Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program

photoThe Entrepreneurship and Business Development (EBD) Program is the second fastest growing undergraduate major in the Cameron School of Business. From its formal launch in 2005 the program has built a strong reputation in the academic arena.

Under the leadership of Steve Harper, the Progress Energy/Betty Cameron Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, the program incorporates practical teaching approaches complemented by a number of initiatives to give students exposure to entrepreneurs and “real-world” business situations. The information below highlights the program and offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to get involved with students and as speakers. The EBD Program is comprised of the following required courses plus two electives from a specific pool of electives:

Unique Opportunities

Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable: This luncheon series provides twelve students with the opportunity to interact in an informal environment with area entrepreneurs. The series has played host to Jeannette King, Herbert Fisher and Richard Johnson to name a few and offers a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet top students and share stories and knowledge.

Guest Speakers: All of the entrepreneurship courses and faculty host entrepreneurs as guest speakers in the classroom to share their experiences, lessons learned, and stories with students.

Shadow Project: Students in the EBD 480 course must complete a shadow project. This involves students spending time or “shadowing” entrepreneurs for 4-8 hours on site to learn about the day to day challenges and tasks associated with growing a business.

Resident Entrepreneur program: This program invites an entrepreneur to be in residence as a mentor, guest speaker and resource for EBD students and faculty over a semester or academic year. Richard Johnson – founder of HotJobs was the first Resident Entrepreneur. Brett Martin – founder of Castle Branch is currently serving as the Resident Entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship Faculty:

Faculty involved in the entrepreneurship program have extensive entrepreneurship experience. They have also taught at various foreign universities and written numerous books and articles.

Student Internships: Internships are an important component the EBD program. They offer students practical experiences that cannot be taught in the classroom. They also offer companies the opportunity to have an energetic, creative, committed student working in their business. Companies that have hosted internships include: Wilmington Investor Network (WIN), Castle Branch, SpecialtySoft, and Elemental Digital Art.

Business Plan Competition: Undergraduate students at UNCW are eligible to be considered for UNCW’s Annual Business Plan Competition that is sponsored by the Cameron School of Business. The top business plans are invited to the competition that is judged by a jury of entrepreneurs. The winner receives a check, management consulting, marketing, legal counseling, and accounting advice from corporate sponsors. The winner is also the “Castle Branch Student Entrepreneur.” The other finalists also receive a check.

Entrepreneurship Case Competition: Senior students in the entrepreneurship and business development option form teams to analyze an entrepreneurship case and present their analysis and recommendations to a jury of faculty and entrepreneurs.

The Innovation Challenge: Students enrolled in the Business Development and Commercialization course are invited to form teams to compete in the Annual Innovation Challenge. The teams are provided with various materials that are to be used in an innovative way.

EBD Shadow Program: Students pursuing the entrepreneurship and business development option are expected to spend time with entrepreneurs and/or key members of the management team of an emerging business.

Entrepreneurship Week: Numerous speakers share their thoughts about the challenges associated with starting and growing businesses. It also includes videos of prominent entrepreneurs and seminars on starting a business.

Outstanding Entrepreneurship and Business Development Student Award. The outstanding student graduating from the EBD program is honored each year.

Entrepreneurship Scholarships. The Buddy Beck Family Scholarship is available for a senior majoring in Entrepreneurship and Business Development. Other scholarships are also available for students in the Entrepreneurship and Business Development program.

Entrepreneurship Club: The Entrepreneurship Club is open to all UNCW students. The club sponsors various events including guest speakers, networking opportunities, and social events.

Become Involved in the EBD Program

Please sign up for EBD newletters so you are aware of the latest opportunities that the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers. Let us know what your interests are: attending speaker events, internships, round tables, shadow program and/or the E-ship Club. Please also describe your entrepreneurial experience or interest.

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain


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