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Some entrepreneurs will identify a problem a community has and then attempt to solve the problem that they, themselves, believe is important. However, the

Some entrepreneurs will identify a problem a community has and then attempt to solve the problem that they, themselves, believe is important. However, the community being served may not view the entrepreneur’s perceived problem to be an issue and may not support a proposed solution. It is critical that the entrepreneur engages people within a community and addresses problems the community identifies as important.

This is a two-part assignment. Detailed instructions posted below. There is also a link to an example student writeup. Download example student writeup.

Part I (100 points): Each student will take a tour of their community (broadly defined – work, school, church, organization, neighborhood) or another community they would be interested in serving. Each student will identify a community member that can be interviewed to identify perceived problems that need solutions.

Once the problems have been identified, students will brainstorm on potential entrepreneurial solutions.  to an external site.. For purposes of this exercise an entrepreneurial solution is a for-profit venture and excludes not-for-profit or volunteer activities.  DO NOT brainstorm on nonprofit solutions (such as homeless/animal shelters, daycare centers, community centers, youth/adult education or training). 

The below questions will help you structure their interviews and brainstorming activity.

Interview Questions: 

(1) Describe your EAST ST. LOUIS, IL community (large/small, growing/shrinking, innovative/stagnant, homogeneous/diverse, goals/purpose).

(2) What are the strengths of your community?

(3) What are three problems in the community that need business solutions?

(4) What roles do you see for-profit organizations playing in solving the problems?

(5) What other untapped opportunities exist to make money in the community?

(6) What benefits/barriers exist to help/prevent new companies from doing business in the community?

(7) Propose an opportunity for profit to the interviewee and get his or her feedback.

Submission Guidelines:

(1) Provide the name and title of the interviewee and the name of the community.

(2) List each question asked and report the interviewee response.

(3) Discuss your thoughts on the opportunities identified by the interviewee.

(4) Discuss your proposed opportunity.

(5) Discuss your thoughts about the feedback you received on your proposed opportunity.  How did the feedback affect your perspective on the opportunity?

Submissions are expected to be a 3 – 3 1/2 page typed document (.doc or pdf files only, double spaced 11-point font 1-inch margins, no white space at top or bottoms of pages, single space the header with your name and course title). No bullet points. Do not double space the header with your name. Please cite your supportive references with citations. 

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