SOM Offers New Entrepreneurship Major

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Madeline Ciak

The UM-Flint School of Management (SOM) is now offering Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship as a new major.

The new major will give students a chance to learn more about the steps to take in order to create a new business. The second prong of what the major will teach is how a business changes when it is dependent on innovation and the demands of customers. The third prong of the major will also teach students the steps of refining products or service ideas, which involves understanding customer preferences, finding financing and actually bringing the product into the market through commercialization.

The new major is direct result of SOM’s own innovative way of thinking—faculty members who taught subjects such as entrepreneurship, new venture creation and new product development developed a specialized concentration into a full-blown major after noticing a trend and meeting the demands of students.

“This new major will enable students to explore interesting and challenging dynamics of the future marketplace,” said SOM Dean Scott Johnson.

According to Johnson, this new major will be sustainable in a rapidly and dramatically changing economy.

“It’s hard to predict what the economy will look like in 25 years, but one can bet on seeing more automation, the rise of the use of software and quicker communication and all of these aspects will have an impact on business, and the things we’re teaching will give students a competitive edge,” said Johnson.

Johnson also said he believes that the new major will also provide students with a strong foundation in terms of decision making and to take innovative approaches while problem solving but will also introduce students to local entrepreneurs in Flint and Genesee County.

This major also highlights the importance of a well-rounded education.

“The Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship major is not only limited to business students,” said Johnson.

While hands on learning is a crucial part of education because direct experiences stick in a student’s head and helps guide decision making in the future, and the new Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship major will give students an opportunity to actively engage in business, to meet other local entrepreneurs and to engage in friendly competition with their fellow students.

Johnson has spoken with a wide array of students that are interested in starting their own businesses and feels that it is important to help them refine their ideas.

“They have great ideas, and if they were to major or minor in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, it would give them a competitive edge while searching for a job,” said Johnson.