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A Case Study of Roxanne Quimby

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A case study of Roxanne Quimby

Ramit Budhathoki

Westcliff University

BUS651 Entrepreneurship and New Ventures

Professor Bharat Bhatta

24 July, 2016


This paper contains the case analysis of Roxanne Quimby. This paper includes the necessary qualities and characteristics that an entrepreneur need to have. This paper also illustrates risk and return associated with the entrepreneur’s.

Roaxanne Quimby

        Roxanne Quimby considered as the “Black Sheep” is the main protagonist of the case. She shad two sister, one worked for AMEX and the other worked for Charles Schwab. She was never interested in business and considered it dull. In late 1960’s she attended he San Francisco art institute. She studied oil painting and graduated without any job prospective. Roaxnne father was a Harvard Business school graduate and also a failed entrepreneur. At the early age of five, Roxanne Quimby’s father told her that he wouldn’t give her a cent for her college but would match every dollar she earned by herself. These, was an early lesson of entrepreneur she learned from her father. After her graduation she decided to move to central Maine and started living with her boyfriend. She had a twins. Her father discovered it and she was rejected from all financial and families ties. Also she got divorced.  During these phase she has to go through different ups and downs.

        The money making skills taught by her father helped her to earn money for survival. She made almost $150 a week by working in a local flea markets- buying low and selling high. She also used to work as a waitress but unfortunately she got fired from all those restaurants. She realized that she had an entrepreneurial spirit. Later on life, she met Burt Shavitz ex photographer for Life and New York Magazines. Like her he was also dropped out of life. Burt is a beekeeper with 30 hives. He used to sell honey. Roxanne and Burt decided to work together. In the starting, Burt taught Roxanne about beekeeping and Roxanne discovered Burt’s large stockpile of beeswax. Of that beeswax she planed of making candle which turned to be effective. Honey and beeswax business was a huge success. Although the business was a huge success, the cost of doing business in Maine was costly as the transportation cost was high and even the pay roll taxes were heavy. Similarly, she couldn’t find any expertise in Maine.  They planned to grow their business in North Carolina. North Carolina is a big bustling city where she can find skilled worker too. Moving to North Carolina will minimize the transportation cost too. But the main issue with the move was she was uncertain. She had never worked in a huge city before. And also the labor cost was really expensive in North Carolina.

  1. Who can be an entrepreneur?

Anybody who have ability to take risk, clear vision, dedication and commitment towards their work, having leadership skill, courage, and who is creative they have a potential to be an entrepreneur. We ca take an example of Roxanne even going through lots of ups and downs in her life she never gave up. She was dedicated towards her work. She has an ability to work under uncertainties and knows how to deal properly with circumstances. Her creativity of turning beeswax into a candle has uplifted both Burt and herself financially.

        To be an entrepreneur one’s should have a willingness to what works and what doesn’t and also have an ability to adapt things quickly.  People who can adapt change and have a determination and commitment towards their work can be an entrepreneur as change and adaption are core to build something new (Ready, 2012).

The Characteristics of entrepreneurs are listed below (Spinelli & Adams):

  • Commitment and Determination
  • Courage
  • Leadership
  • Opportunity Obsession
  • Tolerance of Risk, Ambiguity and Uncertainty
  • Creative, Self-reliance and Adaptability
  • Motivation to Excel
  1. What are the risks, rewards, and trade-offs of a lifestyle business versus a high-potential business- one that will exceed $5 million in sales and grow substantially?

A lifestyle business is one that is intended for supporting the proprietor's salary and individual necessities rather than maximizing revenue (Wigmore, 2013).

Risks of a lifestyle business over a high potential business is uncertainty and not having complete control over the company. It is always easy to have a complete control and to be in contact with the employee in a small business but once the business starts growing it would be difficult to manage the business as the growing business requires more employees. It will be hard to be in touched with them in regular is almost impossible to watch everyone hard to assign everyone. Similarly, it is hard to trust a new employee too.  

Some of the rewards are like there will be more opportunity with a larger business. We can also have more opportunity for investment and expansion of the business.  Similarly, the owner has the freedom to work and doesn’t have to report to anyone above them.

  1. What is the difference between an idea and an opportunity? From whom? What can be learned from Exhibits C and D?

Ideas and opportunity are two different things. An idea is the first step in the process of establishing a business where as the, opportunity is a business idea that has been researched, refined and packaged into a promising venture which is ready to launch. Opportunities comes with the great ideas.



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