Many people dream of being their own boss, deciding their own schedule and calling the shots. Starting this fall, Weber State University will have a minor for students interested in developing the skill to make this particular American dream possible.
The Goddard School of Business and Economics will soon offer an entrepreneurship minor that would help students develop the skills to one day become their own boss. In late July, the Utah Board of Regents finally approved the new minor.
In spite of such a late start, the program has already received a positive response.
“We didn’t really have a chance to advertise, but we had about 30 students in the first class that was offered, so we are pretty excited about it,” said Jeff Steagall, dean of the Goddard School.
This new entrepreneurship minor has been carefully designed to provide the best education to students who dream of owning their own business one day. The minor offers classes that start at the basics of entrepreneurship, such as coming up with ideas and developing a customer base, then expands to larger, more difficult topics, such as starting and growing a business.
The program is not only providing in-class education; it will be filled with opportunities to meet new people, specifically local entrepreneurs. The plan is to have the classroom filled with local entrepreneurs to help students along their way.
“Students will have an opportunity to have contact with real entrepreneurs,” Steagall said. “Alex Lawrence is one of the people teaching in the program. He is a very successful entrepreneur who has started several very successful businesses.”
Another way the students will learn about starting a business is through the new Bill Childs Startup Center. Opening on Oct. 16, this new center will give students further exposure to local entrepreneurs.
“What we will do is have entrepreneurs come in and sort of have office hours,” Steagall said. “We are going to call that our entrepreneurial residency program.”
This new program will allow students to come in and sit down face to face with someone who has been through the process. Steagall said students can receive assistance no matter their level, “whether it is at the idea stage and helping them formulate the idea, or whether they have a business and are trying to figure out the next step.”
The entrepreneurship minor is not only available for business or economic majors. It is now available for all students interested in business. Students interested in fields ranging from pre-med to art might find themselves involved in business transactions later in life. The training the new entrepreneurship program provides is designed to help those students.
Casey Bangerter, a finance major at WSU, said the program could assist with his career goals. He said he believes an education in entrepreneurship would be helpful in the future.
“I would like to go into personal finance once I graduate,” Bangerter said. “Owning my own business would be great.”
Support for the new minor is more widespread than the dean and students. Robert Head, the director for the Small Business Development Center at WSU, said this type of entrepreneurship training “will provide the foundation which you will need to start a business.”
More information on the new minor can be found in the Wattis Business Building’s counseling center, Room 211.