Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources

Updated 2 years 5 months ago

I have just completed Phase 1, where we constructed our 10 big questions for the inquiry project. In Phase 2(this phase), we will be finding resources to answer our previous questions and develop new questions. 

In Phase 3 research, there were three main parts that I focused on, and below are the keywords I used to gather information.

China's economy: 
I chose this pair of words because I needed a general overview of China's economy, including the GDP(Gross Domestic Product), poverty rates, employment rates, etc. I used CIA factbook to collect information upon this topic because it is an excellent website that gives you information about every country in the world. I knew that this website is reliable because the publisher is the Central Intelligence Agency, and we often used this in MUN to gather country research. I was able to find the publisher right away, because the welcome page had in bold "Central Intelligence Agency".

China's taxation system:
These 3 key words helped me collect information on China's tax system. I decided to keep my researching words concise and clear because then that would make it easier for the research engines to identify helpful websites. The publisher of the website I used was the AsiaTradeHub, and I looked at two other websites to verify the information I recieved. I found out about the publisher when I was citing my sources, and Citation Machine immediately identified the publisher for me.

Entrepeneurship:
I did not research much upon this topic, simply used some background knowlegde. My information was also confirmed by Linden's previous work on this project, and so I did not find a publisher or website for this topic. 

Experts on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management

Thomas W. Zimmerer
Email: tom@2zims.com
Cell: 813-210-6665

Norman M. Scarborough
Email: nmscarb@presby.edu
Cell: 864-833-8273

These two people both wrote the "Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management", which is a Pearson Prentice Hall book. This seems to me as an extremely reliable source, because it is a textbook that our grade also uses in science. This book is cited by 693 other people. Professor Thomas W. Zimmerer is currently an entrepreneurial scholar at the Center for Entrepreneurship, and in 2000 he was recognized by the Heritage Foundation as an expert in entrepeneurship. He has been served as a professor since 1987, and I think that his advice would be extremely helpful to my project. Mr. Norman M. Scaraborough is a professor at Presbyterian College in the Economics and Business Administration Department. he is the author of several other books as well. I am positive that with the help of these two experts, my project will see the development of many more innovative ideas. 

My Email Correspondence with Mr. Scarborough

Hi Mr. Scarborough,

I am an 8th grade student at Shanghai American School Pudong. I am attending a Microcampus trip to Yunnan, where I will be working on a project, looking at Small Business Management. I was fascinated by the "Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management" book that you wrote, and was hoping that you could give me some advice on my research, and maybe some possible sources of information. 

I have written 10 essential questions to guide me through the project:

1. What inspired the business owner to start his/her business, and how did they manage to financially support it at the beginning?
2. Does the business owner's family support his/her business? If not, how do their opinions affect him/her?
3. What is the balance between the time a typical business owner spends working and the time he/she spends with his/her's family?
4. What are some services in this small business that require improvement? How?
5. What is the average income per year of a typical small business? What is the ratio between the revenue and expenses of a well-run small business?
6. What are some of the challenges that small businesses meet? How do the business owners deal with these problems?
7. Has the employer ever had any disagreements with their co-workers/employees? How did he/she manage to resolve these conflicts?
8. How do government taxes affect a small business?
9. If the government gave 10,000 RMB to a small business, how would the business owner use it?
10.  Has China's national economic system given opportunities for entrepreneurs who wish to start a small business?

I am looking forward to your response, as it will really help me with my project. It would also be great if you could provide some general feedback on my work, which can be found here: http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/projects/blogs/5906/students

Thank you so much for your time,

Alexis Y. 

My Email Correspondence with Mr. Zimmerer

Hi Mr. Zimmerer,

I am an 8th grade student at Shanghai American School Pudong. I am attending a Microcampus trip to Yunnan, where I will be working on a project, looking at Small Business Management. I was fascinated by the "Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management" book that you wrote, and was hoping that you could give me some advice on my research, and maybe some possible sources of information. 

I have written 10 essential questions to guide me through the project:

1. What inspired the business owner to start his/her business, and how did they manage to financially support it at the beginning?
2. Does the business owner's family support his/her business? If not, how do their opinions affect him/her?
3. What is the balance between the time a typical business owner spends working and the time he/she spends with his/her's family?
4. What are some services in this small business that require improvement? How?
5. What is the average income per year of a typical small business? What is the ratio between the revenue and expenses of a well-run small business? 
6. What are some of the challenges that small businesses meet? How do the business owners deal with these problems?
7. Has the employer ever had any disagreements with their co-workers/employees? How did he/she manage to resolve these conflicts?
8. How do government taxes affect a small business?
9. If the government gave 10,000 RMB to a small business, how would the business owner use it?
10.  Has China's national economic system given opportunities for entrepreneurs who wish to start a small business?

I am looking forward to your response, as it will really help me with my project. It would also be great if you could provide some general feedback on my work, which can be found here: http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/projects/blogs/5906/students

Thank you so much for your time,

Alexis Y. 

I have not recieved any responses yet, but I am sure that their advice will prove to be extremely helpful. 

After our arrival at XiZhou, I completed my 3 to 5's, which consists of 3 to 5 minute interviews with 3 to 5 people. These interviews will help me gather more resources, contacts, and possibly even direct information for my inquiry project. I have chosen to conduct 3 interviews with Mrs. Mai, Mr. Tafel, and Ms. Zhang. I chose Mr. Tafel because he has been the trip leader of Microcampus for over 15 trips now, so he definitely knows a lot about the local region. Similarly, Mrs. Mai is very familiar with XiZhou and the local people, so she would definitely give me some useful information. Finally, Ms. Zhang has been part of the YangZhouRen community for quite a long time, so she has many colleagues and friends that may be able to introduce more contacts and resources. Below I have written the contacts that Ms. Mai, Mr. T, and Ms. Zhang have given me. 

Mrs. Mai:

  • Mr. Linden
  • Mr.s Linden
  • Mr. Yu Xiang (current manager of Linden centre)
  • Mr Craig Evans (former manager of Linden centre, now retired and living in XiZhou)
  • Cheese Factory (go straight from DongAnMen)
  • Hotels(SiFangJie or Linden Centre)

Ms. Zhang:

  • Rose Petal Jam Shop (working street)
  • Rose Petal Jam Factory (big gate of XiZhou)
  • Brown Sugar stores (SiFangJie)
  • Restaurants- Pizza place, Traditional Chinese restaurant on SiFangJie
  • Clothing store(SFJ)
  • Souvenir Shops(SFJ)

Mr. Tafel:

  • Construction road workers
  • Mr. Linden
  • Mr. Yang A Biao
  • Mr. Zhang(goldsmith)

So far, I have interviewed 3 people: Mrs. Mai, Ms. Zhang, and Mr. T. I believe that they have given me enough suggestions for places or people that I can contact for my project. These resources may only keep me busy for the next 2 weeks, but I am sure that my next few interviews and visits will bring me even more information and contacts. This list will build up as I interview more people, so I am looking forward to making these connections. 

There are also a bunch of resources at the Linden Centre Library, where I can check out books that may provide me with further information. Some books that I can look at may be about entrepeneurship in China and local businesses in China. Books related to China in general may be easier to find, but of course any related topics specific to the XiZhou area would be more helpful. 

in this phase we were focused on collecting helpful resources and contacts to help us with our research, which will be done in Phase 3.

 

My name is Alexis Y., and I am 13 years old. I was born in Paris, France, and returned to China with my parents when I turned 6. My favorite sport is basketball, and I found a passion for debate since 6th grade when I joined MUN. Our Phenomena group has left XiZhou and is back in Shanghai. The Microcampus Experience has helped me explore "me" and find out more about the history of XiZhou and its people. Over the course of this trip, I have become friends with 40, 50, and 60 year-old adults. I have made bonds with the rest of my peers, some of which I had not even talked to before. I have grown so much in just one month, and I am sure that the good habits that I have adopted on this trip will stay with me forever.