Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 3 years 4 days ago

I have recently just completed Phase 0 of the preparation for the Inquiry Project, for which we have looked through a long list of projects and chosen one in particular to study. I will be investigating in Project/Business management. In Phase 1, we will be asking questions about our topic, and using our prior knowledge to acquire more information on our projects. 

About this project, I know that I will have to study the process of starting and maintaining a business, which I will be choosing at the actual Microcampus trip. Depending on each business, the owner will need to either borrow or find another way to get money to start the business. If the business requires the entrepreneur to borrow money from the bank, then as the business starts to gain profit, they will have to pay the bank back with a certain amount of interest.There are 3 main terms regarding a company: expenses, revenue, and profit. Expenses are the amount of money used to run the business; revenue is the total amount of income, and profit is the revenue gained take away the company's expenses. The company will need to hire a certain number of workers to help run the small business, depending on the size of each company. I have learned these things in MUN when I participated in the Economic and Social Council Committee (ECOSOC), which focuses on topics regarding the economy. This knowledge has also been reinforced with the governance unit that we have learned in Humanities, where we looked at the political and economic systems of different government systems. 

I have many things I would like to learn in this inquiry project. I hope to experience the whole process of starting a business, and either succeeding or failing at the end. I would like to know the connections that the business manager has to make with other people to help his business flourish, and the different aspects or running a successful business. There are also ways, or even shortcuts, to reduce expenses and gain profit in the business world that maybe I would discover while studying this project. To sum it up, I really look forward to the knowledge I would gain in the process of this inquiry project. 

I have just done some research to gain more background knowledge on my inquiry project. This will also help me formulate my big questions for Phase 1. The research can be found here: Phase 3.

Below will be where I will document my 10 big questions. These questions will guide me through the process and give me a few ideas to focus on during the micro campus trip. I will be writing a possible answer for each question in italics. 

My old questions have already been answered - See Phase 3 for further details. The below questions are the ones that I am currently investigating for the Linden Centre. 

Business Start-Up

1. What inspired you to start up the Linden Centre in XiZhou? 
I would assume that the historic relic that Mr. Linden visited in XiZhou was his inspiration. It probably gave him ideas about establishing a hotel of some sort, especially in a beautiful place like XiZhou where tourists are very likely to visit.
2. What were some of the difficulties and challenges that you faced in establishing the Linden Centre(using the historic relic as your basis, getting the government's permission, etc.), and how did you manage to overcome them? 
This question requires further research.

3. What were the firsts things you had to establish after the construction of the site was complete (staff, rules, meetings, work groups, financial related issues, etc.)?
He probably needed to hire workers and slowly create a work force structure. Then he would divide his workers into groups and set up work times, rules, and plans.

4. What do you think the most important things a foreigner has to do in order to be a successful entrepeneur in China?
Good connections with the people of the region, being able to speak a common language to communicate effectively, and understanding the rules and processes of creating businesses in China. |

Change and Development
5. What changes did you have to make to the original relic to make it a hospitable place for guests to live?
He probably did some construction for the placement of rooms for sleeping, resting, etc. 
6. How has the Linden Centre changed over the past 8-9 years since its foundation?
The number of staff has probably grown; they have probably added new facilities within the Linden Centre. The hardware(beds, lights, chairs, etc.) may have changed over the past 9 years. 
7. What are your hopes for the development of the Linden Centre as a bigger company in the future?
This question requires further research. 

Services and Marketing

8. What are the things that you think the Linden Centre does well and the things that require improvement?
This question requires further research. 

9. What are some of the marketing strategies that you have used to promote the Linden Centre?
I would guess that they have established internet presence on Trip Advisor or other vacation websites.

Other things I need to know

If possible, I would need to know more about the local economic system in Yunnan. This will give me an idea about the differences and relationship between the local and national economic systems. I should also research more about taxes on small businesses, and find out about any government restrictions on these businesses. 

I will now be moving on to Phase 2, "Finding Helpful Resources", where I will be furthering my research to answer old questions and develop new ones. 


My name is Alexis Y., and I am 13 years old. I was born in Paris, France, and returned to China with my parents when I turned 6. My favorite sport is basketball, and I found a passion for debate since 6th grade when I joined MUN. Our Phenomena group has left XiZhou and is back in Shanghai. The Microcampus Experience has helped me explore "me" and find out more about the history of XiZhou and its people. Over the course of this trip, I have become friends with 40, 50, and 60 year-old adults. I have made bonds with the rest of my peers, some of which I had not even talked to before. I have grown so much in just one month, and I am sure that the good habits that I have adopted on this trip will stay with me forever.