Moving forward with plans to develop an entrepreneurship department at Central Michigan University, the Mount Pleasant-based school has appointed faculty member Kenneth J. Sanney to lead the new department as its founding chair.
“We need a department of dynamic faculty focused and centered on the students and connected to the entrepreneurial ecosystem within Michigan,” Sanney says. “There will be a great deal of integration between the institute and the new department in order to equip our students with the tools they need to be entrepreneurial. These tools are necessary whether they’re interested in starting a business or taking their entrepreneurial spirit into a corporation.”
The new department — in collaboration with the Isabella Bank Institute of Entrepreneurship — will strengthen CMU’s entrepreneurial program with a curriculum that prepares students on how to start a business, take over a family owned business, or work as an “intrapreneur” in an organization.
In the coming months, Sanney says he will focus on building his team. Considering the interdisciplinary nature of the subject, faculty members will likely represent a wide range of backgrounds, including finance, economics, and marketing.
The establishment of the department also helps the continuation of programs such as CMU’s New Venture Competition, which has enabled approximately 250 aspiring, entrepreneur-minded students to initiate more than 100 companies in the past four years. Nearly 30 of the businesses are still in operation today.
“CMU’s entrepreneurship program shapes budding entrepreneurs through our strong academic curriculum and practical experiences in the start-up and small business world,” Sanney says. “I look forward to contributing to the future direction and growth of entrepreneurship education and new ventures in the state of Michigan and beyond.”
In addition to its main campus in Mount Pleasant, CMU offers classes in Auburn Hills, Clinton Township, Dearborn, Southfield, Troy, Warren, and other locations in the U.S. and abroad.