John Brown University in Siloam Springs will now offer a minor degree in entrepreneurship, according to a press release sent out on Friday.
Students across all disciplines can try for the minor, which requires classes on venture financial management, building innovative teams and culture, market discovery and validation.
Enrollment for the minor starts fall 2016, and the university introduced the degree at an event on Dec. 1.
Sarah Hartwick, founder of New Hampshire-based SURFSET Fitness Inc., spoke at the event.
Hartwick, who previously appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a reality competition television show where entrepreneurs pitch business plans to a panel of investors, gave tips to the students and shared about her journey from a $5,000 investment to a multimillion-dollar business, according to the press release.
“Our students place enormous emphasis on the disciplined, iterative process of identifying and solving a worthwhile problem,” Clayton Anderson, instructor of business, said in the press release, “and this minor will train them to create viable solutions to problems through their own startups or innovative work in established companies.”
Citing Barna research from 2014, Anderson said, Millennials more than any other generation want to be their own boss.
According to the press release, JBU has established an entrepreneurial culture and has shown excellence in entrepreneurial innovation, placing third in the 2015 U.S. Enactus National Exposition, a competition that based on the positive social impact of an entrepreneurial project.
In that competition, a JBU team competed against about 500 other university programs.
Student business teams have consistently finished in the top-three places in the Donald W. Reynold’s Governor’s Cup Business Plan Competition and have won the Tri-State Competition three times in the past six years, according to the school.