LD4004: Entrepreneurship – Context, Process And Practice
LD4004: Entrepreneurship – Context, Process And Practice
Module Convenor: Dr Mojdeh Mehrganrad
Table of Contents
This essay is based on the reflection on my business idea presented as a part of my assessment. It will critically analyse the process behind this idea including ideation, planning and the research involved with the help of the entrepreneurial theories and academic literature. This essay also focuses on showcasing my learnings on ventureideation and the process of its development by discussing how my business idea emerged and the planning behind it.It explores various methods, theories, tools, and literature whichwill tend to provide a clear path for venture planning to developing entrepreneurs. By discussing all these aspects of venture development this study will showcase the importance of entrepreneurship knowledge, skills, and competence to run a firm successfully and profitably.Through this essay I am going to critically analyse myself and the learning from the Entrepreneurship context, process, and practice module.
BACKGROUND AND EMERGENCE OF THE VENTURE IDEA:
Brewer(1968)studies support that a firm led by an opportunistic entrepreneurwill have highest growth rate in sales terms by differentiating an opportunistic and craftsman entrepreneur. He defines an opportunistic entrepreneur as a person who is adaptable to change, future-oriented, aware socially and high decision-making skills encouraging continuous innovation.
The business idea I presented as a part of this module’s assessment is to open a firm named “BIENESTAR” which means welfare. The idea is to open a manufacturing unit whose primary focus will be to produce surgical items for distribution. This basic idea got developed into a new and more sustainable idea through the lessons I learned and the tools I worked on which I will be discussingand reflecting on in detailed. Before starting my master’scourse, I had a general business idea to investigate opening a distributing firm which focuses on supplying ‘imported’surgical products for which I am now pursuing Masters in Entrepreneurship to gain more knowledge.Discussing about how my current business idea emerged, the recent incidents such as banning Chinese applications(Pham, 2020)due to a conflict between India and Chinahas changed Indians perspective in buying things.Due to this drastic change,Indians now tend to focus on buying ‘made in India’ products and being self-reliant which is evident in the governments step to build a self-reliant India “AtmaNirbhar Bharath” (National Portal of India 2020)to support businesses in COVID situation and to encourage new ventures. After looking into these decisions and support from the government it motivated me to explore a new side of my previous idea which made me question myself “Why distribute imported products? When we have an option to produce them ourselves and distribute?”. This question not only me helped in developing a new business idea but also directed mein finding an opportunity to enter Indian manufacturing sector, instead of focusing completely in distribution sector, by opening a manufacturing unit and this module helped me in completely analysing my business idea and continuously developing it.
IDEATION AND OPPURTUNITY RECOGNITION:
Kier & Mcmullen (2018)elaborated “ideation” as a process where ideas are generated,and an idea is then selected. They also explained that idea generating process involves “creative problem solving” which was referred as any situation or an activity where an organization, individual or a group develops an innovative solution to an ill-defined problem. Through his illustration of ideation,I understood that though we create several ideas to solve a problem the real creativity is at the selection phase where convergence approach can be used to develop a unique business venture idea.After the first session I attended in this module, I learnt that we will have to develop a business venture idea to present as a part of assessment which excited me to gain more knowledge and obtain external review on my previous business idea. I had a completely differentview of my business idea after analysing it through the tools taught in week two such as Steveloping the idea and the theory of effectuation.
Through the theory of Effectuation(Appendix 5), during the workshop session,Istarted evaluating the resources I already have. Through this task I was able to evaluate my current situation regarding who I am, whom I know and what Iknowin the first step. Through this first step by learning my current position, it helped me in analysing the hurdles I will face and the resources I am lacking which I can use to strengthen my self by working on them. In this step I was able to identify that my education background and a little experience cannot help a lot but can form a foundation to my understanding and will help me in strategizing my further steps. In the second step I got to specify the resourcesfrom the information already available and found out that even though I do not have direct connection with the suppliers to contact I have the contacts through which I can access the information required. The Importance of resources can be depicted as various studies states that the resource-based view illustrates the firm’s resources and capabilities lay a step in-order to achieve competitive advantageand depicts how they influence firm’s performance (Gruber et al., 2010).In step three of the effectuation theory I was able to understand what I can do with the resources I have by critically analysing the first two steps. In this step I got a typical idea that I can contact the raw materials suppliers through the contacts I have and negotiate with them according to my needs. The theory of effectuation helped me in shaping my Idea.
As the next step of Ideation, I steveloped my idea(Appendix 6) and added a social entrepreneurship side to it (Appendix 1). I altered my business idea into having a social cause which is to supply sanitary pads to women in rural areas. These sanitary pads will be produced from the left-overmaterial we would usually throw. Misra et al., 2013through their study of 995 women identified that only 28.8% among these women used sanitary pads and 62% of them were not even aware of the reasons for menstruation. This study depicts how low menstrual hygiene and the need for menstrual education in rural areas. I found this as an opportunity to give my original business idea a social purpose to serve people of my country.
Raynor (1998) identifies that the “the vision is not complete on its own” and needs a proper understanding of the ‘building blocks’ which can be obtained by viewing vision as “recognizing those market forces which will impact the company’s future, and so shape the nature of its desired future position”.Through this literature it can be understood that vision statement should be aligned with a firm’s future goals. A statement which defines best of my business ideas aspirations would be“Developing innovations in surgical and wound care items and distribute them to all the people in need”. This statement enunciates the long-term goal of my business idea which is to create a benchmark in medical product innovations. The process of developing this vision statement made me realise my future passion to set my mark in medical equipment industry either through distribution innovations or through manufacturing innovations.
BUSINESS PLANNING AND BUSINESS MODEL DEVELOPMENT
Burke, Fraser, & Greene (2010)emphasises multiple implications of developing a business plan by discussing its effects on venture performance and finance seeking. I learnt the Importance and the effect of developing a business plan has on a new venture idea during my lecture session in week four on business planning and business model development. During this week I got to learn that business plan development can be based on different contexts such as finance needing firm’s plan would be different from the firm which has already gathered its financial resources, andthis helped me in filtering and structuring my business idea. But instead of developing a traditional business plan I am usingdevelop business model as an alternative. I used Business model canvas as a tool to develop my business idea’s structure.
Over decades, various studies and research discussed and explained business models and its development using distinct methods which makes it difficult for us to stick to a single definition.George & Bock (2011)helped us in understanding the definition of business model by combining various researchers view that it’s definition is a combination of “incorporating organizational narrative, processes that convert innovation into value, recipes for firm activities that incorporate organizational design and strategy, ‘flows’ of information and resources, and designed structures such as the firm’s set of boundaryspanning transactions”. Through this finding theimportance of developing business model can be identified. As taught in week fourlecture session business model canvas is a tool which will help us to describe value creation, how this value is being delivered and captured (Appendix 4)Pritchett (2014) mentions that Business model canvas is used to analyse “how to create value to businesses”. In the workshop session of week five we got an opportunity to fill in the business model canvas(Appendix 2) and later discusses it with our peers. The feedback I received from my peers and lecturer helped me in pointing out the mistakes I have been doing and highlighted a different perspective to investigate. The business model canvas had nine compartments to fill the data into. This modelhelped me not only in planning the business idea but also in realising the resources at hand and the resources required. The main aspects, I identified, for my new business idea in the canvas model are value proposition, cost structure and customer segments. These three aspects are above others as they define the key points for other sections such as Revenue streams, customer relationships, channels, key partners, resources, and activities. The major reflections I made through this model would be an addition to my customer segment which previously I thought of hospitals only but now I have widened my customer segment to other suppliers as well. The other major change would be the cost structure and revenue stream, “StartupIndia”(National Portal of India 2016) initiative taken by Government of India has motivated me to be unique and will give me chance to contribute to my society. After week seven session I started looking into the financial aspect in depth and found out about the funding and incentives support provided by Indian Government through this scheme.
Pritchett (2014) highlights value proposition canvas as a ‘pivotal’ part of the business model canvas and describes it through two sides. The first side being ‘Customer profile side’ where customers understanding can be clarified and the second side is ‘Value map side’ where analysis of how a venture intends to deliver value to their customers.The Value proposition canvasanalyses the importance of focus on customer’s perspective for a new venture business idea. It is proposed that the primary role in an enterprise should be given to its customers(Heinonen et al., 2010).Before analysing the value proposition for our customers, the customer segment for my current business idea would be Hospitals, Distributors, Exporting to other distributors and Medical stores. As the value proposition canvas is a part of Business model canvas this step is crucial and was done carefully for my business idea. I have developed the value proposition canvas by illustrating the gains, pains, and the job to be done of the customers. Through this tool(Appendix 3) I learnt that the profit I could provide to my customers to be not only better quality and price but also satisfaction and welfare as they are contributing to a social cause by purchasing our products. The pains some of our customers might consider could be the additional time we ask for them while educating rural women on menstrual hygiene, but it is not mandatory that every customer would consider it a pain. The other thing customers might consider as a trouble could be the services provided by us while delivering the products. The job to be done element for our customers would be to use our products while operating in case of Hospitals and to supply our products to end users in case of distributors.Dickons (2019) suggested to understand unique selling point(USP) to distinguish yourself from your competitors. So, The Unique selling point can be considered as a factor which can help a business in gaining competitive advantage. The Unique selling point presented for my business idea is “Our customers would be motivated to buy our products as they are eco-friendly and would help poor women who can’t afford sanitary napkins on a regular basis”. This unique selling point was developed based on the lack of proper sanitation in rural areasas it was recorded that the usage of sanitary pads has beendropped to 0-65% in rural areas in India (Garikipati&Boudot, 2017). After presenting this unique selling point and receiving feedback on it I was able to notice that this unique selling point must be updated and should be given more innovation. Due to this I came up with a new decision to add to the business idea which is to implement an environment friendly energy sources such as solar power and wind power which would give my products a different value. But this idea must be researched thoroughly before making the final decision as it might result in increase in the cost of the products or any changes in the quality of the products.
(Leavitt, 2001) stated that primary research analysis works for such theories whose answers can be obtained either by posing question to the users or observing the direct users. So, I choose to use the primary research by asking questions, I have created a questionnaire survey of the products which are going to be manufactured by the organisation in my business Idea like the availability, purchase accessibility, improvement, organisational penetration, recommendations, value for the products, and likeliness.
The survey questionnaire was conducted online using an internet tool called “Survey Monkey” as it advocates for the designing and development of the organisation (Batinic, 2002). The survey was consigned within the family and friends who are aware of the business Idea, however, the responses were anonymous. The survey report analysis has shown a very positive rate to most of the aspects of the questionnaire, the aspects like availability, purchase accessibility, recommendations, value for the products, and likeliness have got good and more than good positive response however the other two factors have a bit low score compared to the others. The reason for conducting a survey within those who are aware of the idea as I wanted my business to be market-oriented philosophy which goes beyond satisfying the customer needs instead customer led philosophy as it is short term and reactive in nature to the needs. The primary market research analysis can be observed in the appendix.
Generally secondary research is a re-analysis of the collected primary data with a purpose of analysing the unanswered or re-answering using the required statistical techniques (GLASS, 1976). However, in this case of my business Idea, there is not any specific primary data to be analysed or organised for the development and improvement instead I chose to take the existing data from the available sources to requisite the required data (Stewart &Kamins, 1998) for the competitor analysis as we are a new organisation. With regards to that specific, I have concentrated more on the available data sources in the market which could be a competitor. (Chen, 1996) states that a secondary research can be used to analyse the two firms’ common focal point where their product may interact and prebattle competition may arise. However, these competitors will increase the market commonality with similar products but could be diverse too due the dissimilarity of the resources (Withers, Ireland, Miller, Harrison & Boss, 2018).
According to the problem statement of my business idea, there is a chance of the increase in the demand of the basic surgical products like the gloves and sanitisers, however, there is a more abundant chance of the surgical products demand falling (Al-Jabir et al., 2020). The other problem is distribution of sanitary pads among the rural areas would be a challenging task for a new budding organisation like my business idea. As stated by (Arcury, Preisser, Gesler & Powers, 2005) the accessibility of the health care products or utilization of services are scarce in so many rural areas due to the unavailability of the information of the residents or the limited access of the transportation to such rural areas.
To retaliate these problems, I have used the primary and secondary research methods. As the demand curve for the non-surgical items started to touch the sky in the pandemic whereas the demand for the surgical item has become very weak due to the fear of the contraction. However, our idea of promoting the surgical products is through selling our products in combos or as in kits for the consistent sales for both the surgical and nonsurgical items whereas sale and distribution of sanitary pads is more of a women empowerment and philanthropical aspect. (Arcury, Preisser, Gesler & Powers, 2005) have made a good analysis of the issue for the transportation of health care products or service utilization, they have started taking the places as samples, each sample had a group of interceptors who directly report the sample holders, these interceptors always have a keen eye towards the needs of the people who need health care and services. This idea could give us a big leap to build and establish the organisation.
HOW TO UTILIZE THIS RESEARCH?
The primary research was conducted to know the people’s interaction with the idea, as each question in the questionnaire represents aspects of the business which then could be implemented as a resourceful solution. However, the survey data and analysis cannot be trusted as there are several other factors which could affect the general decision making (Bertrand & Mullainathan, 2001), so directly implying these decisions can turn out to be a disaster for the business. As suggested by Weisberg et al (1989) comparing the collected data with the existing secondary data could help to acquire a focal point and a continuous research of the resulted data will lead to a successful organisational establishment.
Vance (2005) described Pitch as way to attract capital investment into a new venture. He also suggested that before pitching it is necessary to understand the needs and requirements of the venture capitalist to attract funding. During week three lecture I got to learn a lot about pitch development and presentation. Through this lecture session I was able to gain knowledge on the process of developing a pitch. For a better communication and explanation of the pitch during the lecture we were taught the 55%-38%-7% formula Mehrabian, A. (1981). Through this formula I got a clear picture of how to present a pitch. Due to covid-19 situation as we were only having online classes this formula was not that useful as the 55% body language section was not evaluated. My pitch poster presentation took around 2 minutes 50 seconds. In this duration I have explained the type of business venture, types of products and services being offered, target segment, Unique selling point, problems, and solutions to those problems. My business venture idea was to develop a manufacturing unit which primarily produces surgical products and secondarily distributes sanitary napkins to women in rural area who cannot afford to buy them regularly. This business venture falls under manufacturing sector in healthcare industry. The problems this idea would solve are meeting the demand for products in current pandemic situation and lack of menstrual hygiene in rural areas.
CRITICAL ANALYSIS AND REFLECTION OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AS AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PERSON
Meutia& Ismail (2012) highlighted that for the development and accomplishment of a business the entrepreneurial social competence plays an important role. Entrecomp is a framework which specifies Entrepreneurship as a competence and Bacigalupo et al (2016) explains entrepreneurship competence framework as“It aims to establish a bridge between the worlds of education and work and to be taken as a reference de facto by any initiative which aims to foster entrepreneurial learning”. He also explains in detail the entrepreneurship competence framework that it has three competence areas and fifteen competencies under them. The three competency areas mentioned are ‘Ideas and opportunities’, ‘Resources’ and ‘Into Action’. To critically analyse myself in terms of entrepreneurship skills and traits I am using Entrecomp (Entrepreneurship competence framework) as a tool. Entrecomp framework was taught to us in week one session. My learnings were recorded in this framework under 8 different levels which would indicate eight different weeks of the module. The learnings from these sections would be my personal learnings through the lecture sessions as well as the workshop sessions conducted. From the first competence area the competencies recorded in this framework are Spotting opportunities, Creativity, Vision, Valuing Ideas and Ethical sustainable thinking. By the end of this module, I was able to identify opportunities clearly using various analysing methods such as theory of effectuation. Creativity competence has been developed by the end of the module as I was able to think of developing a new online platform for my business idea. Vision, valuing ideas and ethical thinking competencies I am now able to think of the actions to take against unethical decisions and persons. The second competence area being resources the competencies under this area are self-awareness and self-efficacy, Motivation andperseverance, mobilising resources, financial and economic literacy, and mobilising others. By using Johari window (Luft & Ingham,1961) as a tool to identify my improvement in self-awareness I was able to understand that I can develop strategies to overcome the weaknesses I have, or my team has. Another finding in this competence is that I have good leadership skills which I was unaware of. The third competence area being ‘Into action’ the competencies to measure this are taking initiative and planning and management. I understood from my peer feedback that I have developed a trait of taking initiative by the end of the module and am able to develop my own business model for my business idea.
WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY:
The business idea was to manufacture reliable and eco-friendly surgical products that would benefit the environment while not compromising on the quality of the products by taking all the necessary medical processes. The distribution of sanitary pads is an initiative towards women empowerment and philanthropy. However, distribution of these pads would be difficult among the rural areas where the requirement and necessity are more, and the organization must bear the manufacturing. Wind and solar powered manufacturing units can mitigate these charges which would require a great amount of time and analysis to start such a business unit. As stated above, no prior research was done to establish such a unit which would have been a great impact on my business idea.
Al-Jabir, A., Kerwan, A., Nicola, M., Alsafi, Z., Khan, M., &Sohrabi, C. et al. (2020). Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on surgical practice – Part 1. International Journal Of Surgery, 79, 168-179. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2020.05.022
Arcury, T., Preisser, J., Gesler, W., & Powers, J. (2005). Access to Transportation and Health Care Utilization in a Rural Region. The Journal Of Rural Health, 21(1), 31-38. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2005.tb00059.x
Bacigalupo, M., Kampylis, P., Punie, Y., Van den Brande, G. (2016). EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Framewor,Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union. doi:10.2791/593884
Batinic, B. (2002). Online social sciences. Seattle: Hogrefe& Huber.
Bertrand, M., & Mullainathan, S. (2001). Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data. American Economic Review, 91(2), 67-72. doi: 10.1257/aer.91.2.67
Brewer, T. B. (1968). The Entrepreneur and His Firm: The Relationship between Type of Man and Typeof Company. By Norman Raymond Smith. East Lansing, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Michigan State University, 1967. Pp. vii + 109. Business History Review,42(2), 244-245. doi:10.2307/3112228
Burke, A., Fraser, S., & Greene, F. (2010). The Multiple Effects of Business Planning on New Venture Performance. Journal of Management Studies,47(3), 392-495. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2009.00857.x
Chen, M. (1996). Competitor Analysis and Interfirm Rivalry: Toward A Theoretical Integration. Academy Of Management Review, 21(1), 100-134. doi: 10.5465/amr.1996.9602161567
Dickons, G. (2019). How to indentify your unique selling points. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing,8(4), 201-202. doi:10.12968/joan.2019.8.4.201
Garikipati, S., &Boudot, C. (2017). To Pad or Not to Pad: Towards Better Sanitary Care for Women in Indian Slums. Journal Of International Development, 29(1), 32-51. doi: 10.1002/jid.3266
George, G., & Bock, A. J. (2011). The Business Model in Practice and its Implications for Entrepreneurship Research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,35(1), 83-111. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6520.2010.00424.x
GLASS, G. (1976). Primary, Secondary, and Meta-Analysis of Research. Educational Researcher, 5(10), 3-8. doi: 10.3102/0013189×005010003
Gruber, M., Heinemann, F., Brettel, M., &Hungeling, S. (2010). Configurations of resources and capabilities and their performance implications: An exploratory study on technology ventures. Strategic Management Journa,31(12), 1337-1356. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.865
Heinonen, K., Strandvik, T., Mickelsson, K., Edvardsson, B., Sundström, E., & Andersson, P. (2010). A customer‐dominant logic of service. Journal Of Service Management, 21(4), 531-548. doi: 10.1108/09564231011066088
Kier, A. S., &Mcmullen, J. S. (2018). Entrepreneurial Imaginativeness in New Venture Ideation. Academy of Management Journal,61(6), 2265-2295. doi:10.5465/amj.2017.0395
Leavitt, F. (2001). Evaluating scientific research. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall Inc.
Luft, J., &Ingham, H. (1961). The Johari Window: a graphic model of awareness in interpersonal relations. Human relations training news, 5(9), 6-7.
Mehrabian, A. (1981). Silent messages: implicit communication of emotions and attitudes, Albert Mehrabian, 2. edn. Wadsworth, Belmont, Calif.
Meutia, & Ismail, T. (2012). The Development of Entrepreneurial Social Competence and Business Network to Improve Competitive Advantage and Business Performance of Small Medium Sized Enterprises: A Case Study of Batik Industry in Indonesia. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences,65, 46-51. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.11.089
Misra, P., Upadhyay, R., Sharma, V., Anand, K., & Gupta, V. (2013). A community-based study of menstrual hygiene practices and willingness to pay for sanitary napkins among women of a rural community in northern India (Vol. 26, pp. 335-337, Rep. No. 6). The National Medical Journal of India.
National Portal of India. (2016, May 13). Retrieved January 14, 2021, from https://www.india.gov.in/spotlight/startup-india-starting-startup-revolution#tab=tab-1
National Portal of India. (2020, June 3). Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.india.gov.in/spotlight/building-atmanirbhar-bharat-overcoming-covid-19
Pham, S. (2020, November 25). India bans more Chinese apps as tensions remain high. India Bans More Chinese Apps as Tensions Remain High. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/25/tech/india-bans-chinese-apps-hnk-intl/index.html
Pritchett, G. (2014). Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want. Central European Business Review, 3(4), 52-52. doi: 10.18267/j.cebr.104
Raynor, M. E. (1998). That vision thing: Do we need it? Long Range Planning,31(3), 368-376. doi:10.1016/s0024-6301(98)80004-6
Slater, S., &Narver, J. (1998). Customer-led and market-oriented: let’s not confuse the two. Strategic Management Journal, 19(10), 1001-1006. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0266(199810)19:10<1001:aid-smj996>3.0.co;2-4
Stewart, D., &Kamins, M. (1998). Secondary research. Newbury Park: Sage.
Vance, D. E. (2005). The Pitch: Landing the Investor. Raising Capital, 197-214. doi:10.1007/0-387-25320-3_10
Weisberg, H. F., Krosnick, J. A., & Bowen, B. D. (1989). An introduction to survey research and data analysis. Scott, Foresman & Co.
Withers, M., Ireland, R., Miller, D., Harrison, J., & Boss, D. (2018). Competitive Landscape Shifts: The Influence of Strategic Entrepreneurship on Shifts in Market Commonality. Academy Of Management Review, 43(3), 349-370. doi: 10.5465/amr.2016.0157
Appendix 1: Poster
Appendix 2: Business model canvas
Appendix 3 : Value propositions Canvas
Appendix 4: Week 4 Lecture
Appendix 5: Theory of effectuation
Appendix 6: Steveloping idea
Appendix 7: Mokeysurvey (Primary research)
Appendix 8: Entrecomp Framework