The College of Business is preparing for the creation of a new major and minor, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Butler University’s Faculty Senate is scheduled to vote on the approval of the new major and minor at its meeting Oct. 2.
“We’re expecting it to pass,” said Stephanie Fernhaber, assistant professor of management. “We’re assuming that there will be no objections.”
Fernhaber, who helped draft the proposal and was part of the team that researched the potential program, has a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurship is a mindset,” Fernhaber said. “And it’s definitely not just for business majors. We really want students to realize that anyone can benefit from an education in entrepreneurship.”
In fact, the entrepreneurship and innovation minor would only be open to students outside the College of Business.
Entrepreneurship classes are currently offered in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and in the arts administration major, Fernhaber said. “We want students to be able to apply this mindset to the corporate world or in any environment where they work.”
Sophomore economics and finance major Alex Petersen said that he plans on declaring entrepreneurship and innovation as a major after it is finalized.
“When I heard about this last semester, I was really interested,” Petersen said. “Entrepreneurship is not a business topic, and that’s what attracts me. Entrepreneurship is for anyone who has drive and passion.”
Petersen is the current president of the new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club, which will allow students from any major to gain experience in a business setting
The club will allow students to explore business venture ideas and create business plans, as well as hear guest speakers like the CEO of Hotbox Pizza, Peterson said.
“We’ll also have awesome competitions that will hopefully be hosted by real business professionals where our club members will be able to compete and have a chance to win real cash prizes,” he said.
Sophomore Matt Speer, the club’s vice president, stressed that the club wants to reach out to students in all majors.
“This club is definitely not just for business majors,” Speer said. “That’s something we really want to promote. Anyone with an idea can benefit from this club and learn about leadership and how to get exposure for their ideas.”
Speer said that he plans on declaring entrepreneurship and innovation as a second major, along with finance, once the major is approved.
Fernhaber said that student interest in the programs is high.
He said that 70 people signed up for information at block party and about 45 student came to the first interest meeting.
“All this interest is even before the major has been rolled out,” Fernhaber said. “There are only a few entrepreneurship courses currently offered in the College of Business. There was a great demand for more courses so that students could continue on past sophomore year.”
The community is also eager to be involved, Fernhaber said.
“The city of Indianapolis is prime for entrepreneurship,” Fernhaber said. “The community is so excited about this, and they are so ready to work with us and our students.”
If the proposed major is passed at the Faculty Senate meeting, students will be able to declare the major and take their first major-specific classes in the spring semester.
Petersen says that he expects his education in entrepreneurship to allow him to make big changes and have a positive impact on the world.
“This major is all about taking people with passion, drive and excitement and teaching them how to make it productive,” Petersen said. “It’s about how to get your ideas going in the real world. What I hope is that this major will help me channel all of my aspirations into something productive.”