What is Meant by Entrepreneurship? One Way of Finding Out
Learn how Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City worked to create a common definition of entrepreneurship after establishing a Department of Entrepreneurship. The goal was a unified, district-wide definition that would encompass all academic, non-credit, and programmatic activity. We will walk through the process and surprise you with the results!
Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City created a Department of Entrepreneurship, but never considered how any of their 42,000 students or 1300 faculty and staff would define entrepreneurship. The problem quickly appeared that if everyone was defining entrepreneurship differently, then the program itself takes on over 43,000 different definitions. Now try gathering resources and unifying a diverse campus, not to mention reaching out to the greater community. To begin unifying the campus around a single definition, focus groups were conducted with students, faculty, staff, and administration for each of MCC’s five campuses. A qualitative analysis was then done for each group and between groups. The result reflected MCC’s diversity of students and employees, but also created a common ground upon which to start building how MCC would view entrepreneurship. From this common foundation, MCC has worked, and continues to work, to instill a common definition of entrepreneurship throughout the MCC community and to our external audiences as well, even as MCC continues to build an entrepreneurship program.
The session will present how the data was gathered, traditional and historical definitions of entrepreneurship, and what conclusions MCC finally reached and how they reached them. Presenters will engage the audience in defining entrepreneurship for themselves, sharing these definitions in some manner to (hopefully) prove that even at a professional gathering, there is not a single definition. The attendees can then use this to support that such a situation is ripe for discussion, debate and exchange which should thrive in any academic institution.
Todd D. Mick, Ph.D., Director of Entrepreneurship, Metropolitan Community College, MO
Michael Harris, Ph.D., Assist Prof of Entrepreneurship, East Carolina University, NC