In order to succeed as professionals once they graduate, students need to understand the theory and practice of entrepreneurship. This is true whether they plan to start their own business or work for someone else.
Entrepreneurship has recently been defined as “creating new sustainable value, often leveraging innovation,” with innovation being the implementation of creative ideas (Brown, 2017). Creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship are integral parts of a global 21st-century economy.
Here at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, we pride ourselves on teaching our students the tools and techniques to implement their creative ideas. Often, however, those students have no idea how to market or sell what they produce. Students also frequently have a hard time defining precisely how what they do creates value for the end user of their product or service.
This course addresses those issues. Students learn to value what they do in terms of how it contributes to the value chain for their clients and employers. They learn to think of themselves as agile and resourceful problem solvers, instead of simply graphic designers, photographers, or multimedia creators. They learn the ins and outs of small business and entrepreneurship that are generally not covered in any of their other courses, such as financial planning, negotiation, and licensing intellectual property.
This course has been taught as a special-topics course six times since 2009. It has always been at or near capacity, and has drawn students not only from our school but also from other units on campus, including the Darla Moore School of Business. Until last fall, I was the only instructor teaching this course. Last fall, Dr. Keith Kenney from our school shadowed the course and will be teaching it in fall 2017. With the addition of Dr. Kenney as another instructor for the course, I felt it was appropriate to propose it as part of our regular curriculum.