The Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph is launching a new minor in entrepreneurship that will allow students in any discipline to learn what it takes to build a business in their chosen field.
From the engineering or food science student who hopes to bring an invention or formulation to market, to the visual artist who wants to learn how to market their personal brand, this unique program will bolster disciplines from across campus.
“The intention of this program is to allow students from any discipline to embrace not just their passion and skill base but their market potential. We want students from various disciplines to consider the program because entrepreneurship is a transferable skill,” said Melanie Lang, the executive director of the John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise.
Entrepreneurship is just one of six new minors that will be available this fall to both business and non-business students at the Lang School. The others include project management, sport and event management, and sustainable business.
The entrepreneurship program will teach students the skills they’ll need to launch new ventures, including entrepreneurial thinking, teamwork and collaboration, customer discovery and communication.
“This program will further differentiate the unique business programs at U of G, including our focus on sustainable commerce and ethical marketing, and it will allow students to be self-determining within their area of choice,” said Lang.
Prof. Felix Arndt, the John F. Wood Chair in Entrepreneurship, will lead one of the minor’s core courses, Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship (MGMT 2500), bringing in some of the area’s top local entrepreneurs as guest speakers to share their real-world experience and explore how entrepreneurship has shaped everything from franchises to small businesses.
“This program will build not just entrepreneurs who hope to start their own businesses but entrepreneurial thinkers. Creative, innovative thinkers who understand markets and can act on them – particularly in these quickly changing times — those are very sought-after skills,” said Arndt.
The minor program is for the entrepreneurial-minded and those who want to run their own business, including veterinarians or artists, or those who hope to join the corporate world, Arndt said.
It is also an ideal pipeline for those who want to apply to the Hub Incubator program at the John F. Wood Centre, where they can receive additional support and mentorship to develop a business.
The Incubator program has moved to an online format but remains as busy as ever, still bringing together a team of local business experts to whom entrepreneurs can turn for knowledge or advice. The Wood Centre’s reach has even expanded, since those who couldn’t get to campus before can now find the help they need online.
Together, the Hub Incubator and the Entrepreneurship minor will develop graduates who have developed knowledge in their field of choice as well as the business development skills for turning that knowledge into real enterprises, said Lang.
“With so many people reassessing their paths since this pandemic began and leaning into entrepreneurship, that combination of knowledge will make them unstoppable.”
To learn more about what the U of G student experience will look like this fall, visit the Virtual Campus page.
Prof. Felix Arndt