A group of young salesmen and engineers analyzes their job perspectives. All of them have completed an apprenticeship after graduating from school and each has a lot of practical experience behind them. They have either studied at technical colleges or majored in Business Administration. Now after having passed their final examinations at the university, they are thinking of starting their own business. They feel they need to have a start-up concept to get the company off the ground. Some members of the group have more technical experiences while others have received more managerial and financial training.
Food for Thought
Imagine that you are one of these individuals. For future business negotiations you need a personal profile. Be sure to stress your strengths and underline your qualifications in order to impress potential investors.
- Have you ever been involved in a start-up business?
- Have you shared experiences with others who started their own business?
- Could you imagine yourself running your own company with an excellent team?
- Speaking of experiences, what do you think entrepreneurs like while starting their own business?
- Which difficulties do they have to face?
Exercises – Reports and stories from start-uppers
Scanning the summaries
Have a quick look at the following summaries. If words sound unfamiliar, this shouldn’t bother you. Try to make an educated guess and trust your knowledge of the English language. If you have the feeling that a word you do not know is essential, check your dictionary, but try to avoid this.
Then think of different categories like HR, finances, marketing, niche, technology, they might be connected with. If you are searching for information which of these articles would you choose?
Summaries: Do It Yourself
Reflecting on the stories
Now read one or two of the following stories and think about the following questions:
- Is there a supportive environment?
- What difficulties do they have to face?
- Where do start-ups establish their companies?
- What are the unanticipated setbacks?
Business Stories: Do It Yourself
Mapping the information
After having read some experiences from small businesses and start-up companies, write down the most important information or keywords from the text in the “Start-Up” mind-map you will find in the resources. Feel free to fill in as many terms or words as you like. Hand in your mind-map to your tutor.
Pick one of the entrepreneurs from the summaries. Try to imagine what sort of person could she/he be.
Note down additional characteristics of this person. Use the “Fish-Scale” mind-map from the resources. Fill the ones that you assume on the top line, the actual ones that you will find out while reading the complete story, on the bottom line.
Building a team
Now it is time to reflect what kind of person you are. Fill in your professional characteristics in the “Who am I” mind-map you will find in the resources.
Then fill in the “The Perfect Team“ worksheet from the resources and look for 2 matching partners who you want to work with during the following sessions. At the end of each session your team is expected to discuss a special aspect of the art of start-up.
Please read some of the stories intensively which might be of further interest for you or your future team. After you have read at least three stories, stop for a moment and think of five questions you have. Fill in the “5 Questions” mind-map (resources) and send them to your tutor and team.
If you want to improve your language skills, we recommend working with the material from the resources.
If you want to prepare for the meeting check the resources.
Now go on and start your meeting!
Is there a chance for young entrepreneur on the market today?
- Discuss the PROs and CONs.
- After having gathered all the necessary information your team has to decide on the chances for a future start-up business.
- First of all choose the chair-person.
- Discuss all aspects.
- Sum up the results in the minutes (resources) of the 1st session.
- Send your results and your decision to your tutor.
How to hold a meeting
Here you will find all the important documents and worksheets.
Stories – Do It Yourself
“Vicious Circle – Cruel Credit!” (PDF)
“Learning by doing” (PDF)
“Nice Price” (PDF)
“Pamper your customers – They’ll love you for it!” (PDF)
“Teenage Entrepreneurs – We don’t need no education!” (PDF)
“Stick to what you know” (PDF)
“Finding a Niche” (PDF)