'Entrepreneurship as Advocacy' concentration added to ENTI minor

Anna Thoet
April 12, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The “Entrepreneurship as Advocacy” concentration is the newest addition to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) minor. 

Chris Spielvogel, senior lecturer in communication arts and sciences at Penn State, developed the idea for the concentration and implemented the program. During his fellowship with the Kauffman Foundation, Spielvogel learned that entrepreneurs and liberal arts scholars share similar traits based upon effective communication, analytical and critical thinking, and the ability to form coalitions “to understand, challenge and transform the limits of conventional systems and practice.” 

Spielvogel brought his experience with him to Penn State to create the “Entrepreneurship as Advocacy” cluster.

The “Entrepreneurship as Advocacy” concentration is a nine-credit cluster that allows students to utilize entrepreneurship in applicable ways to their area of study. Students must complete a core set of three required courses in management, engineering and IST in the ENTI minor before pursuing one of the nine clusters. These clusters include concentrations in agricultural sciences, business, communications, engineering, IST, health and human development, arts and architecture, and the liberal arts. The College of the Liberal Arts offers the “Entrepreneurship as Advocacy” cluster; however, students of all majors are encouraged to pursue a concentration in any of the fields of study for the ENTI minor.

Last spring, the College of the Liberal Arts launched LA 202 Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Liberal Arts. Students enrolled in LA 202 had six weeks to prepare a Business Model Canvas. Students then created an investment pitch for a campus-wide competition. Spielvogel found that students become more engaged in the course when it is “as realistic as possible.” Therefore, he teaches entrepreneurship “as a process that anyone can learn, assuming they are willing to experiment, be creative, passionate, and not afraid to be persistent in the face of mistakes and setbacks.”

Students enrolled in the “Entrepreneurship as Advocacy” concentration within the ENTI minor will become “heavily involved in the ‘Learn Startup’ process,” Spielvogel said. Participants in the concentration will solve a problem by creating a successful startup. Students will have the opportunity to engage with individuals outside the classroom in order to validate their hypotheses for the startup. Spielvogel sees entrepreneurship as “a way for creative people to find new and exciting solutions to vexing problems.”

The “Entrepreneurship as Advocacy” concentration will prepare scholars to imagine innovations and create ventures that will ultimately improve the human condition and enhance public life. Entrepreneurship will help liberal arts students capitalize on their education by extending the value of it.

As of right now, the “Entrepreneurship as Advocacy” cluster is only available for University Park students. By the spring of 2019, the goal is to bring the concentration to Commonwealth Campuses. 

To learn more about the concentration, visit http://enti.psu.edu/entrepreneurship_as_advocacy.html.

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Last Updated April 12, 2019