Entrepreneurship minor aims to broaden appeal

When people hear the word “entrepreneurship,” they may think it is only for business majors or that it is heavily related to math. While math knowledge is required, it can help students in different fields in the long run.
Baldwin Wallace University is changing this stigma with the reconstruction of the entrepreneurship minor, according to Lori Long, chair of the Department of Management & Entrepreneurship.
“Although the entrepreneurship minor will require some math, the reconstruction goes beyond the numbers and formals,” said Long.
Last semester, BW reconstructed the entrepreneurship minor in order to make it more appealing to not only business majors, but all students around campus.
“The entrepreneurship minor will prepare students to launch any idea they have. Whether it has to do with owning their own law firm, starting up their own practice for a doctor, or even starting a nonprofit, entrepreneurship will give them the ground work to make it happen,” said Long.
According to Long, the reconstruction reduced the required credits on the minor to 18. This way, students can easily add on the minor.
“An entrepreneurship minor allows to students to gain basic skills to start their own business. The minor will allow students to study what they love as their major, and use this minor to launch that idea,” said Long.
This minor is not just sitting in the classroom, students are also learning outside and having outside resources coming in to help them with real world experience.
According to Long, there are frequent guest speakers so that students can talk to someone who is working in the entrepreneurship field. The management and entrepreneurship department has also partnered with LaunchNet to bring in real word experience into the classrooms.
LaunchNet is co-circular, which means it is not a requirement to graduate, but serves as a basis to help students with a business plan.
According to Hannah Schlueter, program manager at LaunchNet, once students complete the entrepreneurship minor, it is recommended that they carry out their business idea through LaunchNet.
Once they are at LaunchNet, they have programs such as the Start Something New at BW program, where they can pitch their business plan. If they win, they could receive funding for their plan, said Schlueter.
Schluter believes that the minor is not just learning definitions of words, but applying what they learned to what they want to do in life.
“Having a program such as LaunchNet supporting the entrepreneurship minor allows what is learned inside the classrooms to be brought to life through the student’s business plans,” said Schlueter.
Although this has been offered as a major and minor for a while, John Fuehrer, associate professor in the management and entrepreneurship department, believed that last semester was the perfect time to reconstruct due to the feedback they were receiving about the minor.
According to Fuehrer, students were more interested in developing an innovative mindset that they could later use in their fields.
“The way we prepare students for the workforce is not the way it was 100 years ago,” said Fuehrer. “We have to train our students to think through issues and not just train them to follow directions, and to be able to think outside the box.’
Long and Fuehrer prepare their students for the world of entrepreneurship by making sure that the faculty and adjunct professors have real-world experience in the field.
“Everyone that teaches an entrepreneurship course either has their own business or had one before. Our students are learning from the experts on this topic,” said Fuehrer.