Colleges, Students Embrace Entrepreneurship As Course Of Study

By Chris Bosak
The News-Times, Danbury, Conn.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Pauline Assenza, associate professor of management and small-business entrepreneurship at Western Connecticut State University says that “Entrepreneurship is not a career, but a mind-set.”

The News-Times, Danbury, Conn.

The word “entrepreneur” evokes images of a small-business owner or one attempting to bring an invention to market, but that only begins to scratch the surface, said college professors who teach in the burgeoning field of study.

“There is no textbook for entrepreneurship,” Carl Scheraga, professor of business strategy and technology management at Fairfield University, said. “They exist, of course, but that is not the way to teach entrepreneurship. You have to hit the streets and see what works and what doesn’t.”

Nor is there a tidy definition for the word.

“Entrepreneurship is not a career, but a mind-set,” Pauline Assenza, associate professor of management and small-business entrepreneurship at Western Connecticut State University’s Ancell School of Business, said. “We are not necessarily preparing students to open a business right after graduation. Entrepreneurship is also recognizing the opportunity to be who you are while working for someone else who is willing to pay you.”

Entrepreneurial skills such as thinking creatively, being innovative and willing to take risks are highly sought after in the workplace, she added.

“They identify a problem and take a creative approach to solving it,” Assenza said.

While courses in entrepreneurship have existed for decades, demand has reached the point that nearly every college or university in the state offers coursework and have centers devoted to entrepreneurship and innovation. Many universities offer majors and minors in entrepreneurship.

‘Where stuff happens’
The business management major at Fairfield University offers an entrepreneurship concentration in which students must complete two of the three courses: social entrepreneurship, technology ventures and managing a family business.

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