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 BE322 – Entrepreneurship and small business management

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تاريخ التسجيل : 23/01/2012

مُساهمةموضوع: BE322 – Entrepreneurship and small business management   السبت أبريل 26, 2014 5:44 am

BE322 – Entrepreneurship and small business management
Tutor Marked Assessment

SPRING 2014

Read carefully the following instructions and both cases study, and then answer each question in an essay format. To support your analysis use relevant material from BE322 covered so far and other resources such as AOU e-library articles.
INSCTRUCTIONS:
• Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later than May 8th, 2014. All late submissions require approval from the branch course coordinator and will be subject to grade deductions.
• Word count: you should discuss the questions in no more or less than the number of words mentioned for each question (plus or minus 10%).
• Referencing: You must acknowledge all your sources of information using full Harvard Style Referencing (in-text referencing plus list of references at the end). Use E-library: to get journal articles on the topic (Emerald, EBSCO…). Use at least 2 articles.
• Plagiarism: Remember that you should work the information from references into your own original thoughts and INTO YOUR OWN WORDS. Plagiarism will lead to a significant loss of marks. Extensive plagiarism could mean that you failed your TMA. (Refer to AOU definitions of cheating and plagiarism at the end of this document)
• Essay guidance: Your response to each question should take the form of a full essay format. Avoid using subheadings and bullet points. Use BE322 textbook and slides, the case, and E-Library. Plan what you will write, and have a well-organized outline.
• Using PT3 form: When you have completed your TMA, you must fill in the assignment form (PT3) posted on your moodle account, taking care to fill all information correctly.
• Turnitin upload: A soft copy of your TMA and PT3 form should be uploaded to Turnitin via the link posted on your moodle account, within the cut-off date.
• This TMA is 20% of BE322 Grade.




Rosaria Piseri: My seaweed obsession led to a business

It's green, slimy and can be a bit smelly - but for entrepreneur Rosaria Piseri, a lifelong fascination with seaweed is what drove her to create a business.
All her life she always desired to be near the sea, and, at 46, with her children grown up, she decided to move to an island on the west coast of Ireland to pursue her passion.
This move eventually led to the creation of her company, “AlgAran”, which makes and sells eatable organic seaweed products and remedies, as well as seaweed-infused moisturizers, face masks, shampoo, soap and other cosmetics.
The company's name reflects its birthplace - the Aran Islands - which have a long tradition of using seaweed, both in food and as a plant fertilizer.
'Amazing effects'
Rosaria first became interested in seaweed when she discovered the impact it had when used as a natural fertilizer to enhance the size of grapes. At the time, she was working for a wine company Italy.
Its effectiveness drove her to spend time reading and making research about seaweeds benefits.
"It was wonderful. I mean the seaweed could have really, really amazing effects on plants," she says.
Impressed, she arranged to import a small amount for her own personal use as a fertilizer, and subsequently began to import more to sell to friends.
After this her fascination grew, and she spent all her time researching seaweed, to the point where she says she was rejected by her friends because it was all she ever talked about.
"I was really led by just a passion. And I thought, 'This is going to be a business, this is going to be a business.' I just had this feeling that it was going to work."
However, it was the death of a close friend from cancer that persuaded her to dedicate herself full time to creating a business.
When her friend was diagnosed, Ms. Piseri started to research whether seaweed extracts had any medicinal uses that could help. Sadly, her friend passed away before Ms. Piseri could find anything out.
"So it was a kind of a promise I made her. I want to keep going in this, I want to know more."
“AlgAran”
Rosaria initially got a job working on the Aran Islands for the company that had supplied her with seaweed to Italy, and then moved to another company in Donegal that had just started to process seaweed for agriculture.
She then decided to stay permanently in Ireland and started her own company in 2004 – “AlgAran”, using seaweed as the basis for a food product.
Michael McCloskey, a local seaweed harvester she had met at the company in Donegal, joined her as a business partner, providing empty premises he owned to set up offices and a factory.
Part of her research was secretly testing out her products on unsuspecting dinner guests to see if they would like them, using traditional Italian recipes with seaweed as an additional ingredient.
She says they were amazed when she told them what they had been eating.
However, initial sales were slow, in part due to people's resistance to eating a foodstuff that is associated with seaweed.

The breakthrough for the company came when Rosaria decided to start exporting to Japan in 2012. The tsunami and earthquake in 2011 had destroyed much of the country's home-grown seaweed, commonly used in food dishes, creating a strong demand for imports.
Demand is now so high that the company is unable to keep up, and it has had to send back orders. The company now has five staff besides Rosaria herself. Despite the long hours, she says the fact that both the company and the products she makes are her own creations makes it worthwhile, and keeps her motivated.
Her advice to an entrepreneur? Get planning early, and write a business and marketing plan at the very outset. Something she says she failed to do. Ultimately, she says, the process of starting a business is like having a baby. "You have to be sure that you are going to nourish the baby, that you are going to grow the baby, that you will be available for the baby. So the company is much the same, business is much the same."
















QUESTIONS:
Answers provided should be based on the good comprehension of concepts learned from the course material AND their proper application to the case study.


1- The abilities and personal characteristics of an entrepreneur exert a powerful influence on the success of his business. According to the case study, what was the main drive behind Rosaria Piseri starting her own business? (10 marks) What other factors helped her succeed in this business? (20 marks)
Justify your answers by using supporting arguments from the case study. (350 words)

2- In your opinion, what are the main characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? (15 marks) Do you agree with the statement of Rosaria Piseri mentioned at the end of the case? (15 marks)
Justify your answer. (350 words)

3- What was the main difficulty Rosaria faced while starting up her business? And what was the main opportunity for her to expand her business? (15 marks – 150 words)

4- Would you choose buying AlgAran franchise to invest it in your local country? Explain the reason behind your choice by providing sound justifications. (25 marks – 350 words)

Grades deduction for:
TMA Presentation: (up to 5 marks)
Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor presentation or poor organization of the TMA outline and discussion or TMA presented without PT3.
Proper referencing: (up to 5 marks)
Referencing should be both in-text referencing, plus a list of references at the end using Harvard style. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor referencing.

Use of E-Library: (up to 5 marks)
A minimum use of 2 articles from AOU e-library is required to support the discussions. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for no use or poor use of e-library.

Word count: (up to 5 marks)
The answers should be within the specified word count. A deviation of 10% is acceptable; if more, a deduction up to 5 marks will be applied.

Arab Open University Definitions of cheating and plagiarism.
Plagiarism means copying from internet, from unreferenced sources, from other students’ TMAs or any other source. Penalties for plagiarism range from failure in the TMA or the course, to expulsion from the university.
According to the Arab Open University By-laws, “the following acts represent cases of cheating and plagiarism:
• Verbatim copying of printed material and submitting them as part of TMAs without proper academic acknowledgement and documentation.
• Verbatim copying of material from the Internet, including tables and graphics.
• Copying other students’ notes or reports.
• Using paid or unpaid material prepared for the student by individuals or firms.
• Utilization of, or proceeding to utilize, contraband materials or devices in examinations.”

Penalty on plagiarism: The following is the standard plagiarism penalty applied across branches as per Article 11 of the university by-laws was revisited and modified to be more explicit with regard to plagiarism on TMAs. Penalties include the following:
1) Awarding of zero for a TMA wherein more than 20% of the content is plagiarized.
2) Documentation of warning in student record.
3) Failure in the course to dismissal from the University.
All University programs are required to apply penalties that are consistent with the University by laws.

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