Supporting enterprising students in their business ventures
Emily Kim, entrepreneurship fellow
Developing a new business venture while attending classes, completing coursework and apprenticing with professional mentors seems like quite a juggling act. But it’s all in a day’s work for the students participating in UB’s Entrepreneurship Fellows program. Combining classroom instruction with hands-on business training, the program continues a UB tradition of providing our students with the academic knowledge, practical skills and innovative methods of thinking they need to succeed in the workforce.
The Entrepreneurship Fellows program, part of the Merrick School of Business’ undergraduate offerings, takes a holistic approach. As the program and its faculty guide students through the steps necessary to launch a new business, the students also develop close partnerships with “gazelles,” expert entrepreneurs who have built prosperous, rapidly growing companies. This approach allows the fellows to refine continuously their ideas about what it means to be successful entrepreneurs and leaders in their industries and communities. What’s more, each student is expected to have launched a new venture on or before graduation.
Developed with the support of the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation, this program exemplifies the type of initiative at the core of the foundation’s mission, co-trustee James D. Wright says. “The foundation was established by the Ratcliffes with the goal of encouraging entrepreneurship and valuing it in all types of business ventures,” he explains.
Wright adds that the foundation hopes to inspire creativity and growth throughout a wide range of professions by sponsoring a new generation of business owners. “UB is one of our most important grants,” he says, “and we are looking forward to seeing the success of the first graduating class of fellows.”