Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo will add both an entrepreneurship major and minor to its academic curriculum starting this fall.
“We saw a need to offer first-class education in entrepreneurship to meet the needs of our students — and ultimately the needs of the economy,” says Kay Palan, dean of the Haworth College of Business. “Hiring faculty with expertise in entrepreneurship, engaging with entrepreneurs in the business community and offering co-curricular initiatives have all laid the groundwork for rigorous, hands-on courses of study for students looking to launch their own businesses.”
The entrepreneurship major, offered through the university’s business college, combines the basics — management, finance, marketing, business information systems, and accounting — with courses developed specifically for this academic path. Newly developed classes include entrepreneurial marketing, small business finance, funding new and growing ventures, technology entrepreneurship, and legal aspects of entrepreneurship.
Palan says the major will be available to only 40 students per year, while the minor — which emphasizes creativity, value propositions, product and service design, finance, and teamwork — is open to all students.
“The university-wide entrepreneurship minor provides the opportunity for all WMU students to examine their chosen major and future career direction through an entrepreneurial lens,” says Laurel Ofstein, assistant professor of management. “Students from music to the arts, education to engineering, science to fashion, and beyond, will gain key entrepreneurial skills and the confidence to start their own business one day.”
Other Michigan schools to offer majors in entrepreneurship include Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, and Northern Michigan University in Marquette. Business students at Michigan State University may specialize in entrepreneurship, and students at the University of Michigan can pursue a master’s degree in the subject.