Types of Businesses Successful Small Towns by nsz19135

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									lllE
ntr
epr
 en               Developing the
eur            Entrepreneurial Spirit
                    Learning in Action!
  s    A Cross-disciplinary Problem-Based Learning
            Environment for Entrepreneurship

 in              University Cases

Act               The Santa Fe Effect
                  (City Planning Case)


ion                 Test Version 1.0
                  (A Work in Progress)


  !
                              R. Wilburn Clouse, PhD
                                 Vanderbilt University
                                                                                                                                2


                                          TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................. 3

LEARNING VIGNETTE -- THE SANTA FE EFFECT....................................................... 4

THE CHALLENGE .......................................................................................................... 5

CORE CONCEPTS ......................................................................................................... 5

LEARNING OBJECTIVES .............................................................................................. 6

GUIDING QUESTIONS ................................................................................................... 6

RESOURCES.................................................................................................................. 6
CITY PLANNING – GENERAL ............................................................................................... 6
CITY PLANNING – OTHER CITIES ........................................................................................ 7
BUSINESS SUPPORT MATERIALS ........................................................................................ 8
ON-LINE EXPERTS .......................................................................................................... 10
ONLINE RESOURCES AND VIDEO CLIPS ............................................................................ 10
IMPLEMENTATION ...................................................................................................... 11

INTRODUCING CASES ................................................................................................ 11

STUDENT ACTIVITIES ................................................................................................. 11

PRODUCTS .................................................................................................................. 12
PHASE 1 – DOING THE RESEARCH .................................................................................... 12
PHASE 2 – FINDING AND DEVELOPING A SOLUTION ........................................................... 12
PHASE 3 – TAKING IT PUBLIC ........................................................................................... 12
ASSESSMENTS ........................................................................................................... 12
FORMATIVE ..................................................................................................................... 12
SUMMATIVE .................................................................................................................... 13
                                The Santa Fe Effect
                               (City Planning Case)

    Introduction

All across America, small towns are facing a similar plight – the gradual decline of their
downtown area. Early on, small town planners were concerned with traffic problems
brought about by industrial growth. Many towns elected to build industrial parks to
accommodate new businesses, and then to create newer highways to meet the
transportation requirements of those companies. As areas outside of town began to be
developed and supplied with city services, retail businesses began to relocate to new
buildings as well. Today, businesses are moving out of central areas as more and more
people elect to go ―where the shoppers are,‖ generally to the larger highways that bypass
the congestion of small town streets. In addition, large stores, the so-called ―big box‖
retail operations, tend to locate in these outlying areas to take advantage of the increased
flow of customers. The Interstate highway system has added to the problem by providing
a constant flow of traffic just outside the periphery of most small towns. This traffic
encourages the growth of specialty retail stores, as well as hospitality and industrial
development.

Where do these trends leave the small town? Once the cycle has begun, it seems difficult
to arrest. Usually, older buildings are left to crumble and decay, with the only holdouts
often being the city offices, some professional buildings, and the law enforcement offices.
Development dollars are spent elsewhere, while the downtown area sits as a sentimental
reminder of the past, at best.

Some towns are attempting to make changes that will attract business and consumers
back into the downtown area, and there are several factors that favor such ideas. First, it
seems that there is a trend among residents to hold onto some of the better traditions of
the small town, that neighbors know one another, that people are genuinely interested in
being a part of a community, and that the history and culture of the town are worth
saving. All across America there are efforts underway to revitalize small towns. This
increased interest perhaps reflects a deep need on the part of our citizenry to move back
into a simpler, safer age, and, while this may not be absolutely possible, it is at least a
signal that small town America still has a chance to survive and thrive.
    Learning Vignette -- The Santa Fe Effect

This is a case about Small Town, USA. This case could be applied to hundreds of small
rural towns across the entire country. However, the setting for this case is Athens,
Tennessee, although it might be Florence, South Carolina, or Paducah, Kentucky. The
opportunities are all the same.

Dr. Tim Smith, Professor of Business, has made an assignment in his Business
Communications class to investigate downtown area of Small Town, USA, and to
develop a strategy to revitalize the downtown area. Five students, including Mark
Davenport, Jeff Goodwill, Robert Jackson, Sue Williamson and Jackie Robinson,
obtained a digital camera from the Resource Center and set out to film the downtown
area. Through the eyes of the camera, the students saw a visual description of Small
Town, USA. The camera first was used to videotape one of the famous streets that runs
through the city, Highway 11. Before the Interstate days, this was the main highway that
connected East Tennessee with the booming city of Atlanta. In the 1930s and 40s, this
was a heavily traveled and historical highway. The camera also picked up a visual of the
old historical hotel, the Robert E. Lee, which was a stopping place for the traffic that
moved from north to south. The camera showed the old hotel was in disrepair and in one
small corner of the building resided the local radio station. By turning the camera slightly
to the left, the students observed a long, narrow building that contained building supplies.
This building currently resides in the flood area of the town.

As the camera moves through the city, a video shot is made of an upscale antique store.
The students notice that the store contains beautiful antiques worth perhaps thousands or
millions of dollars. Students wonder where the clientele come from to buy these
expensive antiques. As the camera moves through the city, it also records a small
downtown restaurant, a law office, a public school education building and several
apartments build over businesses and/or vacant offices.

As the students move through the city, they also notice that the city arts council is located
in a storefront along Main Street. Several other small shops are viewed by the camera,
including a karate studio.

Upon further investigation, the students found a facility which is being renovated and it is
rumored that a cyber-café is scheduled to be started sometime in the future.
While filming the downtown business district, the students also notice that the buildings
dated in some cases before the Civil War. Although students had passed through this little
town on many occasions, they had never stopped to study the possibility of reviving the
downtown area. After completing the videotaping, the students came back to the
production center and began to review and edit their tape. Almost immediately, they
began to see new and interesting opportunities for revitalizing the downtown Small
Town, USA. After reviewing the tape, Sue spoke up and said ―This is a great opportunity
for us to conduct an interdisciplinary study of downtown USA and to develop a
meaningful research project that will identify new and unique opportunities for the city.
Furthermore,‖ Sue said, ―I think we ought to begin immediately to involve the local arts
council, city government and the Chamber of Commerce.‖ Jan immediately spoke up and
said, ― I think I would like to open a small business in one of the storefronts myself.‖

    The Challenge

Entrepreneurs in Action! cases are written to be open-ended, flexible learning
experiences for students. The case provides an introduction and a learning vignette to set
the stage for the students. The student groups should carefully read the introduction and
the learning vignette. After reading these areas, students should discuss the major issues
outlined in the introduction and learning vignette. The students are then faced with the
opportunity to develop possible solutions to the problems and opportunities outlined in
the case. In some cases, students may find it necessary to seek information from some of
the resources listed in the case and are to contact Online Experts early in the opportunity
identification. There are no right or wrong answers in these exercises and it is expected
that multiple solutions will be developed by different groups. It is also suggested that
students not only look at the political, economic and social issues, but to dream about
future inventions and/or business opportunities that can derive from the case. The
challenge begins with the following questions:

   1. What do you think?
   2. What solutions would you recommend if you were a member of this student
      team?
   3. What business ventures could be developed from this case?

After raising these questions, the students are free to begin deliberations on possible
solutions to the case.

    Core Concepts

   1. Demographics of small towns
   2. Social factors affecting small town exodus
   3. Arts and cultural cohesiveness
   4. Laws and regulations

    Learning Objectives

   1.    Role of government and law in establishing new business
   2.    Business organization
   3.    Social resistance to change
   4.    Appreciation of town history

    Guiding Questions

1. What types of political problems do you expect?
2. What groups contribute toward community development? How?
3. What other communities have similar issues and how have they addressed them?
4. What makes your town unique?
5. What external issues can arise from development?

    Resources
        City Planning – General

http://rudi.herts.ac.uk/rudi.html
Resource for Urban Design Information (RUDI) "RUDI is a multimedia Internet resource
for teaching, research and professional activity in urban design and its related
disciplines." Includes links to case studies, bibliographies, urban design journals, and
more.

http://www.bham.ac.uk/geography/umrg/umrg.html
UMRG Internet resource guide (Urban Morphology Research Group) Directory of Web
resources relating to urban morphology.

http://cyburbia.ap.buffalo.edu/cgi-bin/pairc/urbn_des
Urban design and new urbanism (Cyburbia) Many links to full text papers & other
resources for urban design, the new urbanism, etc.

http://www.communitydesign.org/
The Association for Community Design Inc. (ACD) is a national membership
organization composed of people who have formed centers dedicated to a development
practice with the capacity to combat policies that contribute to the persistence of poverty.
http://www.picced.org/resource/links.htm
The Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development (PICCED)
was established in 1963 to create a partnership between Pratt Institute's Department of
City and Regional Planning and local organizations that were struggling to address issues
of urban deterioration and poverty. This is the links page for that organization, which
includes many sites that may be relevant to city planning.

      City Planning – Other Cities

http://www.consensusplanning.com/
Consensus Planning - consulting firm in landscape architecture and urban design.
Services encompass residential design to large-scale commercial development studies and
layout.

http://www.bhinc.com/
Bohanan Huston, Inc. - services include civil design, planning, photogrammetry,
surveying, and software development.

http://pw2.netcom.com/~rossmall/frameset.htm
Architects Studio - offering planning, architectural and interior design, and construction
administration services.

http://www.kellsandcraig.com
Kells + Craig Architects - projects include community, recreational, cultural, health care,
performing arts, banking, and retail facilities, as well as master planning and historic
preservation.

http://www.nmAPA.org/
nmAPA Online! New Mexico Chapter of the American Planning Association

http://www.sites-sw.com/
Sites Southwest -- General information about southwest area planning

http://www.entranco.com/
Entranco - a multi-service engineering and environmental consulting firm dedicated to
meeting the public works, infrastructure, and private development challenges of the West.
http://www.horizonsinc.com/
Horizons, Inc. specializes in providing leading-edge photogrammetric services. This team
of photogrammetrists, engineers, GIS specialists, and mapping technicians provide
mapping products, especially aerial photographs.

      Business Support Materials

These sources are non-technical and will provide the student with information about how
to build a business plan around their ideas for case solutions.

Allbusiness.com – http://allbusiness.com/
One of the most comprehensive sites on the Web for small and growing businesses, this
site offers over 2000 articles, ―how-to’s,‖ forms, agreements, questions-and-answers,
solutions, and services useful to those starting a new business venture.

Bloomberg.com – http://www.bloomberg.com
One of the leading sites for breaking financial news, investor tools and data,
Bloomberg.com gives access to business information, including the latest data and
analytical tools.

Bplans.com – http://www.bplans.com
Bplans.com offers a large collection of free sample business plans online and helpful
tools and know-how for managing a business. The site includes practical advice on
planning, interactive tools, and a panel of experts available to answer specific questions.

The Business Forum Online – http://www.businessforum.com
This service springs from a weekly newspaper column addressing issues and questions of
specific interest to entrepreneurs and emerging businesses. Each column focuses on the
immediate consequences of the issue to the owner/manager of the emerging business.

MoreBusiness.com – http://www.morebusiness.com
MoreBusiness.com, a comprehensive resource for small businesses, contains tips, articles,
ideas, templates, worksheets, sample business plans, tools, financial benchmarks, sample
contracts, and websites.

These sites may offer ideas and provide some review articles. Some sites may require a
fee. Or you may wish to use the Library for paper copies of current and past articles.
Wall Street Journal- http://www.wsj.com/
The leading daily business newspaper.

Fortune- http://www.fortune.com/
A leading business journal.

Harvard Business Review- www.harvardbusinessreview.com/
A leading cutting-edge business journal.

Businessweek.com - http://businessweek.com/
The website of the weekly business magazine, this site offers news and related
information for the entrepreneur. An archive of articles is also provided. Some services
may require subscription.

www.uspto.gov - Patent and Trademark Office
Excellent source for technical information.

www.sba.gov/ADVO/stats - SBA Office of Advocacy---
Economic Statistics and Research

http://www.sba.gov/ - SBA Small Business Administration---
SBA Support in starting, financing and managing a business

www.bizoffice.com - Small and Home Based Business Links
Provides support services for home-based companies.

www.sbaer.uca.edu - Small Business Advancement National Center---
Resources include newsletters, archives, SBA and other Government sites and related
affiliates.

www.bizplan.com - Strategic Business Planning Co.---
The mission of the Strategic Business Planning Co. is to help organizations define their
mission and achieve their objectives by developing business and strategic plans and by
periodically conducting a comprehensive review of the environment in which they
operate.

www.business.gov - U.S. Business Advisor---
U.S. Business Advisor – a one-stop electronic link to the information and services
government provides for the business community—Laws and regulations, forms and
support services.
www.census.gov - U.S. Census Bureau---
Resources include population census, economic data, Business surveys, and other related
Bureau statistics.

http://www.dowjones.com -      Dow Jones – Latest financial information about stock
market performance.

www.benlore.com - The Entrepreneur's Mind
The Entrepreneur's Mind is a Web-based resource that presents an array of real-life
stories and advice from successful entrepreneurs and industry experts on the many
different facets of entrepreneurship and emerging business.

www.entrepreneurmag.com - Entrepreneur Magazine---
Provides solutions for growing businesses

www.engeniussolutions.com - Engineering projects
Provides information about new products and ideas (some student developed).

     On-Line Experts

The Online Experts play an important part in the PBL model, because they connect the
learner with an experienced person in the field related to the case. Selecting these
individuals is critical to the success of the program, in that they must be willing to
respond to students’ e-mails, telephone calls, and/or have meetings with students. Online
Experts will be selected at the time the case is implemented in order to be current and to
connect to the local environment.

Community planners
Festival planner
Social scientist
Engineer
Architect
Landscape architect
Business owners
Marketing professional
Legal advisor
Restaurateur

     Online Resources and Video Clips
(Under development) Available at: http://entrepreneurship.vanderbilt.edu
    Implementation

Usually the class is divided up into teams of 4-5 people, who are given an opportunity to
review the Entrepreneurs in Action! exercise and to develop strategies for solving the
situation or to see new ventures. Thus, students work together in small groups and learn a
wide variety of skills related to teamwork development, problem identification, resource
analysis and synthesis, product or process identification, potential market development,
the application of cross-disciplinary thinking, product and process cost analysis, and
written and verbal presentation skills. In this model, the case presents the students with an
unresolved issue, provides some resources and permits the students to take charge of their
own learning and to develop a new business venture out of the given situation.

    Introducing Cases

Several methods may be used to introduce the Entrepreneurs in Action! cases to the class,
as follows:

       1. Divide the class into groups and to present the case to each group and permit
          limited discussions between groups.
       2. Permit a selected number of students to role-play the scenario as a way of
          introducing the case.
       3. Fishbowl. A small group of students may be requested to sit in the middle of
          the room and to discuss topics related to the case. The other students would
          observe and would synthesize the events afterwards.
       4. Students may also be shown selected video clips to start the entrepreneurial
          thinking process. Some video clips are ―The Triumph of the Nerds‖ series, the
          ―Apprentice‖ TV show, the ―October Sky‖ movie, ―Pirates of Silicon Valley‖
          movie, the ―Seabiscuit‖ movie, or the Public TV version.

    Student Activities

Students are expected to participate actively in their groups and to contribute to
developing creative ideas for possible business ventures. In doing so, students may be
required to learn through reflections. Students can be required to keep a journal of the
activities of each group meeting and to record his or her thoughts and comments about the
process. Students may also use concept mapping to study the issues and track progress
development. IHMConcept Map Software is available free at
http://cmap.coginst.uwf.edu/docs/.
    Products

The final products to the cases are usually a written business plan and a final oral
presentation. The final oral presentation can be given to different groups, such as the local
Chamber of Commerce, other business and civic groups, a panel of Online Experts and/or
to the class. A rubric is used to judge the creative and entrepreneurial ventures and grades
are assigned based on the rubric evaluation. The development of the final product usually
follows the outline below.

      Phase 1 – Doing the Research
Write a paper on the subject of small town revitalization, taking into account everything
you have learned here. Discuss the pros and cons of the issue and decide where you stand
on the various issues that you identify.


      Phase 2 – Finding and Developing a Solution
Decide on an appropriate course of action for a small town, one that will result in
downtown development without sacrificing the tradition, history and culture of the town.
Working with your group, decide on an approach that will include all of the elements of
an entrepreneurial venture. Create a business plan for the town, and prepare a presentation
of your idea to be judged by a panel of experts, stakeholders, and your peers.


      Phase 3 – Taking it Public
Present your idea to a panel of judges, who will represent the town, your teachers and
your colleagues. The presentation should be well thought out and should include all six
elements of a business feasibility study. It should be presented in such a way as to
persuade the panel that your idea will work. You should use a variety of presentation
techniques, such as computer-generated graphics, overhead projection, art, drama, music,
or any other appropriate method.

    Assessments
      Formative

1. Weekly logs

Students will submit a summary of their activities on a regular basis, the frequency of
which will be decided by the instructor. The students should include a concise
description of the activities and an analysis of their effectiveness. It is suggested that the
summary of activities be part of a computer managed instructional program such as
Prometheus, Blackboard or others. This allows the instructor and student groups to
monitor their weekly progress.

2. In-class observations

Instructors will observe group work and interact in the role of facilitator as needed.

3. Position Paper

The paper required in Phase One will be graded for critical thinking and analytical
substance. Instructors will also use the papers to assist in forming like student groups.

4. Teams of peers and visiting experts will evaluate the final presentation for content and
appearance of the final product.


      Summative

1. Business Plan Evaluations

Instructors will evaluate the completed business plans for accuracy, content, breadth,
depth, and professional appearance.

2. Presentation Evaluation

Instructors will assess the professionalism of the final presentation, taking into account
the content and appearance of the final product.

This work is part of the Forum for Entrepreneurship Education at Vanderbilt
University and was support in part by The Coleman Foundation Inc.-- Grant number
4446-- Entrepreneurs in Action!, and The National Science Foundation under Grant
No. 0091632 and other related funds. (Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or
recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of the author(s) and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation).
wil.clouse@vanderbilt.edu

								
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