News

Workshops, internships and student recruiting under way for entrepreneurship minor

Jan. 22, 2010

Chapel Hill, N.C. — Workshop courses for UNC's undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship kicked off in January with 90 students participating in four tracks, based on their areas of interest, and new faculty entrepreneurs leading the arts and commercial entrepreneurship tracks.

Mark Katz, associate professor of ethnomusicology, and entrepreneur Ken Weiss co-teach this year's workshops in art entrepreneurship. They succeed Francesca Talenti, associate professor of communications studies, and Emil Kang, UNC's Executive Director for the Arts, who developed and co-taught the track in past years.

Economics professor John Stewart, who directs the minor, co-teaches the commercial track, joined this year by entrepreneurs Alex Dickey and Mike Munsch. The social track is led again this year by James H. Johnson Jr., director of the Kenan Institute's Urban Investment Strategies Center, and Kevin Fitzgerald, executive associate dean for finance and administration at the School of Medicine. Returning again to teach the scientific track are Joe DeSimone, professor of chemistry and pharmacology and founder of Liquidia, and entrepreneur and alumnus Lowry Caudill.

"The minor has been extremely fortunate to be able to staff our workshop course with such great people," says Stewart. "I think the students benefit greatly from being able to interact with experienced entrepreneurs and professors."

Completion of a workshop in one of the tracks is the third requirement for entrepreneurship minors, following completion of a prerequisite, Econ 101, Principles of Economics, and of Econ 325, Introduction to Entrepreneurship. After the workshop, students in the minor are required to complete a summer internship which provides them with real-life entrepreneurial experience.

Internship Director Elizabeth Basnight says many students have already secured internships for the summer. Information and support sessions are being provided this month to help students still searching.

Enrollment for next year's minor program is also well under way.

"We encourage students to apply as soon as possible, as spaces are filling up quickly," Basnight says. A new, student-led marketing committee has been formed that will be launching a "get out the application" campaign this spring. The form to request permission to register for the minor is available at www.unceminor.org.

The entrepreneurship minor is a signature program of the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative offered by the department of economics for non-business majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. The minor is designed to complement students' major course of study with an understanding of what it takes to launch for-profit and nonprofit enterprises.

For more information on the minor and internship opportunities for companies and students, visit www.unceminor.org or contact Basnight at (919) 843-8824 or elizabeth.basnight@unc.edu.