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Farley Center Launches Undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship

A New Minor

Starting in Winter 2018, any undergraduate student with an interest in entrepreneurship and innovation has the option of pursuing Farley Center’s Undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship. The Undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship is ideal for students seeking more robust and in-depth instruction and hands-on experience in a classroom setting than the Farley Center’s current certificate program offers. The creation of the minor addresses the following:

Accessible to All Students

For many students, a minor in entrepreneurship may seem to be designed specifically for those with prior experience with business or an engineering background. However, Farley Center alumni who go on to find success came into their first class with varying degrees of prior entrepreneurial experience and possess a diverse array of academic backgrounds. The curriculum is structured to accommodate anyone with an interest in business. And, although every class required for the minor is business-focused, Farley Center’s Undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship goes beyond simply preparing students to succeed in startups.

Skills For Life

Every course at the Farley Center is designed to benefit students whether or not they decide to pursue entrepreneurship. The skillsets acquired, from how to form successful business relations to managing finances and risk-reducing, will be useful whether or not a student starts his or her own company. Working with interdisciplinary teams, students learn to communicate with people with different backgrounds of expertise and develop project management skills.

“It’s an opportunity to learn skills for life, regardless of what you do in the future. That’s how we look at our classes, and that’s why our classes are open to all students at Northwestern University. You don’t have to be an engineer, or economics major, or someone who’s already interested in business that has experience with entrepreneurship. We want students from the theater department, the music school, the journalism school. We want students of all different backgrounds because the skills that they will be learning in our classes will apply to whatever they end up doing,” Says Farley Center’s Associate Director, Elizabeth Lukehart.

Network of Innovators

In addition to helping to develop skills critical to success in business, Farley Center courses give students access to Northwestern’s vast network of entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors. In class, students will interact with guest speakers, advisory board members, mentors, and Northwestern alumni who are both successful entrepreneurs and investors themselves. Pursuing the Farley Center’s Undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship is a great way for students to begin to form those valuable connections. A strong network is as crucial to success in business as any great product idea. By adding Farley’s Undergraduate Minor to their resumes, students add with it a developed business network.

A Foundation for Success

While it is common for entrepreneurs to start a company without previous experience or course-based instruction, a lack of solid business fundamentals and exposure to the entrepreneurial experiences inherent in launching a venture presents risks. To directly address such risks, Farley Center’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for the world of startups by giving students the opportunity to experience all aspects entrepreneurship in a risk-free space. Students can learn all about how to launch and maintain a business without having to face the potentially devastating financial fallout from unsuccessful ventures.

Courses required to obtain the Undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship allow students to learn many of the skills and have the experiences that they would encounter in a post-graduation work environment before they graduate, which better prepares them to enter the job field or launch and maintain a successful startup. The curriculum provides the groundwork for students to develop a strong business-orientated foundation through its core courses, then gives them the hands-on experience they need through a number of experiential courses and electives.

“Our center is focused on providing practical skills for our students. Within the minor, there are required classes in the areas of accounting and finance, as well as leadership and ethics. Those courses have applications in any environment that you will go on to work in, and will give students plenty of familiarity with the entrepreneurial world. The minor is designed to have a strong foundation built on those courses, which will then be further strengthened and expanded through courses designed to give students real business experience.” Says Farley Center Director, Mike Marasco.

Click here for more information about Farley Center's Undergraduate Minor and requirements.

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