Creating Entrepreneurs – Higher Education

In the state of Indiana all public and most private institutions of higher learning offer programs in entrepreneurship with a notable exception of Indiana State University. To remain relevant in the competitive world of post-secondary education, ISU must provide an interdisciplinary program to expand experiential learning opportunities and to contribute to the economic growth of the State. A new undergraduate entrepreneurship program for Indiana State University will have a unique focus on rural entrepreneurship for agricultural and non-agricultural enterprises.

A faculty committee comprised of representatives from each of the five colleges at Indiana State University will be responsible for developing the curriculum. The faculty committee will begin meeting in November of 2012. To launch the discussion, a case study video of Adam Moody, a rural entrepreneur working with a team from the Agency for Instructional Technology (AIT) on the development of the entrepreneurship simulation game, will be viewed by the committee and a face-to-face discussion between the committee and Mr. Moody will be scheduled.

In addition to the case study video, the Committee will have the opportunity to review the results of RUEDI’s statewide survey conducted in cooperation with Indiana Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers Program, Purdue’s Market Maker membership, local chambers of commerce, and the Small Business Development Center. The survey, which will have final results available in December 2012, asked entrepreneurs what they needed to start and grow a business in a rural economy.

To view a sample of the statewide survey, click here.

Based on input from the survey and the case study, the Committee will be able to design relevant courses to be offered as part of the certificate/minor program by spring semester 2013. RUEDI intends for the program to be approved by the University and sent to the State by fall of 2013 and recruitment for the certificate/minor program to begin in the fall of 2014.

RUEDI will continue to collect data on rural entrepreneurs and business managers in small towns. In 2013, RUEDI will work with the ISU Foundation and the Survey Research Lab (SRL) to identify and survey ISU alumni who have started rural businesses. As awareness of RUEDI’s activities build among the alumni, possible mentors and contributors to a scholarship program will be groomed for additional interaction with the student body.