New entrepreneurship major will spur ideas, job creation

Laptops on table during study session

Passion, tenacity, vision, charting your own course to build a successful business. This is entrepreneurship, and it’s attracting eager students to WSU Vancouver for the newest program offering on campus. Starting this fall, students may declare a major in entrepreneurship from the Carson College of Business.

Meeting a strong demand from students and the community, the experience-based program will prepare students to create endeavors that will contribute to Clark County’s growing economy.

“New business ventures spur innovative ideas and products that require human capital to develop and take to market,” said Max Ault, director of business growth and development at the Columbia River Economic Development Council. “Development of these products and ideas requires intensive strategy, planning, execution and strong partnerships. Not only is there a net benefit to the community in terms of employment numbers and revenue, but entrepreneurship engages these partnerships, leveraging and growing community assets.”

Ben Quatier, a junior at WSU Vancouver, is pursuing the major and plans to become a business owner after graduating. Open to branching out into any industry, Quatier is hoping his classes will guide him through the process of building a business and give him feedback on his career goals.

Just like Quatier, many students who choose this degree path have dreams of starting a business, while others may join a family business or take an entrepreneurial mindset into any workplace setting.

Practical guidance

To lead Quatier and other students toward their entrepreneurial goals, the program will provide practical, hands-on experience, including real-time idea generation, testing and refinement.

Rohny Saylors, assistant professor of entrepreneurship, and Douglas Steck, executive in residence, will teach in the program. “There are a lot of small businesses in the Portland/Vancouver area that require entrepreneurial thinking to succeed and grow,” said Steck. The major will better prepare students for those kinds of business opportunities. Students will also be able to apply this mindset to larger businesses, spurring innovation such as new product introduction or market exploration, he said.

Ultimately, the program is about finding needs and meeting those needs for businesses, and improving the lives of the consumer, employee, entrepreneur and community, said Saylors.

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This article is summarized from Northwest Crimson & Gray Magazine

Northwest Crimson & Gray is the semiannual magazine of WSU Vancouver, produced to highlight the WSU Vancouver community and higher education in Southwest Washington. To read the full story, download or view the Fall 2016 issue online (PDF). You can also subscribe for free.

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