Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 2 weeks 2 days ago

In Phase 1, I proposed some questions and discussed my background knowledge about Local Businesses. But before that, I first completed Phase 0. During that phase, I walked through what steps I took in order find out which topic I was most interested in, and why. Now, in this phase, I will be conducting and documenting research about this subject. Doing this will help me answer a couple, if not more, of the questions that I had previously listed in Phase 1. Along with researching, there will also be background information included from before, information gathered through locals in Yunnan, as well from 3 to 5's.

Background Information (from Phase 1):

Privately owned corporations that have a much lower amount of employees are known as, small businesses, as mentioned before in previous phases, and in this case, a Local Business. They are identified through their location as well as their tax policy. From my own current knowledge, these types of businesses are typically passed down from generation to generation, rely greatly on their surroundings and resources, and are sometimes started to fulfill something of interest. I later read up on some articles as well as several inquiry projects from the Microcampus Alumni.

From the research the Alumni already completed, I drew couple of main points. The impacts from small and local businesses can have both good and bad effects on the economy of the nation; they are often very significant components to the local economy. Their local businesses will keep money in the area, and have a very wide variety of businesses that could potentially help the citizens in that region[1,6]. A crucial amount of civilians from several areas all work in small businesses and in total, from around the world, and have around 25 to 27 million people in those types of businesses. Often times, the business will run out of work due to the inability to accommodate to their surroundings. While on the topic of their surroundings, these corporations could also use this to improve their business and work quality. For example, if a botanist had a surplus of natural resources, he/she would probably be able to establish a successful business. Another point that was mentioned, was that since China had such a large population, not everyone would be able to work in very modern and high-end companies, which would be just one of the many prompts that would set in motion a large wave of entrepreneurs[1]. Their line of work allows the entrepreneur to be able to be independent and decide what comes and goes without the approval of anyone else, but there is also a down side to this type of work. There is definitely always also a chance of deciding something that would cause their business to go south[2,4]

After reading and analyzing information from Alumni, I decided to move onto researching online about Local and Small Businesses. At the start of every business, is the process of actually creating and registering for a company. In China, one would first need to set up their business plan and register for approval from certain companies. After this, they would need to create their finance plan, a bank account, and would eventually have to manage their taxes[12].

Besides the process of creating a business, the actual running of a company matters and should be taken to account just as much. The sources that I read also referred to many of the same points that were mentioned in the work the previous Microcampus students completed. One of these talked about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a business. The advantages for the owner, themselves, would include, being able to work as a part-timer or just as a hobby, as well as pursuing a goal of some sort. There are also a variety of pros that are beneficial towards society and the general public as well. As some research shows, working in a local or small business allows for closer ties to their clients and proves to be better for the local economy[3,4,8]

As running a business comes with many pros, it also comes with many cons and disadvantages as well. Often in rural China, the majority of citizens will have a somewhat low amount of income, and when starting a new line of work, where you are your own boss, investing in your company can be a huge risk in itself[2,4]. This risk and new opportunity comes with a heavy burden on their shoulders as well, as they will inevitably have to work long hours to have their business grow and thrive. The hours and hours that someone would put into their business could possibly eventually eat away at them, and even with all this work, the establishment might not even grow or succeed[5,9]. Knowing all these risk factors, many still pursue their career.

Motivation for entrepreneurs could stem from a variety of causes. The most obvious one, being, money, which will be further specified later on. Often times, someone will want to work in a certain department of a corporation but is unable to, due to whatever circumstance. Thus, would lead to running their own business, along with their work being more personalized[7,10]. Employees are also, without a doubt, another factor that could persuade someone to open up a business of their own[7]. This would allow the entrepreneur to interact more with workers and have a cost advantage because of the personal increased pay[7,10]. Along with all this, there was also a survey that was conducted throughout businesses. This survey showed that many entrepreneurs felt content from being able to fulfill a life-long dream within their own work[11].  

Aside from general background information, I would also need to be able to understand a bit more about the culture and businesses specifically in XiZhou, Yunnan. Based on the research the previous Microcampus students did, every type of business in the village differs in some way or another, and have very few things in common. Some businesses make a large profit from a bustling amount of commerce, while others spend their days fulfilling their dream, making less than ideal. From what I have read, often times, the majority of the money that the business owner(s) makes goes towards being able to maintain their career rather than to their own personal use and gain[13]. These entrepreneurs all also have varying forms of motivation, some would be to just maintain their life, help their family, repay debts, as well as to fulfill a lifelong dream, as mentioned before[14]


Information From 3-to-5's:

Information From Local Contacts:

Answers to Previous Questions (from Phase 1):


  1. L., Alex. “Shanghai American School.” Shanghai American School | MICROCAMPUS,
  2. R., Lauren. “Shanghai American School.” Shanghai American School | MICROCAMPUS,

3) “Small Business.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Jan. 2018, 


4) Haiar, Nikole. “The Pros & Cons of Owning a Business.”

                  Hostway, 6 Jan. 2017,

5) Root III, George N. “What Are the Struggles of Small Business Owners?”


6) Writing, Alexis. “What Are the Benefits of Businesses for the Local Economy?”


7) Root III, George N. “What Drives People to Start a Business?”


8) Kunz, Marnie. “The Advantages of a Small Business Over a Big Chain.”


9) Beattie, Andrew. “5 Biggest Challenges Facing Your Small Business.”

                  Investopedia, 27 Oct. 2015,

10) May, Ryan. “What Motivates Entrepreneurs?”


11) Clifford, Catherine. “What Motivates Entrepreneurs to Do What They Do? (Infographic).”

                  Entrepreneur, 22 Apr. 2014,

12) TransferWise. “How to Start a Business in China.” TransferWise, TransferWise, 6 Mar. 2017,


13) G., Niko. “Shanghai American School.” Shanghai American School | MICROCAMPUS,


14) B., Gayatri. “Shanghai American School.” Shanghai American School | MICROCAMPUS,




Hello, I am a thirteen year old in eight gold. I have lived in Shanghai for 3 years (this being my third) and before that, I lived in California for all my years up until middle school. Over the course of this trip, I would like to be able to observe and compare the way people in the Yunnan area live compared to Shanghai. I am often described as weird with a "special" sense of humor. On the other hand, my friends depict me as a calm, respectable, and righteous person. I am very grateful to be a part of such a unique experience this year and hope to be able learn and grow.