At the start of my masters level academic programme, I immediately interested myself in the modules that had significant content of entrepreneurship training. This is because of the possibilities of enriching my knowledge and interest in becoming an entrepreneur in the future.
The most interesting aspect of this module has been the elevation of discussion and interaction through the challenging group activities that we had to be engaged in over most of the duration of the course which has helped me to become an effective member of the team specifically and carried through to other group activities that I was subsequently involved in. the activities helped develop and enhance my personal disposition to team work and the group dynamics that help teams develop and overcome challenges
Apart from the aspect of team building and the development of personal team spirit, the module activities such as the writing and posting of the blogs has been very useful in the development of writing skills, analysis, argumentation and exchange of ideas. Some of the blogs that were posted were very entertaining; others had a great deal of information and ideas. There were many ideas and analysis in the blogs that were either faulted or seconded by the comments made by other people and bloggers. Many topics and study areas were blogged about and number of comments made about the blogs provided a critical learning platform especially for me.
This reflective learning statement will essay on the blogs and how they have impacted on my understanding of issues in the academic and social sphere. Also, the group activities that I was involved in and the very important impact of this course on my entrepreneurial tendencies
Writing the blogs and as a result, interacting with other team members and the entire module group. It was a very interesting aspect of the course programme that allowed for the unreserved sharing of ideas and points of view some of which differed intensely especially when ideas were suggested in the writings on the comments made following the blog. There was almost always a contrary idea coming into the picture and these cases even intensified the arguments and counter arguments on any particular issue. The good part is how a small and concise blog topic brings about such profound that it positively informs and enriches our consciousness and new information is gained on a particular subject. I was able to gain additional knowledge about the topics that I wrote blogs on because of these debates
I wrote a blog about teams that sparked such debate. My question then was “are teams really that effective “the answer would normally be a yes as dictated by conventional wisdom. However history and literature has proven to us that teams are only effective when they have a purpose driven and visionary leader who can help them drive and channel to purpose into useful action. This is a point that many agree with, however they were always ever so ready to add their own points to the debate. One of the bloggers Anna wrote that in a team “even if you run your own business there is every tendency that you will have to work with a team of other people – your partners, employees, customers and so on. It would be more sensible to learn how to work with others effectively instead of trying to do everything on your own and in your own way”
This was more an expression of writer’s enjoyment of working in the team. However, the fact remains that; it would not have been a case of appreciation and satisfaction if we did not have a credible and dependable leader. It was obvious to me that the group had a few people with the charisma that helped drive our team to success in every sense.
Looking at another blog that I feel is quite memorable and has enhanced my understanding of teams and how teams work, is the blog I wrote on “Creative collaboration’ while preparing the material to write that blog, I came across a number of historical and academic materials. I read about how the ancient Spartans collaborated to become an of the strongest force in human history. Their society valued creative collaboration. The strong army and infantry came from many years of working together for the singular purpose of fighting and winning wars. The Spartan infantry became popular because of their style of team building for the days of war and in every sense fostering creative collaboration.
The other blog which I think is worthy of mention here is the blog on “employee rewards’. In the words of Kang et al (2007), Employee rewards is an important aspect of the psychological contract defining the relationship between employers and their employees. In their own perception of their needs and expectations can motivate them more than just financial rewards. This point alone made the blog very interesting as I entered discussions and debate with other bloggers I realized how much interest that this blog generated. It is indeed a topic in the heart of modern enterprise. Many of the comments acknowledged the importance of this area of modern business and human resource management. The consensus I tend to gather from this blog and the discussions that followed is that there is no alternative to employee satisfaction in terms of their welfare and self-importance in an organization. Financial rewards do not necessarily satisfy the needs of employees in an organization, it is only a step towards that satisfaction and when it is seen as all that Is important, employee satisfaction will be undermined. More than what I would have studied in the classroom, these blog especially allowed me to gain extremely useful knowledge as a result of the various points of view that followed the topic. It was a crucial area of interest especially to us as business students as aspiring entrepreneurs and human resource managers.
Our product was called “Handy Cleaning” it is a two in one cleaning product, a combination of scrubber and sponge glued to rubber gloves. This product is made to be completely waterproof. To be able to make this product and endure that it was viable in the market. We found that this product or something similar was not yet in the British Market but only in China from where consumers would have to buy in bulk as this was the only option for importation. However, our design was original and unique in its own way and is very affordable.
Our target was young people who are mostly concerned with cleaning tasks. During our research we received positive feedback regarding the market acceptability and opportunity for our product to become very profitable. In terms of advertising, because of our limited financial resources we came up with a novel idea of organizing a party that will be helping us showcase our product.
As that was not enough, we also used d social network – facebook to advertise the products. We had a risk of the one product company as this could truncate our chances of succeeding as an organization. However, our product was indeed a very good idea even at the early stages
IMPLICATIONS FOR MY ENTREPRENEURSHIP PLAN
I enrolled myself in this course because of my personal dream of setting up my own design company in the future. I have a background in printed textiles design and this course has helped me to get a step closer to achieving my dream.
My family background has helped me to develop my energy in the entrepreneurial direction and this has helped me to focus on acquiring the skills that are necessary for me to attain my goals in the business world. My family has had a profound influence in my understanding of businesses and business start-ups; however, people such as Lord Alan Sugar have had a lasting influence in my view of what is right and wrong in the entrepreneurial world. I have drawn on many of his personal experiences and the training that I have received from my family to develop my entrepreneurial aspirations to a higher level. The family, according to Rogoff and Heck (2003:559) is the “oxygen that feeds the fire of entrepreneurship”. The family is therefore the first point of nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit. Sometimes business history, aspirations and goals of the family can have deep influences on the decision of the individual to become a business owner. Lord Sugar for example must have gained value insight from the tailoring experience of his father and became less averse to small beginnings. He was also exposed to such meagre beginnings early in his life when he had to sell beetroot from a stall to make extra money while in secondary school in Hackney. (Sugar, 2010).
Lord Sugar’s life experiences while growing up under such economic difficulties underscores the point made by Dalton and Holloway (1989) that many prospective entrepreneurs were bestowed with significant responsibilities at a young age. Sometimes such people had to be involved in one business venture of the other and this measure of early experience exposes them to the choice of following an entrepreneurial career path.
However, as individuals grow up in a particular environment, their environment becomes increasingly important to attitude formulation. Many people derive their personal attitude from the fabric of their learning and personal experiences and the for me the blogs, the module activities and the development of a product in a group have been immensely useful in developing my desire and determination to create a company, a product and a follow up marketing strategy that will see the product succeed and help expand the organisation. Studies by Curran (1996) reveal that the experiences of individuals draw heavily from secondary sources as a product of the collective attitudes of parents, peers and teachers. An example is how much we learn from peer groups, television and role models.
The entrepreneurship a concept that I have had to constantly remind myself of its meaning and implication for the growth of the economy and how much knowing this fact also helps to motivate me towards being part of the engine that drives the economy. Dickson and Weaver (2008) highlights the importance of entrepreneurship in economic development, through the creation of small firms, a vibrant industrial capacity of a country is also established. Small firms are crucial in any society for job creation, distribution of wealth and economic growth.
An entrepreneur is someone who creates a new enterprise. (Lee and Perterson, 2000). Entrepreneurship is also the process of “creating or seeking an opportunity and pursuing it regardless of the resources currently controlled”. (McDougall and Oviatt, 1997:293). Entrepreneurship in the above senses therefore has a lot to do with innovative activity, capital accumulation and investment, and business growth.
CONCLUSION: LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE
At the end of this module I have been able to gain vital knowledge in my chosen field of personal endeavour, the awareness that the module has imparted in me gives me confidence in knowing that I can achieve my goal of establishing a company and then nurturing it to success and greater heights. However the course also gave me the opportunity to identify some of the weaknesses that may impinge on my ability to see my dreams through and to fruition. Murdock and Scutt (2003) explain that by accepting responsibility for our personal awareness and learning, we will be able to enhance our chances and improve our prospects. It is thus understandable how important personal examination and the identification of these weaknesses can be to the personal growth of the individual or manager especially as my awareness of these weaknesses mean that it is possible for me to begin to set out a plan to deal with them in a fruitful manner. While working through this module I have been able to gain value skills in interpersonal relations and approaching people in a friendly but purposeful manner and I also gained a great deal of persuasion skills. Through the lectures and seminars, I was also able to enhance my skills in negotiation. The exercises done during the course also allowed me to gain strong analytical skills and obtain growing ability to contribute effectively and meaningfully at most levels of management. However, while going through the course, I also found that there is need for me to improve my time management skills and to confront the problem of hesitation. Time is a very important factor in the management of any human activity this is very important both at the individual and organizational levels. (Caprioni, 2005)
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Dickson, P.H., Weaver, K.M. (2008), “The role of the institutional environment in determining firm orientation towards entrepreneurial behaviour”, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Vol. 4 No.4, pp.467-83.
Kang, S, Morris, S and Snell, S. (2007) Relational Archetypes, Organisation Learning, and Value Creation: Extending the Human Resource Architecture, Academy of Management Review, vol. 32, issue 1, pp. 236-256.
Lee, S.M., Peterson, S.J. (2000), “Culture, entrepreneurial orientation, and global competitiveness”, Journal of World Business, Vol. 35 pp.401-16.
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Murdock, A and Scutt,C.N (2003) Personal Effectiveness, third edn, Oxford, Elsevier.
Rogoff, E.G., Heck, R.K.Z. (2003), “Editorial: evolving research in entrepreneurship and family business: recognizing family as the oxygen that feeds the fire of entrepreneurship”, Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 18 No.5, pp.559-66.
Sugar, A. (2010) What you see is what you get: my autobiography, London, pan Mcmillan.