When senior Taylor Lamb started at Virginia Commonwealth University, she was very interested in entrepreneurship and found that the School of Business was equally interested in building its robust entrepreneurial programs.
In recent years, the school’s Department of Management has expanded its focus on entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees with a concentration in entrepreneurship. Beginning in the fall, the department will offer a minor in entrepreneurship open to all VCU undergraduate students.
“This program is like nothing I would have ever expected,” Lamb said. “It is hands-on and causes the student to use all of the knowledge that they have learned throughout their career at VCU. Entrepreneurship is important because it gets people thinking. I have learned to think deeper and more creative. I have learned to fix the problem before there is a problem. Entrepreneurship is what can bring life into existing businesses.”
To stress the importance it places on entrepreneurship, the VCU School of Business requested and received approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to update the name of its Department of Management to the VCU Department of Management and Entrepreneurship.
“The department emphasizes entrepreneurship by showing that the great thing about business is you can create your future and see your ideas come to life,” said senior Chandler Garrison. “Without entrepreneurs, we wouldn't have indoor plumbing, cars, or any of the amazing technology we have today that solves life's problems. Entrepreneurship is all about solving a problem. Entrepreneurs are the ones who create the future, and lead the world to a better tomorrow.”
In 2015, the VCU School of Business formed the Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy with the Ford Fund — the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Co. — to teach entrepreneurs with varying backgrounds the skills, tools and mindset to develop creative ideas and grow new ventures. HFEA has delivered workshops in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Spain and Richmond.
The Department of Management and Entrepreneurship each year also hosts the Virginia Entrepreneurial Challenge for teams of high school students to pitch their business ideas to local startup founders in a “Shark Tank”-style competition for a cash prize.
“The new name reflects an emphasis on entrepreneurship research we’ve been building in the department over the past decade, as well as increases in our entrepreneurship course offerings,” said S. Douglas Pugh, Ph.D., department chair. “This includes the unique Creativity and Ideation course taken by all business majors and our new entrepreneurship minor.”