E-Myth Founder Michael Gerber to Be Chairman
In its latest step toward a higher profile in higher education, little-known Grand Canyon University (GCU) announced that this January it will open the first College of Entrepreneurship of its kind in the U.S.
The new facility will be the first and only fully accredited college nationwide devoted purely to the study and practice of entrepreneurship, largely online but also on-campus, and will offer a BS in Entrepreneurship. Uniquely, the College Of Entrepreneurship will feature:
A faculty for courses in entrepreneurship composed exclusively of full-time business owners with longstanding, real-world entrepreneurial experience to deliver hands-on guidance to students, who learn by doing, from those who are doers, rather than relying only on textbooks.
* A specially created venture-capital fund from “angel investors,” so far vested with $4.5 million, who offer seed money for students who propose a potentially successful entrepreneurial project.
“We identified a growing need to teach aspiring entrepreneurs as they deserve to be taught — by seasoned entrepreneur-teachers, in a setting rich with the spirit of entrepreneurship,” said Brent Richardson, chief executive officer of Grand Canyon University, himself an entrepreneur credited with both start-ups and turnarounds, including GCU itself.
“Entrepreneurship is, by nature, anything but academic.” Chairman of the new College of Entrepreneurship will be Michael Gerber, founder of E-Myth Worldwide, a privately held online business education provider, and author of the best-selling The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It. “We believe everyone has an inner entrepreneur who needs to be awakened, and that entrepreneurship can definitely be taught,” Gerber said. “That’s why we’re going to incorporate into the curriculum here the same basic tools and principles we’ve applied successfully with several hundred thousand small-business owners worldwide since 1977.”
The College of Entrepreneurship will house several unique enterprises, including an Entrepreneur Factory, a Club Entrepreneur and an E-Lab. “We’re looking to create the only ‘pureblood’ BS in entrepreneurial education, a new gold standard in the field,” said Peter Burns, Entrepreneur- In-Residence and creator of more than 100 successful start-ups, the first, an importer of mopeds from Europe. “All too often, entrepreneurship is poorly taught, with theory trumping practice,” said Burns. Burns originally proposed the initiative to Richardson, who in turn has agreed to invest some $2 million upfront.
The entrepreneurship curriculum will be taught by both adjuncts as well
as the following Advisory Board members (all successful entrepreneurs):
* Diane Graham, Global CEO, Stratco
* Jim Riggs, CEO, Shea Commercial
* Bill Schlegel, CEO, E-Myth Worldwide; founder of Airphone and Zoomerang
* Steve Mariotti, CEO, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship
* Janet Rehnquist, former White House counsel; top healthcare and biotech
* Bob Hisrich, Jamieson Inns co-founder; leading entrepreneurship educator
* Marshall Ralls, Georgetown art gallery owner
As it happens, the private, for-profit GCU is itself a triumph of entrepreneurship, now ranking as one of the nation’s fastest-growing higher education institutions. Riding an ever-expanding wave of interest in online education — its specialty — the university has since 2004 more than doubled its enrollment, both on-campus and online, to 11,000 students.
Its most recent step toward greater prominence was the unveiling of its innovative Ken Blanchard executive MBA program, featured in The Wall Street Journal and on CNN and CNBC.
To obtain information or request an application (deadline for January semester is January 1, 2007), call (877) 860-3956 or log onto http://www.gcu.edu/entrepreneurship.