Think like an entrepreneur

Author: Carol Elliott

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“Entrepreneurship” traditionally equates to startups in the minds of many. But with the rapid advancements in technology and rise of the global economy, the word is taking on a broader meaning: New.

New thinking, new solutions, new approaches to doing business that will shape global developments and change lives for the better.

And entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly critical components of an MBA program.

The University of Notre Dame MBA was recognized for its curriculum developments in these areas by Inc. Magazine, which just released its listing of the “15 of the Most Innovative MBA Programs” in the nation.

The list presents the top b-schools that “understand the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation through courses that can take students across the world and deliver critical thinking skills,” according to the Sept. 25 article.

Notre Dame MBA at the Mendoza College of Business is noted because the program “embraces strategic creativity and encourages disruption by working with entrepreneurs and nonprofits.”

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“We recognize that our students are ambitious and truly want to have a large impact on the world,” said Mary Goss, senior director of Graduate Business Programs. “It’s become increasingly vital that we provide them with a toolkit that includes entrepreneurship, innovation and design thinking so that they are prepared to take on the challenges of the global marketplace.”

Notre Dame MBA students have a broad array of resources available to support for-profit and social entrepreneurship and innovative thinking. The program offers a concentration track in “Innovation & Entrepreneurship” that includes experiential learning opportunities, such as Early Seed Stage Investing, Venture Capital Fundamentals, Social Innovation and more.

Through the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College, students can participate in the McCloskey Business Plan Competition, a year-long event culminating in a final live competition in the spring that awards more than $300,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. The Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference also is an annual event that focuses on social ventures, gathering entrepreneurs and experts from across the globe to share ideas and experience in launching and operating ventures that have a social impact.

Students also can engage with Notre Dame alumni through the Irish Entrepreneurs Network, which is comprised of hundreds of alumni and friends who are experienced in entrepreneurial endeavors and interested in supporting new venture development.  IrishAngels, another alumni group, is an angel investing group dedicated to furthering startup growth through early stage investments in which a founder, board member or active investor is a Notre Dame student, graduate, parent or faculty member. 

In addition, the Mendoza College of Business partners extensively with entrepreneurial groups both internal and external to the University, such as the Irish Entrepreneurs Network, the Center for Sustainable Energy Center for Nano Science and Technology, the Harper Cancer Research Institute, Innovation Park and the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development, among others.