SOCIAL INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
A liberal arts education might be viewed as a metaphor for entrepreneurship. The humanities suggest that the entrepreneur is an artist. History might see entrepreneurs as the true revolutionaries of technological, economic, and social change. A liberal arts education is rich in metaphors that are capable of capturing the multifaceted life of an entrepreneur. A course in film or the theatre might suggest that the entrepreneur is a stage or film director, while a course in physical education might reveal the entrepreneur as a coach… Undergraduate entrepreneurship education should not be viewed as a narrow careerist pursuit, but as giving new life to the traditions of a liberal arts education.
—Dennis Ray, “Liberal Arts for Entrepreneurs”
Entrepreneurship education provides an excellent complement to the rigorous liberal arts curriculum. At St. Olaf College we combine academic excellence with a commitment to lifelong learning. The philosophy of the Finstad Program is that entrepreneurship is a lifelong skill that can be taught, and something that is imperative to students entering a very turbulent working environment. With the shifting economy and rapidly changing markets, entrepreneurial skills are more important than ever before.
Students need an entrepreneurial mind and skill set:
- willingness to take control
- tolerance for ambiguity
- understand risk
- to think broadly
- be creative
- to have the ability to add value
- think strategically
- identify and utilize resources
The Finstad program provides members of the St. Olaf community with the expertise, experience, and entrepreneurial spirit needed to thrive, whether starting a new business or working within an established organization, for-profit or not-for-profit. This program provides an unparalleled learning experience in entrepreneurial practice by providing entrepreneurial grants, entrepreneurship courses, internships, speaker events (mainly sponsored by OleVentures & O.A.S.I.S) and other experiential learning activities. Faculty and staff may also take advantage of opportunities for collaboration and educational web sites.
The Finstad Program for Entrepreneurial Studies was established in 1992 with a major gift from Paul and Anne Finstad and other St. Olaf alumni.
For more information contact Kris Estenson, Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Coordinator.