Strategic Research Circle

"Group Dynamic"

Group Dynamics of Entrepreneurs



There is this common perception that Muslim entrepreneurs excel individually but often fail in group environment (as compared to other religious minorities). The study explores relational and transformational qualities of Muslim entrepreneurs in following three key areas:

a. Education
b. Mentoring
c. Networking

The goal of the study is to expose barriers that prevent many Muslim entrepreneurs from succeeding in free markets of the West

The entrepreneurial success of the subject is measured individually and in group setting:

1. Revenues
2. Number of employees
3. Opportunities created for young professionals and entrepreneurs
4. Number of successful partnerships
5. Other applicable factors

Study Duration

3 - 6 months


Following questions are prepared for a group of Muslim entrepreneurs managing or doing businesses in major US metropolitan cities

A group of 100 entrepreneurs are screened and consented by the research assistant and assigned time slots for the study. The group size is no less than 3 and no more than 12. The sessions could in person or on the phone. The interviewer or supervisor is a doctorate but at least a doctorate candidate. Prior to the interview, research assistant helps each entrepreneur fill online questionnaire that does not take more than 10 minutes

General Question

What type of entrepreneur are you?

1. Legacy (family) entrepreneur
2. Professional (by education)
3. Accidental (circumstantial)
4. None of the above

Line of business
a. Medical
b. Restaurant
c. Service Station
d. IT
e. Insurance
f. Other (Listed)

Your title (role) in the most recent or significant past business

President, Senior Executive, Manager, Other

How many types of businesses you run at a same time?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or More

How many were successful?

a. Generated considerable revenues (0-5)
b. Successful exits (cash out) (0-5)
c. Failed (lost money) (0-5)

Type of funding in each venture: 

a. Self (0-5)
b. Angel (0-5)
c. VC (0-5)
d. Loan (0-5)

A. Education & Profession

The education question is related to higher education and the profession of entrepreneurs before he or she engages in his or her business(es) ... and how much the educational background and professional experience in a corporation helped them excel in their own businesses. In some cases professional degree in an unrelated discipline could be a liability instead of an asset.

Highest Education

a. High School
b. College
c. Postgraduate
d. PhD

Major or Professional Education

a. Medicine
b. Pharmacy
c. Law
d. Engineering
e. Business
f. Sciences
h. Arts

Corporate experience (before starting own business, if any)

a. Manager
b. Executive Directors
c. CEO
d. President
e. None

B. Mentoring

Mentoring is an activity in which a mentor shares own knowledge and experiences as mean of support to a mentee related to his or her profession, work, or business. It involves in-person meetings, phone or emails, in a small group setting or during an event. The frequency of mentoring could be weekly or monthly. It could be formal or informal in office, home, during a social or religious gathering

Who do you mentor?

a. Children
b. Relatives
c. Friends
d. Young entrepreneurs
e. Business peers
f. Other

Areas of Mentoring

a. Education: eg. Selecting major in colleges or universities
b. Career Planning: Profession such as Medicine, Law, Engineering, etc.
c. Management (time, schedules, employees etc.)
d. Communication (public speaking, group presentation)
e. Finance & Accounting (Bookkeeping, budgeting)
f. Marketing & sales
g. Legal (Forming a company, lawsuits etc.)
i. Funding
f. Personal (eg. time management, family relations)

Frequency of interaction with mentee (protege)

a. Weekly
b. Monthly
c. Yearly

C. Networking

Business networking is a process through which peers create new business opportunities for each other. It’s a socio-economic network that could be informal or formal. The group could small or part of a well organized larger professional organization that fosters business relationships among its members. Peers meet on regular basis to exchange clients and vendors referrals. They also provide access to business opportunities outside their group. The networking can be local, national or global. The networking can take place over phone, in-person, or during a social or business event. The group members are self-governing and self-regulating and create a bond of trust-relationship among each other

General Question

Do you consider yourself as:

a. Highly social
b. Somewhat social
c. Non-social (Loaner)

Do you consider that networking to improve your business is valuable to your business?

a. Yes
b. May be
c. No

If answered “yes” or “may be” in previous question, what percentage of business success you attribute to networking?

a. 25% or less
b. 26% - 50%
c. 51% -75%
d. 75% - 80%
e. 81% and more

Who you think are most useful to network with?

a. Muslims
b. Non-Muslims
c. Both

Who do you network with most?

a. Business community (Such as partners, suppliers, clients)
b. Friends and relatives
b. Community members in general
c. Others (Please specify)

What is most common venue (setting) for your networking?

a. Social events
b. Religious events
c. Professional networking events
d. Individual meetings
e. Other (Please Specify)

Partnership Experiences

What are top three challenges to your partnership. Rank these in order of 1 to 3

a. Dishonesty
b. Greed
c. Unrealistic or conflicting expectations
d. Ego
e. Lack of Planning (such as written pre-partnership agreement)
f. Incompetency
g. Other (Please specify)

Survey’s Best Practices

a. Find relationship among different results using relational db. eg. relationship between education and type of biz or and income. relationship between city and type of business

b. After the subject filled online survey, ask them if they understood the question the way we meant

c. Count how long it takes to conduct the interview


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