Richer Commons and Converse Website
Calling all Entrepreneurs

Calling all Entrepreneurs

Westminster Opens Institute for New Enterprise

More than a million new businesses are created in the United States each year, and the number continues to grow. Currently, four percent of the adults in this country are in the process of starting a new venture, and 50 percent of college business students indicate they want to start a business when they graduate.

Preparing students to be successful entrepreneurs has long been a special point of focus at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business. A new initiative to support and enrich this work—the Institute for New Enterprise—is being launched during the 2007–2008 school year.
The Institute for New Enterprise is designed to equip both undergraduate and graduate students with the skills of entrepreneurship: innovating, validating, planning, funding, and launching new ventures. The institute will meet the needs of a growing number of students at Westminster who want to start and build enterprises that promote independence and self-sufficiency and that are both financially and socially beneficial.

In a program that began in the fall of 2007, MBA students can receive a general MBA degree with a certificate in entrepreneurship. In the next academic year (2008–2009), a course of study for undergraduates in the Gore School of Business will begin in the form of an entrepreneurship major.

The institute will prepare students for leadership roles in three attractive and growing areas of employment: (1) business entrepreneurship—conceiving, planning, launching, and leading new for-profit ventures; (2) corporate entrepreneurship—innovating new products, services, processes, and divisions in existing companies; and (3) social entrepreneurship—creating and leading a variety of enterprises designed to address community needs. Programs offered by the institute will bridge the gap between classroom-based learning and learning through real-world experience. Students will participate in institute courses, workshops, field experiences with emerging companies, competitions, and personal mentoring. Learning and mastering the skills of entrepreneurship will prepare students to make significant contributions in any organization.

The chief architect of the initiative is visiting professor Michael Glauser, who is serving as the director of the institute. Mike has extensive experience as an entrepreneur, business consultant, and university professor. He has built and sold several successful companies, helped numerous organizations create growth strategies, and written two books on entrepreneurship.

“Programs offered by the institute will allow Westminster students to connect the theory they learn in the classroom with real-life practice and application,” said Glauser. “We will have a strong link with successful entrepreneurs who will give lectures, speak to classes, provide internship opportunities, and mentor students.”

The institute will also offer programs and opportunities for community members who want to start organizations. “Many people in Utah have an entrepreneurial spirit, and small business is the prototype of the state,” said Glauser. “We are here for anyone who wants to start any type of organization of any size, be it for profit or non-profit.”

Utah was recently rated the top state for “Economic Dynamism” by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. This rating, available at www.kauffman.org/pdf/2007_State_Index.pdf, gauges “the degree to which state economies are knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, information technology-driven, and innovation-based.”

Dr. John Groesbeck, dean of the Gore School of Business, feels this is why the institute is a natural fit both for Westminster and for Utah. “Westminster has a tradition of connecting theory with application, and many of our graduates have gone on to be successful entrepreneurs. This new institute will provide our students with a powerful learning environment in which to nurture their entrepreneurial spirits, whether they want to start their own company or unleash their creativity within existing organizations.”

School administrators, faculty, and students are enthused about the increased emphasis on entrepreneurship. The Institute for New Enterprise will provide exposure to real-life entrepreneurs, create strong links to the business community, attract new students to Westminster, provide broader employment opportunities, and enhance the overall reputation of the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business.

Dr. Mike Glauser has extensive experience as a successful entrepreneur, business consultant, and university professor. He is the founder and former chairman of Golden Swirl Management Company and a founder of Northern Lights. Both companies were sold to CoolBrands International, a world leader in the frozen dessert industry. Glauser has consulted with numerous corporations in the areas of business strategy, market research, organizational effectiveness, and leadership development. His clients have included Associated Food Stores, the Boeing Company, Clinical Innovations, Department of Workforce Services, Esso of Inter-America, Harmon Music Group, and Saudi Consolidated Services.

Glauser has held faculty positions in business at the University of North Carolina and the University of Petroleum & Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He has designed and taught programs in business strategy, entrepreneurship, management, and organizational behavior. He has published numerous articles in professional journals and magazines, and published two books on entrepreneurship in America: Glorious Accidents and The Business of Heart. He has appeared on Great Day America, First Business from Washington, The G. Gordon Liddy Show, Voice of America, Good Morning Chicago, and Associated Press Radio.