A few months ago, Wright State’s Raj Soin College of Business approved an entrepreneurship minor. Now, following in its tracks, an entrepreneurship major will be available.
The major includes some classes similar to the minor, but also offers additional classes for becoming an effective entrepreneur, such as entrepreneurial finance.
The entrepreneurial finance course enables students to study the financing of small and medium businesses from the perspective of both the entrepreneur and investors. Students will also learn the difference in financial decision-making in smaller companies in comparison to public firms.
“We only had to create one class,” said Kendall Goodrich, chair of the department of marketing. “The rest were just out there waiting to be gathered into one major.”
To qualify for the major, students must be enrolled in the Raj Soin College of Business.
“Our target market is current Wright State students who haven’t decided on their major and high school students that want to go into entrepreneurship,” Goodrich said.
Students majoring in entrepreneurship can expect classes that focus on the development and growth of small businesses, such as Entrepreneurship, during which students develop and present a business plan for their own new venture idea. Selected student teams present to a panel of local entrepreneurial executives.
Charles Gulas, professor of marketing who teaches the entrepreneurship course, said the class has existed for a long time, but the Raj Soin College of Business came up with the idea of the entrepreneurship major and minor within the past few years.
“Entrepreneurship has always been an important part of Dayton,” Gulas said. “The Wright brothers were entrepreneurs, Raj Soin is an entrepreneur, so it’s an important part of the community.”
In the entrepreneurship course, students write a business plan. The plans often come from students who already run a business or are planning to start a business.
Graduate students who take the class pitch their business plan to a panel of local entrepreneurs. Chris LaFountain, one of these entrepreneurs, attended Wright State before founding Pure Property Solutions, a business that provides landscaping, painting and other similar work.
“The entrepreneurship course helped me create the plan for my current company, so there’s definitely tangible benefits for the students,” he said.
The small business management course provides essential management techniques for new ventures, and, in small business marketing planning, students apply business concepts to real-world companies working with Wright State’s small business development center. Students also work with the Air Force Research Laboratory and other innovative companies to develop business launch plans during the commercialization class. Through these classes, students can gain real-world experience that will help them upon graduation.
One of the other classes students pursuing the entrepreneurship major will take is creativity, problem solving and communication in marketing. This class teaches students to understand creativity and factors contributing to enhanced creativity. Students will also learn techniques for facilitating better creativity and problem solving in groups. The class encourages students to think in numerous different ways through experiential assignments.
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