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Role play. Three different groups of inexperienced young business people re-





Three different groups of inexperienced young business people re-

quire capital for their businesses. They all apply to the local branch of

Megabank.

The roles are:

1. A junior manager (and assistants) at the bank, responsible for new

local small businesses.

2. A group of young people who want to open a small specialist shop

selling CDs of black music – jazz, soul, funk, reggae, rap, and some lat-

est trends.

3. A group of young people who want to buy an existing take-away

pizza business (the lease on the premises, the kitchens, the delivery

scooters, and so on).

4. A group of students who already operate a part-time computing

consultancy service, advising small businesses on what hardware and

software to buy and how to set up an Internet home page. They need mo-

ney to buy more computers, on which to try out elaborate new software.

Choose the roles, study further details given in the role cards below, dis-

cuss your questions or arguments in groups and act out an interview with the

bankers, following the pattern of the conversation in 1.

 

Role 1

Your bank recently launched a big advertising campaign announcing

that it was the friend of small businesses, with the result that everyone

with half an idea is coming to you and asking for money. Your superiors

expect you to pick out good local investment opportunities. On the one

hand, you have previously lent money to young people who lost it all

within six months. You want facts and figures – about costs, sales pro-

jections, profit margins, repayment periods, existing competitors, the

possibility of new competitors entering the market, and the long-term

prospects for the market.

 

Role 2

You are fans of black music; you think you know what the market

wants; you think the market is big enough to make a small shop profit-

able; you think the existing competition is weak – inadequate selection

of music, wrong ambience, etc. Remember that you will probably be



talking to someone who knows nothing at all about the kind of music

you are interested in. He/she wants numbers. You have to convince him/

 

81


 

 

her that your business will be successful – that is will have, and keep

enough customers to make a profit. You have to pay three months’ rent

in advance for the small shop. You have to buy display racks and lots of

CD players and headphones. Your suppliers (record companies, export-

ers, distributors) expect to be paid within 60 days.

 

Role 3

Members of the group have been working in the business – answer-

ing the telephone, making pizzas and delivering them – for over two

years. You know that the business is profitable. The owner wants to leave

quickly and is keen to sell to you. You have enough money to pay the

rent and the normal bills, but the equipment will cost $40,000. Not only

do you have experience in the take-away pizza business, but as business

students you know all about accounting, promotions, etc.

 

Role 4

You are what other people call ‘computer nerds’. You know every-

thing about computers. You have spent several hours a day in front of a

computer screen since you were nine years old. You have been advising

small local businesses for two years and earning good money, but you

would like to buy better hardware for yourself. $40,000 would be perfect.

 

3. Which definition of the word ‘entrepreneur’ do you find the most com-

prehensive? Explain your choice.

a. Someone who uses money to start businesses and make business

deals.

b. A person who is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention

into a successful innovation.

b. A person who attempts to make a profit by starting their own com-

pany or by operating alone in the business world, esp. when it involves

taking risks.

c. A person who shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and

into an area of higher productivity and yield.

d. A person who takes the risks necessary to organize and manage

a business and receives the financial profits and nonmonetary rewards.

4. Comment on the following quotation:

“Business is a game, the greatest game in the world if you know how

to play it.” (Thomas J. Watson Sr.).

5. Give arguments to prove the need for more governmental support of

small businesses in your country.

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6. Get ready to discuss the topic “Keys to Success in Business”, use the

following outline:

– Are entrepreneurs born or can entrepreneurial skills be acquired?

– What are the major personal traits that a person must possess to be

a successful entrepreneur?

– What knowledge and skills are necessary for a successful entrepre-

neur?

7. Find detailed information about a business success story and present

it to your group mates; make an emphasis on the reasons for success.



 






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