It is why Clarkson's entrepreneurship curricula have been recognized nationally by Entrepreneur magazine which has consistently rated it among the top programs in the country.
Now, through the newly established Entrepreneurship Center, the University's entrepreneurial education and community outreach programs that help small business owners survive and thrive will expand substantially.
"The Entrepreneurship Center will create an entrepreneurial model where students, entrepreneurs and communities will make a significant impact in regional economies," explains Entrepreneurship Center Director Marc Compeau. "This will be accomplished through an integration of regional outreach, experiential learning opportunities, individual entrepreneurial support and strategic partnerships."
"The goal of the Center is to serve as a national model for enhancing regional economic development by focusing on microenterprises. Additionally, increased hands-on learning opportunities will provide our students with tremendous learning opportunities in marketing, management and finance."
Compeau, who is also the director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the School of Business, has developed a program called My Small Business 101, a four-part business strategy series that he offers free of charge to Northern New York businesses. "Through My Small Business and other outreach programs Clarkson faculty and students have used their expertise to help area small business develop and manage sustainable micro-businesses."
The Entrepreneurship Center will leverage existing resources like My Small Business 101 and develop new opportunities, including additional business training opportunities and funding assistance.
Alumni like David Reh '62 see the tremendous potential for students to gain experience while accumulating knowledge and skills. Reh is owner and president of the New York-based RAYTEC Inc., and serves on the Clarkson School of Business Advisory Council. He is also taking an active role in shaping the Center.
"Clarkson has a long history of producing people who own their own businesses or who are in executive positions with P&L (profit and loss) responsibility," he says. "The Center provides students with a great opportunity to get some real-life entrepreneurial experience and apply the skills they are learning directly to a real-life business."
"Working with local businesses is a great way for students to start practicing for a successful future while meeting the needs of the local community."