“The Golden Egg” E-Portfolio and Venture Assessment
Number of words: 2347
Entrepreneurship and small business ventures will continue to provide innovative, value-creating and feasible solutions for global challenges in a volatile and uncertain world. This paper will discuss and evaluate a hybrid early learning childhood daycare centre business venture, and will start with a self-assessment of capabilities as a prospective entrepreneur. Then, the paper will explain the potential value for addressing this opportunity based on the opportunity identified in the Entrepreneurial Opportunity Canvas. The paper will then describe the effectiveness of the chosen solution based on the Business Model Canvas, followed by an explanation of how the small business venture will deliver on intended value (Dudin et al, 2015). The paper will proceed to identify the desirability, feasibility, and viability of the small business venture, and then end with a summary of the next steps envisioned for a successful launch of this business venture.
Self-assessment of capabilities as a prospective entrepreneur
Based on the Entrepreneurial Profile Canvas, I am optimistic and confident about my prospects for managing the Early Learning Children’s Daycare Center business, based on the analysis and findings from my Entrepreneurial Profile Canvas. Foremost, in terms of potentiality, I am a perseverant and determined individual with the ambition to succeed in my mission to provide equitable and high quality early access to children’s daycare to my community, where schools are being closed due to COVID-19. In terms of motivation, I have a passion for ensuring early access to education for children, and ensuring that the forms, policies and procedures for a daycare centre are streamlined to ensure that all children would be able to learn and explore together, as an enabler of their future success.
I also have a strong passion for innovation, achievement, ambition, and have been attuned to expect ambiguity and change amid an increasingly volatile and challenging operating environment due to the impact of COVID-19. My expectations and constraints, comprising a self-sustaining business venture with losses of up to 30% of my personal savings, are also realistic. In terms of skills and knowledge, through my bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship, I am acquainted with innovation, financial modelling, venture building, accounting and business plan management, and I also have a significant pool of financing savings and networks with my women’s leadership community forum, my district representative, representatives in an online venture capital community, and the head of an angel investor’s fund.
However, I recognise that there are significant areas for improvement. I recognise that I should work on my self-confidence, and have the firmness of belief to rely on my networks, resources and knowledge to ensure that I succeed. I also acknowledge that I may sometimes lack confidence, and that I should be more proactive in acting on my own destiny. For example, if there were funding, hiring and regulatory approval challenges to arise in the course of running my early learning children’s daycare centre, I should be proactive in approaching the hiring agencies, networks of teachers and regulatory agencies I can contact to resolve the issue, rather than waiting for a natural resolution. Finally, in terms of contingencies, I would need to change my approach toward managing teams when my daycare centre expands in capacity and staff, and should be more willing to delegate to my subordinate team leaders. Furthermore, I would require more funding to rent more classrooms and hire more teachers.
Potential value for addressing this opportunity
Based on the Entrepreneurial Opportunity Canvas, the business venture has strong potential value for addressing this opportunity. The opportunity to be addressed is the demand for safe, efficient daycare during COVID-19, both as a tool for education and as a way for working parents to occupy their kids. Daycare remains essential for many families and parents in order to alleviate the burden of childcare as they continue to manage their work- from-home or frontline worker careers. However, for many families, daycare has been disrupted due to the safe distancing and public health measures required of many states.
The solution to the above issue is a business venture that will provide a hybrid early learning children’s daycare that combines virtual modules which parents can run on laptops using minimal supervision, and small-group, in-person sessions that provide high quality, safe daycare. The business will be distributed through both an online portal and in-person daycare sessions, and will be run on a for-profit basis to keep it efficient and sustainable (Craig & Churchill, 2020).
The above solution has strong potential value given the rising market demand for safe daycare services, as studied by Yoshikawa et al (2020), who noted that global safe distancing and public health measures have led to the closure of 60-80% of daycare centers at some point during 2020 (Yoshikawa et al, 2020). However, there would be a keen need to gain support and acceptance from several stakeholders, such as public health regulators, state authorities, teachers, parents and child development psychologists.
Effectiveness of the chosen solution
The chosen solution is generally effective at addressing the issue at hand from an operational, financial and innovation perspective. The need for daycare is only set to rise amid a rise in remote working and work from home trends. Surveys have shown that parents are increasingly frustrated and burned out by having to juggle caring for the children and working overtime in a remote work environment, while being unsure if they will be putting their children at risk by sending them to communal daycare (Kim, 2020). Hence, a safe and effective hybrid model for early learning will be effective in addressing their needs.
The solution does apply to the identified opportunity, but more work would be required to ensure that adequate trust and reputation for the hybrid model for early learning childhood daycare center would be cultivated in order to ensure strong customer retention. Furthermore, the costs associated with ensuring that the daycare center remains compliant to prevailing regulation should not endanger the underlying mission of equitable daycare, which could occur if costs balloon as a result of the high digital module infrastructure, staff training and facility sanitation costs.
Furthermore, the feasibility of this business venture may be more challenging, given that the regulatory environment for daycare is still evolving in my state, and given that public health, safe distancing and facility cleaning standards continue to be in flux. Furthermore, the need to retrain my teachers and staff to adapt to the hybrid online and in-person education model for the early learning childhood daycare center will pose an operational challenge. There is a need to thus engage the relevant stakeholders to ensure an effective, safe and feasible hybrid model that is implemented for the benefit of the children and their parents.
The solution is also still quite limited in terms of specifics such as sanitation measures and curriculum development, and more work needs to be done on the specific resources, stakeholders and curriculum models to engage in developing an effective and seamless daycare that blends online and offline approaches to learning. Finally, more consultations are required with educational experts on the best mode for hybrid learning, and with financial experts on the appropriate financing model for this business, as suggested by the Advisory Board’s feedback.
Delivery of intended value through the business venture
The business venture will deliver intended value in providing safe, effective, affordable and equitable access to early childhood learning and daycare for communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a successful execution will portend a paradigm shift in the innovative value of services for the early childhood learning and daycare sector. This solution represents tremendous future value and utility given the enduring nature of the global pandemic, and the continuing need for access to early childhood learning classes and daycare amid the continued strain from a work from home arrangement for many working parents.
In terms of financial value delivery, the venture aims to disrupt the daycare and childhood education market, and garner 40-50% of market share from competitors in the first three years, and aim for market leadership through a 10% customer growth year on year, with key revenues being driven by monthly subscription fees for the hybrid daycare service and by the more limited premium 1-on-1 daycare service for higher income clients.
This will be overseen through a deliberately designed management team with strong functional competencies, and venture oversight through a board of directors and external financial auditors. Furthermore, venture support will be split equally between angel investors and bootstrapped self-funding to ensure an appropriate level of financial exposure. The venture will also aim for sustainable revenue growth, efficient capital and revenue management and a conservative revenue and balance sheet management approach to ensure strong value delivery. Furthermore, 30-40% of returns will be reserved for investors, and stakeholders will be updated through annual dividends and reports.
This solution represents tremendous future value and utility given the enduring nature of the global pandemic, and the continuing need for access to early childhood learning classes and daycare amid the continued strain from a work from home arrangement for many working parents. Furthermore, equitable access to education will continue to grow in value amid the risk of lockdowns and school facility closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This business opportunity thus presents a safe, effective and novel approach to early childhood education and daycare that could exercise tremendous transformative value on the early childhood and daycare sector.
Assessment of the desirability, feasibility and viability of the small business venture
The business venture is relevant in theory, but its feasibility and viability would remain highly reliant on the public health environment (driven by the need for online and small group education), and the service delivery quality as mandated by the small group class teachers and the quality of the digital education modules. Hence, it would be critical to maintain quality control over the hiring and training of staff, and over the design, curriculum formation and delivery of the digital modules for the daycare. Furthermore, it would be key to pay attention to rising competition from copycats, as well as strategic and operational risks from COVID-19 infections and hygiene breaches, which may significantly damage the business venture’s branding.
In terms of financing feasibility, operationalisation, resourcing and expertise, the strategy idea can be easily actualized without exceeding known constraints, and this has been validated by my Advisory Board. However, I would need to work with my management team to understand if they have the relevant competencies to execute their roles, and I would also need to have a better sense of the regulatory and compliance environment for public health closer to the launch date of my venture, given that American public health measures are likely to have shifted with the nomination of President-Elect Biden, who will likely adopt stricter public health measures to control the spread of COVID-19.
Finally, prior to the launch of this business venture, I could validate the customer demand through focus groups with my business and community networks, to ensure that demand would be robust for this service after the launch of the venture.
Summary of next steps for a successful launch
The next steps for the business venture are as follows. Foremost, I would need to raise financing and hire the appropriate teams, teachers and digital infrastructure designers as per the plans outlined above. Furthermore, more research needs to be done to select appropriate curriculum and determine the suitable financing model for this business venture. I would also need to set up marketing through a capital-light strategy of digital delivery, word of mouth and organic social media and email traffic in phase 1, followed by expansion through paid media and content marketing in phase 2. Next, I would need to set up my management team and implement stringent venture oversight. Finally, I should implement regular workflow cadences and meetings with my teams after the business venture has launched to ensure that performance of the business venture is optimal.
This assignment has outlined a feasible, desirable and potentially successful small business venture through an entrepreneurial self-assessment, and an identification of the opportunity and solution for the early childhood learning and daycare sector. The hybrid early learning childhood daycare centre business venture has been validated as a desirable, feasible, viable and innovatively effective business venture to provide safe, effective, affordable and equitable access to early childhood learning and daycare for communities, during the COVID-19 pandemic and work from home situation. The business venture remains highly viable based on the key activities, resourcing requirements, channels and revenue streams, and remains financially sustainable from a cost structure, channel and revenue perspective. Built on a strong bedrock of personal customer relationships, this business venture is set to deliver strong and transformative innovation for the early childhood daycare and education sector.
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