According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy’s most recent data, New Jersey had an estimated total of 812,200 small businesses. In addition, self-employment in New Jersey increased 1.3 percent in 2004 to 409,152 in 2005.
This is not surprising to Susan Scherreik, M.B.A., director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Seton Hall University. Founded in 2003 with a handful of courses, the Center has expanded to include a broad array of courses, a lecture series, a student entrepreneurship club and a board of advisers that is a “Who’s Who” of New Jersey entrepreneurs including Tom Basilo, chairman and CEO of WithumSmith+Brown Global Assurance, LLC; Stephen Waldis, president and CEO of Synchronoss Technologies; Robert Carr, president and CEO of Heartland Payment Systems; and Jaswinder Chadha, president and CEO of MarketRx, Inc.
Not one to rest on its past achievements, the Center’s latest expansion is an undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship. This certificate follows on the heels of a recently created 12-credit graduate certificate for MBA students. The goal at both the undergraduate and graduate levels is to eventually offer a major/specialization in entrepreneurship.
“In a Stillman School research study, we learned that about one-third of our students come from a family business background,” Jay Azriel, Ph.D., management professor shares, “and a large percentage say they want to open a small business one day. We’re also learning we have a large contingency of alumni entrepreneurs. We can certainly use all this information to our advantage to build a program. And once this program is built, I hope it will permeate the University. Entrepreneurs are not just business majors,” Azriel continues.
Interested students take courses in Entrepreneurship, Starting a Business and Innovation in Entrepreneurship along with an elective in areas such as Negotiations, Directed Research, Sales and Personal Selling, Financial Strategy and E-Commerce. This combination of courses is designed to provide students with both a theoretical basis and the practical hands-on skills needed to launch a new business and to successfully grow that business.
“The skills that students learn in entrepreneurship classes will give them a leg up in today’s competitive marketplace, whether they work for a big corporation or opt to start their own business,” Scherreik says. “In today’s rapidly changing global workplace, the winners are business people who know how to nimbly seize new business opportunities and run with them,” she says. “What we at Seton Hall are doing, above all, is cultivating an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ that will enable our students to succeed in any job and in any industry.”
For more information please contact:
Susan Scherreik-Hynes, M.B.A.