Neechie Gear: Pivoting in an Aboriginal Start-up
(9 pages of text)
A young Aboriginal entrepreneur faces three major challenges to growing his lifestyle apparel business. First, he has been unable to find a trusted partner who is both competent and passionate about the venture. Second, he is spread thinly across the multiple roles involved with running and growing the business. Third, he has not yet fully tested any of the proposed business models to determine whether they will require considerable investment or abandonment. The entrepreneur lacks the time and space to think strategically about his best course of action. The case challenges students to evaluate his company’s business model and performance and to chart a successful strategy for the future, considering the dual perspectives of being a solo entrepreneur and an Aboriginal businessperson.
This case is suitable for both undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship courses, as an illustration of the “Lean Launchpad” start-up method. It may be used to explore some or all of the following topics:
- Aboriginal entrepreneurship, including the constraints specific to Aboriginal entrepreneurs, especially those not associated with band or community objectives.
- Business modelling, pivoting and dashboarding.
- Entrepreneurial marketing.
- Entrepreneurial growth.
- Social entrepreneurship.
Canada, Small, 2015
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