Monthly Archives: July 2011

Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught?

While the practice of Entrepreneurship is thousands of years old, the teaching of Entrepreneurship at the University level is relatively new. The science + art of Entrepreneurship is a fascinating area of study, but can students really be taught to be entrepreneurs, or are they just born with the skills or inclination?

Academicians around the globe continue to debate this question. Yet, a recent study by Babson University says that the study of Entrepreneurship can profoundly encourage students to become Entrepreneurs. The study of 3,755 Babson alumni reports that if students take just two Entrepreneurship classes at the University, the students are very likely to consider, if not pursue start-ups. Also, the simple practice of writing a business plan in the classroom can have a similar influence, though not as strong.

My personal experience as a long time instructor of Entrepreneurship at CSUF has yielded a few observations about the students who choose to study Entrepreneurship. Most of our students seem to choose this area of study because of an intense desire to create something of significance that they can own. They want to be different and they would prefer not to got to work at a large bank or a giant corporation. They want to do their own thing.

It is my observation that the students’ decision to study new venture development is also supported by their family and peer groups. Additionally, it is no coincidence that many of our Entrepreneurship students are the sons and daughters of small business owners.

Finally, my work with this cohort of aspiring entrepreneurs finds we witness to another dynamic that I refer to as “the spark.” There is a certain electricity that young entrepreneurs exhibit that combines creativity and enthusiasm along with action. I must emphasize the component of action: a defining characteristic of an entrepreneur is that they go do it. Everyone has a great idea now and then, but entrepreneurs take that idea and run with it. They create new ventures.

So, yes, I agree that Entrepreneurship can be taught, but it may be best taught to those who have the desire and the personal support system, along with with “the spark.”

John Bradley Jackson
Director
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship

What Others Say About Entrepreneurship

Listen to what others have to say about Entrepreneurship:

“Entrepreneurs at small businesses provide approximately 75% of the net new jobs added to the economy.” – U.S. Small Business Association (SBA)

“Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.” – Peter Drucker

“Be nice to geeks, you’ll probably end up working for one” – Bill Gates

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

“The entrepreneur builds an enterprise; the technician builds a job.” – Michael Gerber

John Bradley Jackson
Director
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Student Project Profiled on CSU State University Website

The CSUF Entrepreneurship student consulting project for Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort was profiled on the CSU California State University website as example of CSU’s support of sustainability initiatives.

The website reads “As the economy faltered, many companies had to pull back on expenditures. For some, this included putting sustainability in the back seat to other priorities. At the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach, a team of senior business administration majors at CSU Fullerton were able to demonstrate ways to be sustainable and enhance business operations. With many of the recommendations now in place, the benefits will be assessed over the next several years.”

Read more here.

Congratulations to all involved with this nationally recognized project.

Well done!

John Bradley Jackson
Director
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship

New Inventor’s Web-based Reality Show

Be sure to check out the Grand Premiere of Inventing Profit, August 11, 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center in Carlsbad, CA.

Inventing Profit, a collaboration of industry professionals, announces the premiere on August 11, 2011 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at the Agua Hedionda Discover Center, of the reality-based invention show starring Randy Hupp from EcoLeeser, maker of the RokLees rockfish descending device. EcoLeeser was assisted in its creation by Inventing Profit who provided legal, prototype development, business advice, and manufacturing services. The RokLees is a rockfish descending device that assists fishermen in the safe release and recompression of fish suffering from barotrauma.

During the event, the Inventing Profit team and Randy will discuss and show how EcoLeeser commercialized this invention and premiere Inventing Profit with EcoLeeser. The event will take place on August 11, 2011 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at the Agua Hedionda Discover Center at 1580 Cannon Road, Carlsbad, CA 92008.

Free tickets at http://inventingprofit.eventbrite.com.

Rockfish and other species of fish have an internal buoyancy bladder that allows fish to adjust their depth. When fish are caught, they are rapidly brought to the surface and do not have adequate time to equalize their bladders. This rapid air bladder expansion, which can cause death, is known as barotrauma and creates external symptoms such as bulging eyes and pushed out esophagus. When the fish are released using the RokLees, the chances of survival are increased when otherwise they would float away on the surface and eventually die. This inexpensive, conservation-minded, and easy to use product will help preserve and increase the stock of fish for future generations to enjoy.

EcoLeeser LLC (ecoleeser.com) develops products to preserve, sustain and grow the stock of fish for future generations to enjoy. Their first product, RokLees, was developed to successfully release fish back to the proper depth for survival. The RokLees provides a non-invasive, quick, and easy alternative to releasing fish.

For more info check the Facebook page.

Joseph Donoghue
CSUF Entrepreneurship Speaker and Volunteer

Leardon Solutions
11956 Bernardo Plaza Drive #216
San Diego, CA 92128, U.S.A.

+1.858.229.0887
joseph.donoghue@leardon.com
www.leardon.com

We’re All Entrepreneurs (Redux)

In an earlier post I mentioned how all of us could benefit by acting more like entrepreneurs. For the first (and probably last) time in my life, I have found myself ahead of a new trend. Yesterday, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman published an op-ed called “The Start-up of You” that contained the same core message as my post. Whereas I discussed how people who are creating something (e.g., authors, musicians) need to be more entrepreneurial, Friedman went a step further and said that everyone should be entrepreneurial because everyone has a product to offer: themselves.

Just like entrepreneurs create business plans for how they will create a successful business, all of us should have “business” plans for how we will create successful careers for ourselves. Just as the best entrepreneurs do not treat their plans as static – they continually revise and update them based on new knowledge and information – we should be doing the same with our career plans. We cannot expect employers take care of you professionally or personally. Job security is gone. Pensions are (mostly) gone. Even perks like tuition reimbursement are rapidly disappearing. The only way we will survive is if we take charge of our careers position ourselves as being valuable to our current employer and to make ourselves attractive to future employers.

How do you actually do this? The op-ed suggests leveraging your network to find out where the opportunities are and then building the skills that you need to take advantage of these opportunities. This is great advice. I would also recommend expanding your knowledge by learning and reading broadly and by seizing any opportunities that arise on the job to gain new skills. I’d love to hear your advice as well – how do you position yourselves to be attractive employees to your current employer and/or potential future employers?

Dr. Atul Teckchandani
CSUF Entrepreneurship Professor