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The Millikin Difference

Entrepreneurs want to solve problems.  Whether they are launching a new product or service, innovating a process for an existing company, or creating a social impact venture to make the world a better place, they're driven, self-motivated, and resilient.

27% of students are involved in entrepreneurship coursework each year on Millikin's campus.  The entrepreneurship major could be for you if:

  • You're part of a growing number of students who want to run their own businesses.
  • You want to be a freelance professional in charge of your own career.
  • You want to lead innovative projects within an existing organization.

Performance Learning

Entrepreneurship is a discipline that is best learned through practice and iteration.  Taking risks, failing, reflecting, and trying again are at the core of both entrepreneurship and Millikin's commitment to Performance Learning.  Entrepreneurship students learn by developing feasibility plans, running market tests, pitching ideas, launching micro-ventures, and managing student-run ventures.

All students start their own micro-venture, either in a small team or independently.  It may not be the business you will run your whole life, but you will experience what it takes to launch a program in a short period of time.

Student-run Ventures

Student-run ventures are credit-bearing classes in which students practice entrepreneurial skills within different industries.

  • Arts Cafe Music & Performance Venue
  • Big Blue Personal Training
  • Blue Connection Retail Art Gallery
  • Blue Satellite Press Printing Press
  • Bronze Man Books Publishing Company
  • Carriage House Fine Arts Press
  • Clio Consulting Museum Consulting Services
  • First Step Records Music Label
  • Ignite Studios Ad Agency & Graphic Design Firm
  • Millikin Audio Recording Studio (MARS)
  • Music Industry Studies Tour Company (MIST)
  • MU Performance Consulting (MUPC)
  • Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre

Program Options

Entrepreneurship Major

  • Pursue a rigorous and diverse Bachelor of Science.
  • Explore the skills needed to excel in strategy and product development.
  • Build skills for creating and articulating possible solutions to challenges.
  • Build a team to launch a business.

Entrepreneurship Minor (for non-business majors)

  • Develop an entrepreneurial mindset and learn business basics.
  • Create a portfolio to strategically position yourself for any opportunity.
  • Whether you are a sculptor, dentist, or architect, learn what it takes to own your career.

Certificate Options

Interested in entrepreneurship but not sure how to fit it into your schedule? Check out our two undergraduate certificate programs.

  • Arts entrepreneurship: Learn about essential startup tools and the art of pitching business ideas. Start your own micro-venture and manage a student-run venture with a team of diverse students. Most students reflect that they learn valuable insights about themselves and gain tremendous confidence throughout this process. This certificate is compatible with studio art, music, dance, theatre, English, and many other majors.
  • Entrepreneurship: Learn about opportunity recognition, innovation tools, and problem-solving techniques through your work with student-run ventures and innovation challenges. This certificate is well-suited for students majoring in science, nursing, pre-professional programs, information systems, and other business majors.

Competitions & Scholarships

Although Millikin's various business pitch competitions are open to all students regardless of major, entrepreneurship students have traditionally performed very well.  Over the past three years, teams have won over $25,000 in seed capital.

Millikin's commitment to entrepreneurship starts in your freshman year with the annual Freshman Business Plan Competition, in which the awards are travel vouchers.  Entrepreneurship majors may be eligible for a selection of scholarships.

Career Opportunities

Some entrepreneurship graduates initially work for companies and organizations directly or through contracts as they build a unique portfolio of experiences, networks, and achievements.  Students planning to take over a family business may choose an entrepreneurship major to stay on top of innovative practices.

Entrepreneurs often gauge their careers by what value they have created for their clients, what opportunities they have captured, and what impact they have made on the world around them.  Our economy is driven by small business owners!

$48,851 Average starting salary for graduates

*National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2018

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Departmental Course Offerings

Courses change each semester, so this list should not be considered a commitment to these individual topics. However, this does represent a list of many of our current and popular courses. The list is provided so that you can begin to imagine your academic career at Millikin in this major.

Entrepreneurship Course List

Entrepreneurship 8-Semester Plan

ET100. Business Creation Designed to provide students with a basic understanding of business, this course stresses personal and professional development and is built around the introduction and integration of the various business functions. Concepts such as teams, leadership, ethics, professionalism, and communications are explored through a team-designed written business plan and professional presentation. This course must be co-horted with ET111, Team Dynamics. (3 credits)
ET111. Team Dynamics A hands-on course designed to prepare students for the world of teams. Focus is to develop students' understanding of team dynamics including team development, member roles, leadership, norm development, role of conflict and diversity in teams, delegation of authority, and team management, This course must be co-horted with ET100, Business Creation. (1 credit)
ET230. Financial Decision Making This course takes a look at the ways that entrepreneurs need to understand the finance and accounting principles behind the decisions that they make with regards to funding, launching, and operating a venture. This course is a practical look at solving key problems like calculating break-even point, reading and understanding financial statements and their components, and identifying, analyzing, and utilizing contemporary ways of financing startups. (3 credits)
ET235. Customer Discovery This course will apply design thinking and the lean startup process to understand customer needs and pains and validate the aforementioned through market experimentation. Students will learn to create a hypothesis of customer needs, identify customer segments, perform customer interviews in various contexts, conduct validation experiments, and analyze feedback. Pre-requisites: ET100 & ET111, or consent of instructor. (3 credits)
ET260. Designing Your Life This 1 credit hour course will provide students with the opportunity to explore their values, talents and passions, and design three possible life plans for themselves based on these things. This course is designed to help students embrace creation and leadership as life-long activities by both direct and indirect means. This class explores how each of us is capable of creating the future, by founding a business, steering and developing an artistic or scientific career, creating and utilizing new networks, and more. Students will use self-analysis, observations, readings and discussions to develop possible life plans. (1 credit)
ET310. Social Entrepreneurship This course module will examine how social entrepreneurship balances moral imperatives and profit motives while addressing social problems or needs that are unmet by private markets or governments. (1 credit)
ET320. Funding New Ventures This course module will cover how to determine the initial capital requirements, capital needs, and the planning of future capital requirements for business startups. Raising the needed capital for a startup is ultimately up to the entrepreneur so this course will also cover the sources of funding, how to find them, how to relate to them, and how each funding source impacts the business and the entrepreneur. (1 credit)
ET330. Corporate Entrepreneurship This course module is about investigating and understanding the frameworks of corporate entrepreneurship as a strategy for business renewal and capturing value in the marketplace by creating an innovative and entrepreneurial culture. Students will gain an understanding of the nature of entrepreneurship as a catalyst for change through innovation. (1 credit)
ET333. Global Social Entrepreneurship This course will examine social entrepreneurship on a global scale, addressing social problems and needs that are unmet by private markets or governments. Students will develop social value propositions, articulate pros and cons of various funding options, and assess unique governance, transparency and legal needs of social enterprises. Students will also apply knowledge by consulting with global social enterprise firms and microfinance funds. Pre-requisites: ET340 or TH323 or IN350. (3 credits)
ET340. Foundations of Entrepreneurship This course will provide students with the understanding of the entrepreneurship process: Recognize opportunity, identify target market, convert idea to concept, determine and acquire resources, implement and lead the organization, and harvest and exit. Searching for a valid business model, students will take their business idea through the process and create a feasibility study and operating plan. Students will also acquire an understanding of business ethics and social responsibility in business creation. Pre-requisite: AC230 or AC210. (3 credits)
ET360. Special Topics in Entrepreneurship This course provides either an in-depth study of a particular topic or broad view of several topics of current interest in the entrepreneurship area. The course incorporates relevant experiential learning activities such as case and field trips where appropriate. (1-3 credits)
ET380. The Art of Entrepreneurship The course provides students with the full range of practical application of entrepreneurial theories behind new venture creation. Students will ideate, pitch, fund, launch, and harvest a micro-venture of their own imagination and/or passion. The course focuses on understanding the process of creativity and opportunity recognition and introduces students to the risks and rewards of ownership through a venture of their own design. The course engages in new venture creation, customer empathy, sales and income generation, and documentation. Finally, students keep the profits from their venture, and some students choose to continue their venture following the course. (3 credits)
ET381, 382. Entrepreneurship Practicum All entrepreneurship students are required to take at least 3 credits of ET382,382 Entrepreneurship Practicum, during which the research, validate and launch an entrepreneurial venture of their own interest and passion with guidance from a faculty advisor. Students must present their venture to third party stakeholders at business plan competitions, to a panel of judges, or at a public event.

Practicum experiences can take time to develop. Students may begin their practicum with 1 credit as a junior, but cannot complete it until they are a senior. Pre-requisites: Junior standing, ET340. (1-3 credits)
ET383. Innovation Lab This course will provide innovators with the frameworks to innovate within their discipline(s), define and understand customer markets, research opportunities, develop a prototype.  The course focuses on understanding the process of creativity regardless of discipline and from idea through prototype, and introduces students to the meaning and implications of innovation.   This is primarily a Performance Learning course with measurable objectives and activities.  Prerequisites: ET340 and ET380, ET390, or approved Student-Run Venture Experience. (3 credits)
ET390. Blue Connection Students enrolled in ET390 are the Gallery Team of Blue Connection, Millikin's student-run retail art gallery. The Gallery Team meets weekly to establish goals for management, inventory, marketing, collaboration, and finance. They set timelines and execute plans in addition to presenting reports to faculty and advisory boards. Emphasis is placed on strategic planning, opportunity recognition, and ownership. (1-3 credits)
ET391. Blue Brew Students enrolled in ET391 comprise the operations, management, finance, and development teams of Blue Brew, Millikin’s student-run coffee shop.  The teams meet weekly to establish goals for management, inventory, marketing, finance and more.  They set timelines and execute plans in addition to presenting reports to faculty, partners and advisory boards.  Emphasis is placed on strategic planning, opportunity recognition, ownership, and community partnership. (1-3 credits)
ET400. Small Business Consulting Designed to help students integrate previously studied business disciplines by consulting with firms seeking management assistance. Students work in teams to apply theoretical knowledge to the solution of real business problems. Pre-requisites: Senior standing and consent of instructor. (3 credits)
ET470, 471. Entrepreneurial Internship A cooperative course between the University and selected businesses to develop further professional training of entrepreneurship majors. Combination of work experience and written reports. Pre-requisites: ET340 and consent of internship coordinator. (1-3 credits)