Turner school offers unique entrepreneurship program

This semester marks the opening of Bradley’s one-of-a-kind entrepreneurship program, the first in the nation.

The Robert and Carolyn Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation is independent of any college within the university. It is different than programs at other universities because it not solely reserved for business majors; all disciplines are able to join.

The Turner Chair of Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of the Turner School, Gerard Hills, said he believes this program can provide essential experience and knowledge to students in all majors.

“I see the Turner School as being a place where young people dream big dreams and begin learning how to make those dreams a reality,” said Turner School Committee Representative for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Robert Prescott. “I also see it as a resource for those same students years down the road when they are in a position to commercialize a great idea but lack the necessary knowledge or lack strategic teammates.”

Traditionally, entrepreneurship is linked with the business school within a university. The Turner School challenges this norm.

“The [Turner] school is a university level commitment across all the colleges, reporting to the provost,” said Hills.  “All of the students at Bradley can benefit as they look to an environment and a career that will require being entrepreneurial to be successful.”

The Turner School offers a campus wide minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and an Entrepreneurship Scholar Program similar to Bradley’s existing Global Scholars Program, where students gain credit for classes and activities focused on experiential learning.

“There is a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial potential in [CFA],” said Turner School Committee Representative for the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts Edward Lamoureux. “The Turner School can help us fine-tune and focus our creativity and innovation toward the development of entrepreneurial enterprises that can benefit students, CFA and the university.”

There are currently 150 students enrolled, but Hills said he hopes to accommodate up to 1,000 students in the future.

“Our mission is to change the lives of students and to better prepare them for the future,” said Hills. “At the same time, we can earn national distinction, and help position Bradley nationally for many years to come.”

There will also be many noncredit activities for students to participate in, such as the “BravePitch” competition on Oct. 22 where students have three minutes to present an idea for a new business, innovation or social venture.