This article will examine the Pro-Net Case Study written by Hurst (n.d.) about an interesting entrepreneurial journey. The case study can be downloaded here. The review will put more emphasis on the motivational aspect in the entrepreneurial journey.

Pro-Net Case Study Review

The case study focuses on two partners, Melodie Stewart and Kim Doherty, in establishing their networking business, Pro-Net. Melodie is introduced as a young and energetic woman in a difficult situation. She suddenly lost her job, and after deep consideration, she decided to start her entrepreneurial journey to build a networking business (Hurst, n.d.). The idea was to build a company that provides value by providing information about networking opportunities as well as seminars and training on building business relationships.

Through the help of her friend, Kim, she overcomes every challenge in her journey. Both, Melodie and Kim, possessed a strong inner motivation to endure harsh challenges while also keeping their head cool to come up with a solid strategy each time the challenge occurred. This case study discovered the entrepreneurial challenges that were faced by Pro-Net and how Melodie and Kim overcome those challenges.

The root problem of this case study

The root cause of this case study is the early entrepreneurial challenges faced by Melodie and Kim that may crush their motivation and put their newly born ideas to an end. The struggle to acquire venture capital, create a fully working business plan, to gather first potential clients are a few of the challenges that have to be faced by Melodie and Kim. These challenges can become very difficult to control and may lower overall motivation.

Based on the expectancy theory described by Laegaard and Bindslev (2006), motivation (M) is determined by three factors: expectancy (E), instrumentality (I), and valence (V), through the mathematical formula M = E x I x V. Expectancy refers the relevant expectations of a person that the performance will lead to the desired result. Instrumentality refers to the assessment of a person regarding the probability of various rewards, while valence refers to the personal value of possible rewards. The main idea of the mathematical formula is that if one of the factors is low, then the overall motivation will also be low.

Melodie and Kim were able to keep these factors high each time difficult challenges come. Both believe that their perseverance to move forward will lead to success, leading to a high expectancy and instrumentality. They also value themselves as well as the rewards they would get from building the business.

The fundamental causes of the Pro-Net Case Study

Several fundamental causes are from the fact that both, Melodie and Kim, have very limited resources and experience. Their struggle to get preliminary funding reflects their low resource. They choose to depend on bank loans to fund their funding, which may possess further risks. Their gender and young appearance may also be an object of unfair judgment from their potential client (Hurst, n.d.). However, they continue to show resilience through these difficult times. They come up with a solid conclusion that they can’t get demotivated only due to how they might be perceived based on their gender or youth.

Possible alternatives for the partners

Having a strong inner motivation may be very beneficial in dealing with such struggles. To further improve their motivation, they can look for several other possible alternatives, such as getting an expert’s opinion or inviting a person with the high entrepreneurial skill to join the team. These alternatives can provide outer motivation that may be necessary to progress.

Evaluation of Melodie and Kim’s plan of action

Melodie’s action to invite Kim to the team may only be just because of a short consideration, but it turned out to be the key to developing their business. They can set a heart-to-heart discussion where both discuss the current issues and try to find a strategy to solve it. More importantly, Kim seemed to have the better business skill compared to Melodie, proven by how Kim helped Melodie with the business plan.

During the growth phase of the business, Melodie and Kim’s plan of action proved to lead them to success. Their decision to not make a big deal of how they were perceived by their gender and youth allows them to focus on things that are more important. Their solid teamwork enabled them to face challenges, such as increasing demand, deciding the strategic path of the company, and ultimately growing.

Importance and relevance of the case

The case study pointed out several challenges in the entrepreneurial phases of starting a new business. The study of an entrepreneur’s motivation to overcome harsh challenges is always important and relevant so that future entrepreneurs can learn and apply the concept to reach success. As Melodie suggested, many new entrepreneurs experience this challenge and may succumb to failure.


Laegaard,  J. & Bindslev, M. (2006).Organizational Theory.

Hurst, D. (n.d.). Young entrepreneurs -- Seizing opportunities and new directions. Acadia Institute for Case Studies.  Acadia University. 

Read more business case studies here.

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