Priorities:Marshall University Student Priorities
Strategy #1: Introducing Entrepreneurship to Everyone
At Marshall University, First Year Seminar is a required class that every student must take, normally in their first semester. This is a critical thinking course designed to teach lifelong learning through critical, integrative, intercultural, inquiry based, and metacognitive thinking. The goal of this class is to start practicing using the tools and skills that any college graduate will need in work and life.
Many students believe that if they are business majors, they do not need to be introduced to Entrepreneurship or Innovation. Our first strategy is to include Design Thinking into every First Year Seminar. Therefore, every single student can use innovation and entrepreneurship in their everyday life, regardless of their major. This can lead to students focusing on the impact and as a result, making a difference in the community.
Strategy #2 Pre-seed Funding for Entreprenurial Students
Marshall University’s Entrepreneurship program focuses on innovative solutions for big problems. Our university successfully inspires creativity and innovation in entrepreneurial students, yet students struggle with finding financial funding to begin their startup. Our second strategy is called Startup Marshall, which is a way for Entrepreneurship students to create their own pre-seed fund and grow their funds through alumni donations.
Startup Marshall is an optional program for Entrepreneurship students. Each semester, students who opt-in the program, are accessed a $250 fee each semester. This fee funds into an account that the entrepreneurship major can use for the development of their startup during college and after they graduate. By opening an account, alumni can view a student’s profile. The profile indicates the student’s major, passions, skills, and interests. Alumni can then donate to student accounts. This strategy is an effort to increase the startup culture at Marshall University and ensure that students have the funds to start their own businesses.
Kelly Leonard will lead this project but will need the assistance of fellow students, McKenna Sunderland and Annika Benke.
Strategy #3' Increasing accesiblity to iCenter
Marshall University has an entrepreneurship major and minor that only business students can access. Entrepreneurial students, whether they be engineers, designers, manufacturers, do not have access to I&E mentoring and coaching. To help bridge this gap, Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business opened the iCenter. The iCenter is an innovation center that any student or community member can receive design thinking workshops and help with their startup.
Currently, the iCenter is renovating spaces in the business hall. The iCenter, however, does not have open office hours for those seeking help with their businesses. Our priority is to open visiting hours and create ways to make the iCenter accessible for everyone. We want to create online workshops so students and community members can access them at any time.
Strategy #4 Small Business Crawl
All great ideas start with a spark. While Marshall University is beginning to get the resources that it needs to allow students to pursue these ideas, we must also provide the inspiration. Entrepreneurs come from a variety of different backgrounds, and we want to encourage all of Marshall’s students, regardless of their major, to incorporate entrepreneurship into their lives, too!
Our fourth strategy, the Small Business Crawl, invites students to spend the evening visiting several different local small businesses. At each visit, they will learn the story of how the business began, challenges that they’ve faced, and ways that they’ve solved problems. Not only will this help to spark students’ imaginations, it will also help to provide them with contacts in the community that they can reach out to should they need assistance. In this way, we can work to create more local businesses in our area, and further both intellectual and economic growth.
Marshall University Student Priorities