AHEC MEMBER RICHARD BODEN ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER, HARRY F. BYRD, JR. SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, ENTREPRENEURSHIP INSTITUTE, SHENANDOAH UNIVERSITY
Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business Entrepreneurship Program summer boot camp is now in its’ second year. The program is aimed at helping young entrepreneurs experience a one week rite of passage to business success. The boot camp is designed to help young entrepreneurs assess their technical and business skills and evaluate their readiness and ability to start their own business venture. The program is open to high school juniors and seniors as well as recent high school graduates accepted for admission to Shenandoah University. Participants will attend lectures, participate in individual and group projects, be exposed to real life entrepreneurial ventures via field experiences as well as read and research topics related to the entrepreneurial experience. Ten participants are chosen for the boot camp through the application and screening process. The ten selected participants will attend the boot camp free of charge. At the end of the week long camp, participants will be offered the opportunity to present their own business plans to a panel of judges with the winning plan being awarded a $300 cash prize.
Shenandoah College and Conservancy of Music became Shenandoah University in 1991 http://www.su.edu/. The institution offered business classes and, in 1988, the business program was given a new home: The Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business. This year, 2007, the Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business received the AACSB accreditation, placing it in an elite category of business schools http://www.su.edu/temp_news.cfm?urlnum=904. The business school offers undergraduate and graduate programs to hundreds of students at Shenandoah’s main campus as well as its Northern Virginia Campus in Leesburg. The university established the Institute for Entrepreneurship in late 2004. The Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business clearly articulated its vision to become recognized as a provider of individualized business education driven by entrepreneurial thinking, global understanding and ethical practice. The Initiatives of the Entrepreneurship Institute are: (1) The Young Entrepreneurs Boot Camp, (2) The Entrepreneurial Speaker Series, (3) Curricula, and (4) The Entrepreneur of the Year Conference. Dave Thomas (1932 – 2002) Founder of Wendy’s said it best, “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer and have a burning desire to succeed.” This is the approach the Entrepreneurship Institute takes with its students and boot camp participants.