Spanish for Professional Purposes...

...for teachers and students who see the need for Spanish language and Hispanic cultures knowledge in professional contexts.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Entrepreneurship Education Gains Traction

On December 30, 2010, NPR did a story about the entrepreneurship education program at the University of Maryland: Change You Can Invest In: Social Entrepreneurship : NPR College Park was the obvious choice because it is so close to NPR in Washington, DC, but they could have done that story at any number of universities across the country.  

For example, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was awarded a Kauffman Foundation grant--the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative--to develop and launch entrepreneurial programs across campus.  On such initiative is the minor in entrepreneurship in the College of Arts & Sciences, housed in the Department of Economics.  

The Spanish program got involved in the fall of 2008 by partnering with the innovative First Year Seminar program to launch a course entitled Spanish & Entrepreneurship: Language, Cultures and North Carolina Communities. That was followed in 2010 with an entrepreneurship seminar taught entirely in Spanish entitled Venture Creation in the Spanish-speaking World

Both courses are works in progress that continue to evolve each semester.  

In the First Year Seminar, students study the basic concepts of entrepreneurship such as missions, innovation, resource gathering, accountability, and risk management. In class, those concepts are examined in cases from Latino enterprises throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Finally, students apply what they have learned to the real-world circumstances they encounter through their community service-learning placements.  

The venture creation course is a workshop course in which students study the process of business planning and develop a competition-level business plan related to their community service-learning projects.  At the same time, students develop their Spanish language and Hispanic cultures skills through the analysis of cases of sustainable development in Latin America, all of which introduce basic business concepts in Spanish.

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