The 2020 Forward Strategic Framework for UW System states upfront: "Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of the business world. Up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the UW System are ready to do their part. Institutions are helping students get the tools and resources they need to transform their innovative ideas and entrepreneurial passion into market-ready products and services."
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” - Peter Drucker
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor is open to students across the UW-Stout campus. Students from the humanities, sciences, mathematics, engineering, and management gain the knowledge and leadership skills to effectively, ethically and strategically commercialize and innovation, start a business, and/or to create/manage internally-innovated projects within companies, and to embrace life and work with an entrepreneurial mindset.
In 2008, the US Kauffman Foundation underscored the importance of entrepreneurship in education saying that it is critical to understanding and succeeding in the contemporary global economy.
Entrepreneurial Financial literacy – students will gain a basic knowledge of personal financial statements development and assessment; cash flow and debt management; asset acquisition; education planning; planning elements of risk management; investment planning; and retirement planning.
Innovation/Problem Solving – students will understand and demonstrate an ability to solve needs and opportunity-based problems while developing scalable customer-focused solutions through learning concepts of design thinking and lean modeling.
Leadership - students will practice leadership skills required in entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial situations through effective and inclusive communication, teamwork, and data-based decision-making. Team formation/hiring in organizations of varying size and scope, dealing with uncertainty and understanding how to balance cross-cultural points of view, accepting counsel, and catalyzing motivation and performance in others.
Procurement and Resource Management – students will explore solutions to problems and new problems through focused testing, learn to understand what makes a problem, product or system a success or failure, test stakeholder/customer value of the prototype, and learn how to access resources both research/data-based and supply-based.
Marketing/Market Research - students will research both narrowly and broadly the data necessary to extract market-related information to make business decisions necessary to reduce risk in product development, marketing and sales and to increase opportunities for financial success.
Regulations/Intellectual Property - students will improve their ability to recognize and manage legal risks in business decision making.
Business Planning – students will gain both understanding and proficiency in writing and describing the potential profitability of a business through market exploration and analysis specific to a proposed idea, product, or service, learning to write a business and/or innovation plan to articulate one’s idea to a diverse range of shareholders, financiers, and employees.
Experiential Activity - in the spirit of the polytechnic, students will be expected to complete a minimum of 2-semesters of entrepreneurial activity in an extra-curricular setting determined in consult with their program directors and approved by the minor advisor. These include working on a venture (not for credit), participating in a student organization such as AMA or ENT, participating in events like 3DS and competitions like WBIT, HATCH, and others.