Shape Your Future through Entrepreneurship

by Sofia Tokar

Are you ready to start a business? If so, do you know how? These and other questions were posed to students and alumni at a recent workshop sponsored by Nazareth College’s new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) in collaboration with the Offices of Alumni Relations and Career Services.

The center was established by the School of Management last fall to prepare students to take control of their economic futures in a world with a growing number of self-employed workers. In fact, a 2012 U.S. News & World Report article reported that “more than half of the private workforce will work for themselves by 2020.” Such a workforce will require an education that provides entrepreneurial skills and values.

The School of Management has long prided itself on offering just such educational programs. Establishing the CEI, therefore, was a logical step. The center is a place where Nazareth’s students, alumni, faculty, and staff can find support to develop their ideas into new ventures.

“We help students and alumni to gain more control over their economic future by developing the ability to create opportunities in the marketplace for themselves and others,” says Gerard Zappia ’89G, dean of the School of Management and director of the CEI. Gone are the days of working for one company for 40 years and then retiring; today’s workforce must be more flexible and creative.

“That’s why the center is for more than just entrepreneurship—it’s also a place meant to inspire and guide innovation and creativity while teaching and encouraging people to think differently,” explains Zappia.

To that end, the SOM plans to expand its offerings of academic courses for undergraduate and graduate programs (for example, courses on social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship for non-business majors), and the CEI will complement those courses with lectures by alumni entrepreneurs and leaders in their fields, and workshops that connect alumni and students. By 2015, the center also aims to hire an entrepreneur-in-residence to lead the center and its initiatives.

Zappia stresses that although the CEI is under the SOM umbrella, its benefits extend to all students and alumni, regardless of major. At the recent workshop, two alumni shared their stories of starting and managing a business: Louise McAfee ’00, an accounting major, is a certified public accountant and owner of McAfee Associates; and Nick Woyciesjes ’97, graphic design major, is a managing partner at Mirus Group, a marketing communications firm.

“Louise and Nick,” says Zappia, “are two great and inspiring examples of the many Nazareth alumni who have taken control of their careers through business ownership. The CEI wants to support all Nazareth students and alumni with an entrepreneurial spirit to do so as well.”

Sofia Tokar is the assistant editor in Nazareth's marketing department.

entrepreneurship presentation

Future entrepreneurs received real-world advice at a workshop co-sponsored by the School of Management’s new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

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