The Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University aims to “contribute to Ohio University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by enhancing entrepreneurial education, university-based entrepreneurial activity, and regionally focused venture development in South-East Ohio”. The Center is a collaborative endeavor between the College of Business (COB) and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and builds on a longstanding relationship between these two colleges.
The Center has a number of key areas of activity and works closely with TechGROWTH Ohio and the University’s Innovation Center:
- Programs focused on entrepreneurship, small business management, and innovation for students within the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.
- Programs and activities to support university-wide entrepreneurship education including efforts to embed it within colleges and departments across the university.
- Campus wide extra-curricular activities designed to improve general interest and awareness of entrepreneurship with the aim to help improve students’ entrepreneurial skills.
- Support systems to help students and graduates who are engaged in the process of starting businesses.
- Executive programs and activities to enhance the entrepreneurial potential of local and alumni-led entrepreneurial ventures.
- Research, both academic and applied, designed to enhance a general understanding of entrepreneurial activity.
Many activities are collaborative with other Center’s at Ohio University and work is closely associated with, the Center for Public and Social Innovation, the Center for International Business Education and Development and the Center for Strategic Leadership.
Entrepreneurship Education in the College of Business
The Center follows the University ethos of student centered learning and uses an experiential and action learning philosophy for teaching small student groups. Courses integrate ‘hands-on’ learning with more traditional forms, such as, undertaking small business consultancy, talks from guest speakers and the program includes insights from theory. The Center currently offers:
- The BBA Major in Entrepreneurship, which requires the COB Business Core.
- Five undergraduate courses in the core BBA including: Ideation and Business Models; Entrepreneurial Accounting; Entrepreneurial Leadership; Theories of Entrepreneurship; and, Entrepreneurial Business Consulting.
- The College also offers a further five courses that can be taken as electives in the program and are open to students as free electives, these include: Business Plan Design; International Market Assessment and Entry; Technology Commercialization; Organizational Behavior; and, Entrepreneurial Sales.
- In the future, the Center will pursue expansion of entrepreneurship programs and courses at the postgraduate level and seek to secure scholarships funds for students.
University-wide Entrepreneurship Education
The Center assists in the provision of many across campus entrepreneurship opportunities including curricular and extra-curricular options.
- A Certificate in Entrepreneurship program provides entrepreneurship education that is tailored to specific colleges and disciplinary needs. The program requires three core courses in entrepreneurship alongside two specific electives that are relevant to the student’s subject of interest and provided by the host college.
- There are currently six entrepreneurship clubs supported by the Center: Consulting Fellows, Enactus, Epsilon Nu Tau, OU Entrepreneurs, ThinkDesign, and Black Student Business Caucus. These student run organizations provide students with opportunities to meet entrepreneurs, organize public lectures, run competitions, and learn entrepreneurship skills.
- The Center for Entrepreneurship collaborates with TechGROWTH Ohio and the Innovation Center to provide many extra-curricular opportunities for students. Some of these include: a Venture Café series of best practice seminars; a public lecture series; Global Entrepreneurship Week events; National Entrepreneurship Week events; an Idea Pitch Competition; and, an Innovation Challenge led by the Scripps College of Communication.
Student and Graduate Entrepreneurship
- The Ohio University Hatchery provides space, mentoring and pre-incubation advice to students that are considering starting a business.
- An accelerator provides business start up support for a number of student-led ventures each year; the Center provides Lean Start curriculum and venture mentoring to the start-up teams.
- Weekend events provide a venue for building entrepreneurial teams and intense idea generation process.
- Technology-mixers provide a basis for networking and innovation
- For appropriate venture opportunities TechGROWTH Ohio provides seed, angel and VC finance access and assists prospective student entrepreneurs to become investment ready.
- The Entrepreneurial Fellows Mentoring program links practicing and retired entrepreneurs as mentors for students interested in starting businesses.
The Center for Entrepreneurship is research led. We have expertise in entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial learning, corporate venturing, entrepreneurial behavior and opportunity recognition. Research faculty:
- Publish in leading journals including: Journal of Business Venturing; Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice; Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and many others.
- The Center hosts research seminars, is developing a working paper series and key faculty sit on the editorial boards of journals in the subject, as well as, edit special issues.
- Members of the team present conference papers and attend key conferences, such as Babson, USASBE, ISBE and GCEC.