The United States has long been considered a leader in entrepreneurial pursuits, with everyone from ambitious self-starters to certified moguls making their way here from around the globe to transform dreams into realities. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute, the United States provides the best environment for cultivating entrepreneurship, ranking first out of 138 countries.
On the flip side, however, first-time business owners have only an 18 percent chance of succeeding.
So how to bridge the gap between the dreamers and the triumphant? If you’re a student looking for a way to make your passion into your career, you may be glad to learn there’s a college program that can put you on the right path, while also providing you with a classic liberal arts education. The new Entrepreneurship minor course of study at Pennsylvania’s Lycoming College provides a modern approach to a liberal arts education, while preparing students to start a company of their own, to work for another entrepreneurial company or to be more entrepreneurial within a larger company.
The program is headed by Marshall D. Welch III, the Sloter Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at Lycoming College, who is an accomplished entrepreneur with extensive experience advising and managing organizations, merger integration and emerging growth companies. He also approaches entrepreneurship differently from others. Welch believes that entrepreneurship, at its core, is finding and creating value, and that studying entrepreneurship as an academic discipline helps students learn to be innovative in whatever field they ultimately pursue.
In less than one year, Lycoming College’s entrepreneurship classes have become a sought-after, valued addition to many students’ class schedules. The program is built on the notion that any student’s core education, regardless of academic major, can be augmented with the practical knowledge and skills necessary to take a business idea to fruition, such as innovation, digital marketing, intellectual property and financial skills.
“My No. 1 objective is to create a world-class experience for students by joining the liberal arts with entrepreneurship,” said Welch. “I believe that the core knowledge of any entrepreneur is first his or her primary field of study, whether that is biology, archaeology, music or any of the other majors at Lycoming. Then add the practical knowledge and skills necessary to help our students become successful entrepreneurs or even work for entrepreneurial companies.”
Firmly grounded in the liberal arts, the College has modernized its approach to higher education by offering courses that better prepare students for the 21st century.
Still in its infancy, the program is already attracting well-known speakers to campus. Jay Ducote, celebrity chef and restaurateur, who has appeared on Food Network and Travel Channel, recently lectured to the College community on how he followed his passion and took risks on his road to success.
“Lycoming is resolute in its mission to offer students a 21st-century education, and I believe our entrepreneurship offerings are an important part of that charge. Thinking deeply and making bold decisions to do something the world has never seen, while also staying true to your passions, accurately describes the students at this institution—a truth that also closely aligns with the principles of entrepreneurship,” said Welch. –NAPSI