Harper launching an Entrepreneurship program

August 7, 2015

Millennials could be shaping up to be the true entrepreneurial generation.

Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, more are seeking independence. In fact, roughly 70 percent of Millennials see themselves working independently at some point in their lives, rather than being employed in a traditional organizational structure, according to the Deloitte Millennial Survey.

Harper College’s new Entrepreneurship program aims to set up Generation Y – and all those with an entrepreneurial spirit – for success.

Students can earn an Entrepreneurship certificate in less than a year or concentrate in Entrepreneurship en route to a Business Administration Associate of Applied Science degree.

Marie Farber-Lapidus, coordinator of Harper’s Business Administration department, said students will learn to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, create a business and explore how to raise capital for their new venture. Leadership and small-business management are also facets of the program.

“Entrepreneurship is of course about business startups, but it’s also a mindset,” Farber-Lapidus said. “Corporations want employers who are innovative, creative, critical thinkers and problem solvers, and that skillset benefits students in any discipline.”

To develop the program, Farber-Lapidus drew from her own experience as a small-business owner of a Buffalo Grove candy store. In addition, she worked closely with area businesses to get a sense of what they want in an employee. Farber-Lapidus is also involved with 1871, Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for digital startups.

Harper’s program will be a continuation of entrepreneurship initiatives at the district high schools. It will also involve the business community and support the efforts of Harper’s Small Business Development Center.

It’s clear that the U.S. is becoming more entrepreneurially minded. According to the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 43 percent of Americans believe there are good opportunities for entrepreneurship, up by 20 percent since 2011. Among 25- to 34-year-olds, 18 percent were starting or running a new business last year, compared to 15 percent in 2013. And regardless of age, 15 to 20 percent of the workforce is running a startup or more established business.

Classes begin the week of August 24. For more information, contact Farber-Lapidus at mfarberl@harpercollege.edu or visit harpercollege.edu and search for “Entrepreneurship.”

Media contact: Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159