Entrepreneurship minor gains popularity

April 28, 2014

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Dr. Marcia Harr Bailey

PLATTEVILLE, Wis.­­­ — Introduced in spring 2012, the entrepreneurship minor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville will graduate its first three students this semester. The minor is designed to complement any major and is open to all UW-Platteville undergraduates. Students from business, agriculture, engineering and computer science have already taken advantage of the program.

A strong experiential component of the curriculum encourages students to learn by doing. “These courses prepare you to work for yourself,” said Dr. Marcia Harr Bailey, assistant professor in the School of Business and entrepreneurship minor coordinator. “We want this minor to connect with any major on campus. Moving forward, it would be nice to see students from a broad array of disciplines take on entrepreneurship as a minor.” Plans are in motion to provide additional course offerings in entrepreneurship as well as connect students with international service learning opportunities.

After earning her degree in animal science with a dairy emphasis, Darcy Steffes of Elizabeth, Ill., plans to join the family farm and take on the position of calf and heifer manager. Some of her future plans include modernizing calf and heifer raising facilities and direct sales of dairy products from the farm. “Taking on the minor in entrepreneurship was a simple decision because I was planning to go back to our family business,” said Steffes. “I want to take what I have learned to make our farm more profitable in the dairy industry. The entrepreneurship program gave me the chance to connect with people outside of agriculture and share my passion.”

Along with a minor in entrepreneurship, Nick Neyens of Dubuque, Iowa, will graduate with a degree in business administration with a marketing emphasis. Upon graduating, he plans to focus on Volk Studios, a marketing and videography studio that he started with his brother-in-law. “The entrepreneurship minor gives students a solid background in the creative and strategic areas required to be an entrepreneur,” said Neyens. “Even if you don’t plan to start your own business, the program gives you a look at what is required for a business to succeed.”

Jacob Luginbuhl is a business major from Verona, Wis. In 2009, he started Hometown Painting Services LLC and provides services as a painting contractor in the greater Madison, Wis., market. Another business endeavor was started in 2013 when Luginbuhl began HPS Motorsports to provide powder-coating services for customers involved in various types of racing. “If you have the ambition to own your own business and want to learn in a hands on process, the entrepreneurship minor is for you,” said Luginbuhl. “I have made a lot of great friends through this program and the professors are amazing to work with.”

“The program is growing fast,” said Harr Bailey. “We saw a jump from 18 students enrolled with the minor during the fall semester to 40 this semester.”

Written by: Ethan Giebel, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, giebele@uwplatt.edu

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