Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources

Updated 6 days 20 hours ago

In Phase 1, I started doing a little bit of research on my topic. I also created ten big questions that I will be using to guide my Inquiry Project work. 

Firstly, what were the keywords that I used to get my background information? The most crucial words that I used were: people, cacti, benefits, business, and 101. This is because firstly, I wanted to study and find out the essentials/basics of creating, and maintaining a business. Then, after finding and understanding the basics of businesses, I had to move onto researching about plants (cacti mainly). I used the word cacti for obvious reasons. However, the words two words, people, and benefits, are the bridge for my project. This is because when starting a business, I need to have a product that "benefits" my buyers, which is "people." 

The information that I found is credible, and there is one reason why it is credible: They have similar content. Even though I used the infamous site, Wikipedia for being able to edit it at will, I know that I can trust the content on the page about cacti, and that is because I found that information on other sites as well. Another thing that I used was spell check, as I was reading through the information, I was making sure that grammar was good and spelling was right. If there were any mistakes, I would have closed that site.

During my research, another tactic that I used to decided if I should trust the website was identifying the author. Normally, the author would be shown on the page along with his/her work. But if the writer is not present on the site, I would usually look for an "About Me" or "About Us" page.

During my research, I tried to contact an expert on starting a business, and his name is Dr. Michael Mamas. Dr. Michael Mamas is a writer, spiritual scholar, lecturer, and founder of the Sri Somesvara Temple. Dr. Mamas has written an article on a website called, and the article is titled6 Keys to Develop a Successful Small Business, and that correlates with the business end of my project. After contacting him, I am hoping to get some extremely valuable information. This is the email that I sent to him. 

Dear CRS,

If it is not too much trouble, may I request that you pass this message on to Dr. Michael Mamas? During my time researching about small businesses and how to start them, I found an article that you created on In it, you talked about the key things need to start a business, and I am doing a school project where a portion of it is starting a business. If it doesn't take too much time out of your day, would you mind having a look at it at, and giving some suggestions? If so, that would be greatly appreciated.



1) How do plant companies begin?
2) How do the people who live in the village create a business?
3) Are there any companies that already sell plants, and if so, what type of plants?
4) If there are smaller businesses and large businesses, how do they manage to keep the attention of their buyers?
5) What inspired them to work in the business world?
6) Would they want their children to live the parent's kind of lifestyle, and if so, why?

These are the questions for the business portion of my project. Please do not answer them for me, rather, I'm requesting that you simply give me background knowledge or advice on the topic from your own experience.


Thanks and best regards,

Jason Ma

Shanghai American School - Microcampus Project 2017


I will update this section once he has written back. 

My name is Jason M., and I was born in Carmel, Indiana. I was raised there for about 8 years of my life before moving to Shanghai in 2011. Once I moved back, I attended school at SMIC. A year later, I transferred to SAS and I have been there for about five years. Considering that I have lived in Shanghai for almost half my life, I wanted to try something new. I wanted to see what local China was like, so I decided to attend the Microcampus trip. Based off of the feedback from previous participants, I think I will enjoy this trip and I can't wait for our departure to Xizhou.