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Growing entrepreneurs

MSU offers major, certificate in entrepreneurship

Adam Wowryk, left, a sophomore entrepreneurship major at Minot State University, and Jaylon Flowers, a senior with a double major in business management and entrepreneurship and a minor in marketing, are two of the first students who will graduate with MSU’s new entrepreneurship major.

When it snowed one day, students in a class taught by assistant professor of entrepreneurship Tracey Mays took her “Five Dollar Challenge” and came out winners.

Each group of students received an initial $5 investment and were given one hour to make a profit. Jaylon Flowers’ group purchased an ice scraper and charged money to scrape ice off windshields in a campus parking lot. They returned Mays’ initial investment with interest and came in third in a classroom competition.

“It just gives them an idea of how easy it can be to make money with just a little investment,” said Mays.

Flowers, a senior, is one of the first students at the university who will graduate with the new major in entrepreneurship, which was offered for the first time this fall.

Flowers has a double major in business management and entrepreneurship and a minor in marketing.

Students in the entrepreneurship major are required to take the fundamental business courses, along with 30 credit hours focused on entrepreneurship.

Mays said there are about eight to 10 students so far who have declared the major.

Flowers said his father, who started a business in the oil field, encouraged him to pursue the degree. He has an ambition to launch his own business, which he has already started.

“I want to create my own meal prepping business for the fitness industry,” said Flowers, who is a self-described fitness aficionado. He wants to help people eat healthy.

Adam Wowryk, a sophomore from Winnipeg, Manitoba, said his family owns a grocery warehouse business and the entrepreneurship degree will help him if he one day returns to work in the family business.

But Wowryk also has aspirations to launch his own business, maybe in a warmer part of the United States.

“For some reason, I’ve always wanted to own a sports bar,” said Wowryk.

Mays said students in the program are required to write a business plan and develop a final project that will demonstrate that they know how to start and grow a business.

By the time they graduate, students will have a portfolio of the work they have done that they can show to future investors, loan providers and potential employers.

“They’re kind of well rounded when they get out,” said Mays.

MSU offers a new bachelor of science in entrepreneurship and a certificate in entrepreneurship.

Mays said the classes are not only for people who want to start their own business. Graduates will also be prepared to manage a small business and to practice entrepreneurship in a corporate setting, such as developing creative, innovative ideas and taking ideas in a new direction. Big companies like Google, Amazon and Uber are always on the lookout for new innovations.

Mays said the entrepreneurship major will help recruit students to Minot State.

The degree programs will work with the Severson Entrepreneurship Academy, created in 2010 as a result of a milestone gift to Minot State by Clint Severson and Conni Ahart, according to a press release from Minot State.

MSU’s College of Business also includes the new Slaaten Learning Center, which features a financial trading lab with a stock ticker board, a corporate-style board room with video-conference equipment, a student study lounge and a meeting room for student organizations and groups.

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