Radford’s entrepreneurship minor is built for the business-minded in all paths of study


Studying entrepreneurship at Radford University is not only for business majors. After all, the entrepreneurial bug bites equally among students of all interests and disciplines.

With that in mind, Radford University’s Davis College of Business and Economics has reimagined its interdisciplinary entrepreneurship minor to provide students with the skill sets needed to effectively create and manage business opportunities across all academic disciplines. The 15-credit-hour program is open to all students except management majors.

“There is a lot of flexibility for students across many disciplines here at Radford,” said Iain Clelland, Ph.D., chair of Davis College’s Department of Management. “So, we re-examined our curriculum and decided to make it even more friendly to those students who are not only in business but those outside the business school.”

So many Radford students, “whether they be majoring in nursing, information technology, music therapy, journalism, physical therapy, occupational therapy or the arts,” Clelland continued, “may want to someday operate their own businesses, work as consultants or freelancers or perhaps become social media influencers.”

This idea is becoming particularly more in fashion now, he reminded, in the era of physical distancing and working from home during COVID-19.

Once a student commits to the interdisciplinary entrepreneurship minor, they first enroll in either Social Entrepreneurship (ENTR 240) or Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ENTR 250). Each course is three credits.

“Gaining complementary business skills for your major is the appeal of the interdisciplinary entrepreneurship minor.” 

Iain Clelland, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Management in the Davis College of Business and Economics

“Students can take either of those courses,” Clelland said, “depending on whether they are planning on going into for-profit enterprise or a social/nonprofit enterprise. In either of those courses, they get into the entrepreneur mindset, looking for market opportunities and identifying potential customers.”

Students then “focus on starting a venture,” Clelland explained, and enroll in the three-credit Managing New Venture Creation (ENTR 350) course, “which is where they go online and practice starting a new business,” Clelland said. He explained that enrolled students will use free apps in the course to gauge demand for their business ideas.

For the remaining three core course credits in the Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Minor, students will enroll in either the Entrepreneurial Leadership (ENTR 425) or Owning and Managing a Business (ENTR 450). ENTR 425 will develop skills for being an innovative leader in an existing organization, and ENTR 450 provides an understanding of the benefits of owning and running your own business and being your own boss.

To round out the remaining six hours to fulfill the 15 required credit hours, students must take two elective courses in their major at the 300 or 400 level that are applied and experiential rather than lecture-based.

“Students from any discipline who are interested in entrepreneurship need some business background to help them understand and be effective in running their own business,” Clelland said. “And, whether it is you as an individual freelancer offering your professional services or running your own small retail business, you need to understand how to make things work.

“Gaining complementary business skills for your major,” he said, “is the appeal of the interdisciplinary entrepreneurship minor.”

Oct 15, 2020
Chad Osborne