The Entrepreneurship in Action (EIA) course gives our undergraduate students the unique opportunity of conceiving, launching, and operating a real business as part of their educational experience. Students gain hands-on experience with all aspects of business including strategy, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, operations, human resources, and information technology. 

The course runs for two semesters during a student’s senior or junior year. In the fall, students sort through potential business opportunities, develop and test the concepts, determine the resources required, and launch three or more selected businesses. In the spring, students test the business model by selling real products to targeted customers, adapting their plans as their concept develops. The student-run businesses receive up to $15,000 in funding and operate out of dedicated facilities at Carlson.

 

Over 11 years, the Entrepreneurship in Action course has launched 25 businesses, generating more than $400,000 in revenue. Recent businesses were named one of "America's Best College Startups" by Inc. magazine, received broad national press coverage, and were winners or finalists in the MN Cup. The course also provides the students with the leadership opportunity to give back and help others. Profits of more than $70,000 from the student-run businesses in this class have established scholarships, funded internships, and supported local non-profits. Eight of the businesses were subsequently sold to the students and continued to operate.

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