore role models may be distant or close but the key is there must be some level of perceived similarity….
GROUP TASK • Think of some potential entrepreneurial role models • Why did you choose these individuals as role models? • How are they different? • How are they similar? • What is that you would like to achieve that they have? • Present results to other groups
LOCAL/SIMILAR ROLE MODELS • This part of the lecture aims to provide some local, student and academic based companies that have the potential to be used as role models • Firstly local entrepreneurship: An example of what has happened in our region… • Secondly an academic venture - applying cutting-edge research knowledge to the commercial market. • Finally a number of student ventures: examples of what students and recent graduates are doing.
CASE STUDIES: Speed Queen • Venture: Nightclub • Aim: to create safe space for all types of people to appreciate good music, socialise and party • Unique Selling Point • Different from other club nights in Leeds • Embraced sense of fantasy and glamour • Strategy: Convincing others to come on board through developing a strong identity “a little story” or narrative
CASE STUDIES: The UltraCane • Venture: New high-tech product • Aim: to produce new technology which allows blind people to navigate more effectively through increasing the amount of information available about obstacles • Unique Selling Point: looks in two dimensions both in path and head-height – giving more confidence and ability to walk faster than traditional white cane • Strategy; • Interdisciplinary collaboration • Being Entrepreneurial! Productising New Technology
CASE STUDIES: thesmoothiecompany.co.uk • Venture: Alternative healthy eating cafe • Aim: to create Australian style café with fresh fruits, veg. and quality ingredients • Unique Selling Point: Alternative to the traditional UK “greasy caff” • Strategy: • Intensive research, planning and long hours! • Gained regular and ongoing custom through word of mouth, excellent customer service and quality food • Plan to open in other cites, franchise and branch into corporate catering
CASE STUDIES: Fair Trade First • Venture: Fair trade produce broker • Aim: To help small-scale farmers get a fairer price for their goods e.g. coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa and fruit • Unique Selling Point: • Free service helping businesses to source affordable, sustainable goods • Mixing business with strong ethical element • Strategy: • Networking, voluntary work, information gathering • Passionate about service, use of persuasive abilities
CASE STUDIES: Direct D-Stress • Venture: One-to-one Chinese Physiotherapy Massage • Aim: To provide Chinese chair massage to desk-bound clients to companies through Yorkshire • Unique Selling Point: Chair based, clothed massage technique which does not involve oils – it can be done at a client’s desk in their office making it an attractive workplace option • Strategy: • Invest in advertising • Build up regular clients
GROUP TASK • Some ideas were completely new, others were twists on older concepts…yet all were successful entrepreneurial ventures • Attempt to think of these cases as potential role models • Decide in group which case is the most appropriate role model • Why is this the most appropriate role model? • What attributes/skills/abilities of this person do you admire or wish to emulate? • How could you go about doing this? • Why do you think this business was successful? • Present results to other groups