Entrepreneurship

The Concentration in Entrepreneurship will give you talent, skills and experience valued at a premium in today's global economy, including: to think creatively and to help others to do so; understand how innovation in products and processes plays in markets; explore your personal propensity for risk taking and business launch; have the talent to design and present a strategic plan for a business venture; make progress on building a high-power network; and have direct experience contributing to the new economy. These elements form a set of distinctive competences that will help you to found a venture, work in a growth company environment, and/or be the contributing member of a leadership team who can put it all together.

At its heart, entrepreneurship is about recognizing opportunities and having an impact through applied business talent. Simmons entrepreneurs launch new businesses in the for-profit or non-profit sector for the purposes of job creation, innovation, wealth and/or social mission. They design new efforts within existing corporations; are realizing their role as a daughter of family business or perhaps in career transition, they want to put their know-how into a consulting firm that capitalizes on years of work experience. For the MBA student, the entrepreneurship concentration is a playground of ideas and experiences that will serve you no matter what career path you pursue now and later. Our graduates testify to it.

Academic Objectives
Within the 9 credits of this concentration you will integrate the ideas of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship; develop your skills in building a business plan that speaks across strategy, marketing, finance and operations; focus on reaching an audience practically and emotionally with your messages; and practice entrepreneurial behavior through a field practicum.

Concentration in Entrepreneurship (3 courses, additional electives available)

  • Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (GSM 570 — required)
  • Business Plans (GSM 571—required)
  • Additional elective course tailored to student venturing (advisor approval)

MBA Concentration in Entrepreneurship 3 Courses: 3 Required, electives offered for additional depth

Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (GSM 570 — required)
Explore creativity and innovation as the roots of entrepreneurial behavior. Where do good ideas come from? How are they transformed into opportunities and organizational action? How does innovation play out in industries, products and firms? What is your personal and professional orientation to new venture creation, whether expressed as a founder or team member -- of a new or existing firm? Prerequisites: none

Business Plans and Proposals (GSM 571—required)

There is no better exercise for understanding the interwoven nature of marketing, strategy, finance and operations than to develop a business plan. In this course you will learn the nuts and bolts as you build a business plan based on a concept of your choice. This can be a business plan for a new venture or for a start-up within an existing organization. Expert guest speakers add richness to our learning as we explore how to define and serve a market, the multiple ways of legally establishing a for-profit business or social venture, growth options and their implications, funding for the new venture, and selling ourselves and our ideas to others through the pitch and business plan presentation, among other themes. Prerequisite: GSM 425; Co-requisite: GSM 421

Third elective course(with advisor approval)
Once you understand the process, the next step is experience and additional training. Working with the advisor, students select a third elective, which may be an internship, to round out their entrepreneurship concentration requirements and to take their own entrepreneurship activities to the next level. Prerequisites: GSM 570 and GSM 571, or advisor's approval.

Elective courses of particular value to most entrepreneurs (others also available):

  • Internship (GSM 501)
  • Marketing in the Age of Social Media (GSM 503) (a new elective planned for Summer 2011)
  • Sustainability Analysis (GSM 516)
  • Health Economics (GSM 612)
  • Research Design and Analysis (GSM 526)
  • Sustainable Supply Chain (GSM 548)
  • Venture Capital (a new elective planned for Fall 2011)
  • Project Management (GSM 564)
  • Philanthropy, Policy, and Fundraising in the Non-Profit Sector (GSM 563)
  • Financial Management in Non-Profit Organizations (GSM 560)