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BUS5 182: Business Plans for New Ventures

Resources for developing successful business plans for new business opportunities.

Locating an Entrepreneur

Often, this class requires that you locate and interview or shadow an entrepreneur. The library has resources to help you! Review the options below, or reach out to the subject librarian listed in the left nav panel of this page for assistance.

Searching Databases to Locate Entrepreneurs

Large, comprehensive business databases may take more time to search, but you may find local entrepreneurs by entering keywords such as entrepreneur and a particular city, market, or industry. Narrow to news articles for recent information and potential contacts. 

Additional Resources for Locating Entrepreneurs

Other places to look for potential interview subjects:

Preparing to Interview Your Entrepreneur

Before you reach out to a entrepreneur, you will want to be prepared so that you can conduct an informed interview. Here are some resources to access:

Industry background. Be current on your entrepreneur's industry by reading an industry report. This will give you important background on an industry's fluctuations, major players, supply chain, and forecasts. Here are two databases that can help you with that. Search on the industry by name or by NAICS code.

Enter your entrepreneur's name and company name in news sources to see what current announcements may be available. Is their company launching a new product? Acquiring another company? Has the entrepreneur won an award recently? You can find out by searching some news sources, such as:

Browse other sources to learn more about your entrepreneur. Look for biographical or current information from these sources:

Obtaining a card for the San Jose Public Library

All San Jose State community members are eligible to join the San Jose Public Library. After graduation, you can maintain your SJPL card as long as you have an address in the state of California.

To obtain an SJPL card, please refer to these steps and follow the instructions on the SJPL page, as their policies may change.

  1. Go to at
  2. Click on Get a Library Card.
  3. Complete the online application for a library card. 
  4. At some point, you will need to show identification such as a passport or a driver's license at one of the SJPL locations. You can complete this at any SJPL branch or on the first floor of King Library.
  5. Once you have your card, you will create a PIN and then be able to access all of SJPL's online resources. 


Reference USA - Sample Search

These steps walk you through conducting a search for an immigrant entrepreneur using Reference USA.

After you have your SJPL card, go to

Enter Reference USA in the search box. If you have problems or questions, you can use the chat button for instant help from a librarian. 



In the results, click on the link to go straight to Reference USA:




Click on U.S. Businesses. 




Choose Advanced Search. 



Start using filters to narrow down the results. Start with, for example, the title of someone you'd like to interview. Owner is one you may wish if you choose to interview an owner or a founder. Other titles are available as well. 




Use the ethnicity limiter to choose an ethnicity. 


Narrow down by industry keyword or NAICS code. 




Narrow down the location. You may want to use zip code, area code, city, county, or region. 

Some assignments require that you choose a company that has fewer than 500 employees.

Once you have entered your filters, choose View Results. 



For this search, there are 244 results. These are people who have identified as Hispanic who own restaurants with fewer than 500 employees in Santa Clara County. Contact information is available for each. 



Don't hesitate to reach out to your business librarian for assistance with this or other resources -- we're here to help!