Problems need innovative and creative solutions. Learn to apply entrepreneurial theory to a wide range of issues for valuable results.
At its core, entrepreneurship is about creating value by inventing things to address necessities. In this way, it is about designing something for a target group (market). But entrepreneurial intervention is fundamentally about people—who’s doing the entrepreneurship and to whom it is being done. Entrepreneurship offers students intangible growth in learning how to empathize with others, including those from very different backgrounds, to address a social issue in a flexible, adaptable and context-relevant way.
Students in this Pathway will gain an understanding of entrepreneurial theory as it applies across multiple fields of inquiry, emphasizing connections to creativity and innovation. They will gain a familiarity with past and present applications of entrepreneurial theory and develop entrepreneurial problem-solving skills that enable them to identify a problem or need, articulate a model for addressing this concern, and generate an ongoing sustainable solution. Students will also locate their problem-solving skills in the context of the communities in which they live and weigh the value of their efforts with regard to ethics and sustainability.
While students construct their own animating questions, some possible examples include:
- How do entrepreneurial paths differ for women across various racial, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, and how do these experiences compare to men’s?
- Can innovations in sourcing, production and recycling of retail clothing minimize the impact of a “throwaway” clothing culture in the U.S.?
- How can the achievement gap in education be reduced through the use of technology in the U.S.?
- Using as a case study the Southern European countries still struggling to recover from recession, how can entrepreneurs facilitate economic re-growth?
- How can Urban Quests foster student leadership and entrepreneurial skills, as well as benefit small businesses in New London?
The Thematic Inquiry course provides the foundation for the Entrepreneurship Pathway. Students will explore theory and methods of entrepreneurship, research different business models, hear from alumni speakers and create a personal brand. Students will learn about ideation and the creative process, research and development and financing entrepreneurial ventures, as well as how to present at each point in the process.
This course will also include a three-hour lab component, facilitated by a guest lecturer or Connecticut College professor with expertise specific to the topic of the lab. For example, alumni startup founders might speak one week about their experiences and challenges and lead a case study.