Entrepreneurship Degree at Ashland University Encourages Undergraduates to Risk Failure On Way to Success
When a team of five Ashland University undergraduate students left for Entrepreneurship Immersion Week 2009, one lesson from the school’s new entrepreneurship degree provided a supportive tail wind. The lesson, in a nutshell: “nobody succeeds without sometimes failing.”
Ask Ashland alumnus Dwight Schar ’64, a successful executive with NVR Inc., one of the largest homebuilding and mortgage banking conglomerates in the U.S. “Failure,” Schar tells the entrepreneurship degree students, “is not whether you get knocked down, it’s how many times do you get back up.”
Read Wakefield, director of The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Ashland University and involved in the everyday running of the new entrepreneurship degree, preaches the gospel of calculated risk.
“Minimizing risk and failure are essential components of the entrepreneurship degree,” Wakefield says. “How to gauge and manage risk, but also how to engage risk — the fear of failure — with gusto.”
That “go for it” approach brought the Ashland University team a second place finish and $2,500 runner-up award in the third annual Entrepreneurship Immersion Week program.
Ashland’s team pitched their business concept of Nourish US, a fast food restaurant featuring healthy, seasonal locally grown foods that can be replicated across the country.
Kerry Miles, a senior from Richfield, Ohio, will not be around to take full advantage of Ashland’s new entrepreneurship degree, but already sees its impact. “This experience took us out of the classroom and united our team,” Miles said. “It made us think on our feet and step out of the box.”
Ashland’s team members were Alecia Michitsch, a junior from Grafton; Kerry Miles, a senior from Richfield; Jeremy Sloan, a senior from Twinsburg; Zack Snyder, a senior from Millersburg; and P. Ben Tracey, a senior from Lakeview.
Entrepreneurship Education Consortium
Entrepreneurship Immersion Week is an intensive six-day educational and networking program topped off by a team business concept competition sponsored by the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium. The EEC grew from collaboration between directors of entrepreneurship degree programs at seven northeast Ohio universities and colleges (Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace College, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Kent State University and The University of Akron.)
Funded, in part, by a lead grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the Consortium provides practical "experiential" and theoretical education to students in Northeast Ohio to prepare them to become entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs; create new ventures and jobs and build wealth for the region.
In addition to the annual Entrepreneurship Immersion Week, the EEC sponsors a regional annual business concept competition in early April for winners of local northeast Ohio collegiate competitions. The Ashland University Business Concept Competition will take place in February-March 2010 and is open to entrepreneurship degree majors/minors, and all undergraduate students of any discipline across the Ashland University campus.
Ashland University Entrepreneurship Programs
Ashland University offers a new entrepreneurship degree and continues to offer minors in entrepreneurship for both business and non-business undergraduate students as well as an MBA specialization in entrepreneurship.
To learn more about next year’s Entrepreneurship Immersion Week, Ashland University Business Concept Competition, or academic programs in entrepreneurship, contact Read Wakefield in the Morgan Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Dauch College of Business and Economics at 419-289-5039 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.