The Minor in Entrepreneurship helps any non-Busch school students at The Catholic University of America apply entrepreneurship theory, discipline, and principles to real-world challenges and opportunities. Entrepreneurship is often equated to starting new businesses, but you needn't want to own a business to benefit from the program. In any field of study, entrepreneurial skills help individuals move from ideas to impact: seizing possibilities, solving problems, transforming communities large or small — and making a transformative difference in your field.
At the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship, we see entrepreneurship as a reflection of the nature of the human person who is made in the image of God: the human person is co-creator, both inside and outside of the business realm. We hold an integral vision of entrepreneurship, one that centers on the human person as the source of social change in the world.
"Principled Entrepreneurship" serves the integral development of the human person and is a key building block of a free and virtuous society. Whether your dream is serving others through business innovation, reducing illiteracy, spurring economic development in poor communities, or putting your gifts and career at the service of your family and community, a foundation in entrepreneurship complements your passion and learning with valuable tools that will help you “think like an owner” and be the change you wish to see in the world.
To earn a minor in Entrepreneurship, undergraduate students must take six courses, for a total of eighteen credits, including the four required courses listed below and two electives. The required courses include one course on business and entrepreneurship (ENT 118), one course focusing on the essence of entrepreneurship, that is, on theory and empirical evidence (ENT 372); and two other courses that dive deep into case studies and practice (ENT 455 and 472). Students must also choose two electives.
ENT 118: The Vocation of Business (Prof. Widmer)This course is designed for students who are undecided or haven¿t discovered their passion yet. It is for those interested in discerning in what direction to take their life. You will learn how to find what you want out of life, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how you can apply them to your career. What do I have to offer to the world? How do I find my professional vocation? How do I decide what major to choose? How do I decide on a career? How is business a force for good? How do I start a business? How do I use a computer for business? We will explore these and many other questions through lectures, lab classes, and various projects.
ENT 372: Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital (Dr. Sautet)Interested in knowing more about the source of development and growth? Why advertising and marketing are crucial to the functioning of the marketplace? Or the role of venture capital and angel investing in the future of the US economy? This course provides the tools to understand the phenomenon of entrepreneurship in all its facets, including in the marketplace and in non-profit settings. All students including those with finance, marketing or management major will gain a strong understanding of entrepreneurship. Topics include entrepreneurship and the organization, culture, psychology, institutions, public policy, politics, strategic entrepreneurship, Catholic Social Teaching and ethics. Lecture and discussion format around assigned readings. One final presentation. No quiz. Also see Enrollment Requirements.
ENT 455: Small Business Growth Lab (Prof. Hernandez)
ENT 455 will provide a comprehensive overview of the small business landscape in Washington, DC through a sustained a focus on student projects and experiential learning. Students will fully engage with the local small business community by participating in the Inner City Capital Connections Program, serving as small-scale project managers, and addressing Living Case Studies as appropriate.
By the mid-point in the semester, students will have gained the content, context, and connections to become active participants in the local small business ecosystem. Students who choose to continue with ENT 456 in the Spring will be well prepared to engage more deeply in project work as a result of their experience in 455 during the Fall.
ENT 472: Principled Entrepreneurship (Prof. Widmer)Formerly MGT 472. Learn how to create good profit through principled entrepreneurship. We will explore entrepreneurship theories like Market Based Management (MBM), Long-Term Sustainable Value Creation (LTSVC), The Business Model Canvas and The Lean Startup. The class is based on the case method and will involve several class projects but no exams or other tests. During the course of the semester, students will meet successful entrepreneurs and have a chance to interact with them to learn about what they found useful during their careers.
Electives (Choose Two)
ENT 360: Approaches to the Human Person – Business and Entrepreneurial Perspectives (Drs. Shaw and McNerney)An in-depth study of the human person and what it really means to say that “the person is at the center of business.” This course will debut in the spring 2021 semester and is being developed by Rev. John McNerney (the Busch School’s first Distinguished Novak Visiting Scholar) and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Novak’s longtime research assistant and collaborator). The course takes its inspiration from the work of Novak and other figures in the Judeo-Christian intellectual tradition in order to develop a framework for understanding how the elements of business theory and practice are ordered well in light of the truth about the human person. This course makes the human person its direct, explicit theme, giving students the opportunity to engage in a focused inquiry into human nature, the natural human orientation toward the divine, and the practical implications in the realm of economic life. Key Novak texts that we will draw from include Free Persons and the Common Good (1989), Business as a Calling (1996), The Fire of Invention (1997), and On Cultivating Liberty (1999).
ENT 476: The Spirit of Entrepreneurial Capitalism (Dr. Sautet)This course looks at one of the most important issues to understand the reality of the social world: why and how entrepreneurship has been the driving force behind the rise of civilization. It is a course on the political economy of entrepreneurial capitalism. The economic history of the West can be interpreted as a history of the spirit of entrepreneurial capitalism. That history is one of: (a) public and private institutions that enabled production and trade, (b) entrepreneurs and business organizations, and (c) an ecology which includes Christianity and its culture of dignity, virtues, and excellence, as well as other mechanisms enabling reciprocity and the respect of promises made. This course analyzes the history of entrepreneurial capitalism emphasizing these three intertwined aspects.
ENT 494: Independent Study – Developing One's Own Entrepreneurial Project (Prof. Walsh)Develop your own entrepreneurial project with Professor W. Brian Walsh.
ENT/ENGR 420: Social Innovation Startups I (can be taken alone or with ENT/ENGR 421)This course will provide students with a framework for identification of socially relevant problems, and for the creation of sustainable and scalable solutions to those problems. This is an intensive, project-based course with small, multi-disciplinary teams. Teams will conceive, develop and test creative technological solutions to real-world problems. The course will introduce students to Design Thinking, and make use of the Lean Launchpad curriculum, including use of the business model canvas, customer development and agile engineering. Teams will be given a toolkit for innovation and exposed to a wide range of frameworks for managing and driving innovation.
ENT/ENGR 421: Social Innovation Startups IIThis course will provide students with a framework for identification of socially relevant problems, and for the creation of sustainable and scalable solutions to those problems. This is an intensive, project-based course with small, multi-disciplinary teams. Teams will conceive, develop and test creative technological solutions to real-world problems. The course will introduce students to Design Thinking, and make use of the Lean Launchpad curriculum, including use of the business model canvas, customer development and agile engineering. Teams will be given a toolkit for innovation and exposed to a wide range of frameworks for managing and driving innovation.
Students must also complete the core university requirements, specific to their major, in order to complete their degree. Business students are required to complete courses which include: philosophy, theology, humanities, literature, writing and composition, and free electives.