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close this bookTraining Programme for Women Entrepreneurs in the Food-processing Industry - Volume I (UNIDO, 1985, 356 p.)
close this folderCourse Sessions
close this folder1. Introduction and Entrepreneurial Awareness
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction to the Course
View the documentThe Enterprise Experience: Generating the Business Idea and identifying the People to do it
View the documentWomen And Business
View the documentThe Enterprise Experience: Report Back
View the documentThe Enterprise Experience: Proposal Preparation
View the documentEntrepreneurial Characteristics
View the documentEntrepreneurial Role Model

Entrepreneurial Role Model


1. To enable participants to meet and objectively appraise a woman who has succeeded in business

2. To enable participants to identify entrepreneurial characteristics.


approx. 2 hours

Session Guide:

1. This session is not intended to show participants what they ought to be, but to give them an opportunity to meet and objectively to appraise a woman who has succeeded in business, and in particular to compare this women with the entrepreneurial characteristics previously identified.

The business woman need not be dramatically successful although she should be at least as substantial a business person as the most successful of the participants. What is most important is that she should be articulate and willing to talk honestly and openly about her experiences, without idealising herself and saying what she thinks people think about her, as opposed to describing what she actually did.

2. Discuss the session well in advance with the guest, and tell her that she will neither be expected nor wanted to give a polished presentation of any kind. All you want is for her to talk freely about certain incidents in her business career, so that the participants can learn from what she has done.

3. Before the session, make sure that every participant has a copy of the entrepreneurial check list; explain that you will be asking the guest to describe certain experiences she has had, and participants will be expected to put a tick against the appropriate characteristic whenever they consider that the guest's description of her behaviour shows that she displayed that characteristic.

4. After introducing the guest, who may of course be already known to some of the participants, ask her to tell the group about an occasion when she solved a particularly difficult problem; ensure that she focuses on what she DID, rather than on what she thought about or thought that other people thought of her.

It may not be necessary to interrupt at all, other than to bring the story to a close; it may on the other hand, be necessary to steer the story on the right track, and to help the guest to recall what actually happened.

5. Depending on how long this story takes to tell, you may then ask her to describe other occasions, such as:

· when she felt she failed to do something she wanted to do
· when she felt particularly pleased with what she had done
· a particularly important milestone in her business
· when she took a risky decision
· when she had to get help from others.

The nature of the occasion is less important than the fact that the guest can talk about it clearly and openly; ensure throughout that the participants are remembering to mark their check lists, as well as paying attention to the speaker.

6. A more structured approach is to ask the guest to describe her business career from the beginning, going into particular detail when the situation was particularly difficult, and stopping at major decision points; at these points, ask participants to say what they would have done, and then ask the guest to comment on their suggestions, and to compare them with what she actually did.

This must not be allowed to distract the participants from their task of marking the guest for her display of the entrepreneurial characteristics.

7. About thirty minutes before the end of the session, draw the guest's stories to an end, and invite participants to ask questions, relating to what the guest has been saying, or to their own business problems and opportunities.

8. After the guest has left, possibly the next day, "process" the session by asking participants to say how many times they have checked each characteristic, and to recall what particular event seemed to illustrate the characteristics.

If one or more of the characteristics appears not to have been exemplified, discuss possible reasons why this may be so; does this represent a weakness in the guest's entrepreneurship, has she displayed it in other ways, or is its absence compensated by other particularly strong characteristics?

Ask participants to compare their own behaviour in similar situations; would they have behaved differently or in the same way? Would the result have been more or less successful?


Put a tick against the appropriate characteristic whenever you consider that the guest's description of her behaviour shows that she displayed that characteristic.

She is persistent

-- -- -- -- --

She grasps an opportunity

-- -- -- -- --

She makes a problem into an opportunity

-- -- -- -- --

She takes a moderate and informed risk

-- -- -- -- --

She makes an effort to obtain information

-- -- -- -- --

She tries to make something more efficient

-- -- -- -- --

She strives to improve quality

-- -- -- -- --

She persuades someone to do what she wants

-- -- -- -- --

She uses networks to influence someone

-- -- -- -- --

She tries her best to keep a promise

-- -- -- -- --

She sets a goal for herself

-- -- -- -- --

She plans ahead, and monitors the results

-- -- -- -- --

She rebounds from a failure

-- -- -- -- --

She invests for tomorrow rather than spending today

-- -- -- -- --

She is un-concerned about what others think of her

-- -- -- -- --

She is enthusiastic

-- -- -- -- --

She is self-confident

-- -- -- -- --