Assignment No: 1:
Submission Date by students: Before the end of Week- 7th
Place of Submission: Students Grade Centre
Weight: Total 07 Marks
Weight: 04 Marks
Case Study 1: Elizabeth Gooch and EG Solutions PLC
In 2006, Management Today named Elizabeth Gooch as the seventh most successful female entrepreneur in the UK. About 25% of the top entrepreneurs in the list were female.
Elizabeth is founder and CEO of EG Solutions, a small company selling operations management software that helps clients to generate improvements in operational performance and efficiency. EG Solutions prides itself on implementing its programmes on a fixed cost, fixed timescale basis. It is the only company that guarantees return on investment and its sales receipts/revenues are based on the results delivered. A typical implementation project pays itself within six (6) months.
Elizabeth started work for HSBC Bank aged 18 but left after only 12 months to work for a consultancy that helped large firms find better ways to use their staff. Eight (8) years later, she started her own business, EG Consulting, aged 26, financed by £1,000 borrowed from family and friends and a credit card.
EG Consulting initially offered consultancy and training on operations management to financial services companies. In its first year, turnover reached £600,000. However, the complexity of collecting the information needed to advise on improving efficiency led Elizabeth to develop software to help in the task.
In 1993, the software, called Operational Intelligence, was launched as a product in its own right. It allowed data to be collected in real-time, enabling all departments of a company to monitor the production process. At that point, the business had six (6) employees, several contract workers and a turnover of £1 million.
Elizabeth met Rodney Baker-Bates, then CEO of Prudential Financial Services and things changed dramatically. He believed that she was not making enough of the business and advised that she should focus on the software, rather than consultancy work.
In 2005, the company changed its name to EG Solutions PLC, with Rodney as the Chairman – engaged as a strategic planning consultant to help develop the business in a focussed way. The strategy worked, increasing turnover by 28% in a year to £4.2 million.
The business needed additional capital to fund an ambitious growth target so; Elizabeth decided to float the company on the Alternative Investment market (AIM), rather than approaching venture Capitalists, so as to retain control of the business.
The float was successful but EG Solutions suffered £700,000 and £800,000 losses in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Elizabeth cut costs by £1.2 million in 2008 and returned EG Solutions to profit, admitting that she took her eye off the UK market as she looked overseas for business opportunities that she had planned to achieve and ambitious growth.
She famously advised:
“There needs to be a lot more attention to strategy. Persevere and never see anything as failure. Look at what you can learn from something that does not go the way you want. It is all about attitude. I do not believe in failure. I have needed sheer determination – although my shareholders would probably describe it as stubbornness.”
Case Study 2: Tom Mercer and MOMA Foods (“MOMA”)
Tom Mercer, a graduate of Cambridge University, was a management consultant with Bain and Co. in the City of London.
He stated: “I spent most of my days dreaming up business ideas, but one in particular seemed to stick with me. As a city worker I thought there were loads of options for lunch and dinner but very few healthy and tasty breakfasts that commuters could pick up on their way into work. I ran this by friends and colleagues and it began to feel like this idea actually had legs.
Before going to work, he would blend smoothies with oats for his breakfast in his flat in Waterloo but this took time and he was often late for work as a result. Then, it suddenly struck him that his problem was actually a business idea: pre-prepare the blend and then, sell it to commuters from key points, like train, tube, tram and bus stations around London. And so, MOMA was born in 2006.
He further stated:“It was now time to think about what this healthy breakfast was actually going to be. I settled on a liquid mixture of yoghurt, oats and fruit (the very first draft of our current Oatie Shake). I needed to get the product into the hands of key consumers, so thought what better than a guerrilla style sampling session at Waterloo station.
I stayed up through the night chopping fruit, blending it with oats and yoghurts, breaking numerous blenders and pouring into water bottles I’d picked up from Tesco. 200 bottles later, with my trestle table set up outside the station, my friends and I were ‘busily exchanging bottles for email addresses.
A couple of months later, after receiving positive feedback from those that took a sample, my company offered me some time off to pursue the idea further.
This soon turned into leaving the company officially in August 05. I’d done my research standing in train stations counting the footfall (and getting kicked out of a few for looking too suspicious) and found the best stations to set up my pop-up stall.
By November I had the go ahead from Waterloo East station to start selling in February 2006. One converted filing cabinet, an old BT van, and a railway arch later, MOMA sold its first breakfast to the city of London’s commuters.
The next few months were hectic to say the least – we opened 2 more sites very quickly – one in Vauxhall and one in Canary Wharf. I used to get up at 1.45am, start work in our railway arch kitchens at 2.30am and then start selling at 6.30am.
After 4 months, the MOMA team had grown and it was time to hand over the night shift to someone else!
By the summer of 2008 we had nine stalls and sold into a few offices and shops, including Selfridges but unfortunately, this was also the beginning of the recession.
Commuters just weren’t as prepared as they were before to spend that little bit extra on healthy breakfast outside of the home. We started to move our focus away from the stalls and onto retailers and soon pulled in some great wins – Waitrose, Ocado, and Virgin Atlantic.
Since then we have been through two redesigns, three city wide marketing campaigns, many great retail listings and taken on some really talented team members.
We’ve become the number 1 Bircher Muesli brand in the U.K. and have our products in supermarkets, trains and coffee shops across the country. But this is still only the beginning; we have so much more room for growth and can’t wait to see what’s in store!”
MOMA’s distinctively colourful carts are now common sights around stations in London.
In 2009, Tom had twenty-five (25) people working for him, including ten (10) stall workers who were mainly students, wanting to earn extra money. The driver picks up the stall workers and the leftovers at the end of the shift.
Tom now plans to open more stalls and extend the company beyond London by selling through Ocado – a leading UK internet retailer.
- Determine the most likely characteristic traits and skills of Elizabeth Gooch and Tom Mercer, Stating how they are diferentiated from those of business managers.
- Assess how aspects of the entrepreneurial personality of Elizabeth Gooch (case Study-1 and Tom Mercer (case Study-2) reflects their entrepreneurial motivation and mindset.
- Explore and examine diferent lines of argument relating to entrepreneurial characteristics, building on Q.1 and Q.2 including sources.
Weight: 03 Marks
The employment plan of 2014, Saudi Arabia has seen an increase in the level of employment. According to the country’s ministry of labor, although there has been a slight increase in the number of those who are unemployed, there rate at which people have been recruited for jobs has increased compared to previous years . Such growth has been majorly attributed to entrepreneurial activities in the country, and in particular, the small and medium size enterprises, which are said to create about thirty five thousand job opportunities annually. The sentiments are shared by the Central Department of Statistics and Information, which, in 2013, produced a report to the effect that the unemployment rate stood at 5.5%. That was a decrease in the unemployment rates, compared to the 6.3% in 2006. Going by the statistics provided at the national level, therefore, there is no doubt as to the role played by entrepreneurship in job creation in Saudi Arabia. The growth witnessed in the private sector has seen many individuals, especially young adults, finding means of earning a living. The unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia has been on the fall since 2013.
Q.1. Do you agree that there is no doubt as to the role played by entrepreneurship in job creation in Saudi Arabia? What evidence can you present for/against the statement?
Traits and skills of Elizabeth Gooch and Tom Mercer
Elizabeth and Tom are entrepreneurs and business managers in the different organization. Both of them are brilliant business ideas that they have implemented to achieve specific objectives and goals in the management of the organization. Their characteristics are outlined as follows. Both Elizabeth and Tom have effective communication skills (Laura T. Raynolds, 2007). The communication skills have assisted them in the management and running of the activities in the organization that they work. Elizabeth Gooch communication skills enable her to develop the client’s base and build productive relationships in the family. On the other hand, the communication skills allow the tom to sell breakfast bottles to the customers.
Additionally, both Tom and Elizabeth have the team building characteristics (Laura T. Raynolds, 2007). The quality enables them to deal with the workers and the clients that relate to each organization that each belongs. Tom and Elizabeth encourage collaboration through the establishment of the braches for their companies that work as a collaboration to offer services to the clients and workers. On the other hand, Tom and Elizabeth have the financial knowledge. Financial knowledge is critical in the management of the organization. Both the entrepreneurs have the idea of keeping financial records and recording the progress of each company. Lastly, the characteristic of accepting responsibility is shared between Tom and Elizabeth. Elizabeth joins hands in fighting for joining the international markets. On the contrary to Tom did not pass the blame to the workers in 2009 during the period of recession.
Aspects of Entrepreneurial Personality of Elizabeth Gooch and Tom Mercer
Tom and Elizabeth bare particular entrepreneur personality. They are passionate, and the passion pushed each of them to start a business. Elizabeth began EG Solution Company. The resilience personality is noticed in both entrepreneurs. Despite the recession of 2009 that the industry of tom faces, he never lost hope and to Elizabeth did not stop the company even if he lost 200,000 dollars in the international markets (Down, 2010). Additionally, flexibility personality is also portrayed by the two business minds. Elizabeth developed the idea of exploring the global markets, and Tom had the idea of opening up other branches in different places.
Arguments relating to the entrepreneurial characteristics
This argument indicates that each business person who is a real entrepreneur should have focus in the business and have positive hopes for the improvement of the industry as well as working to ensure that the set goals and objectives are achieved (Down, 2010).
In this situation, the entrepreneur sets a goal for the organization, however, loses hopes before achieving the goals of the organization.
The argument states that the business ideas are independent of each person and that creation of an enterprise is the work of the innovative concept (Down, 2010).
Role played by entrepreneurship in job creation in Saudi Arabia
One would agree with that the private sector of the Saudi has contributed to the production of the employment. The rate of work since 2013 has been stagnant at 5.5% as compared to that of 2006 which was 6.3 % (Jeffreys & OxfordBusinessGroup., 2011). The fixed rate since that time indicates that the private sector is absorbing the unemployed hence the rate of employment is reduced.
Down, S. (2010). Enterprise, entrepreneurship and small business. Os Angeles, [Calif.]; London: SAGE.
Jeffreys, A., & OxfordBusinessGroup. (2011). The report. Saudi Arabia. 2010. London: Oxford Business Group.
Laura T. Raynolds, D. M. (2007). Fair Trade: The Challenges of Transforming Globalization. Routledge.