The mission of The Center for Entrepreneurship is to inspire and transform the Michigan community into entrepreneurial thinkers and doers. But what is entrepreneurship exactly? 

At the CFE, entrepreneurship is recognizing the responsibility to use your skills and talents to make an impact on the world.

“Innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset is more important now more than ever,” said CFE Dixon and Carol Doll Executive Director Jonathan Fay. “So having students learn the basics while they are in school is more important now than it has ever been.”

Entrepreneurship is a mindset. It is applicable to all interests and pursuits. It recognizes opportunity and growth. It seeks unique approaches and innovative solutions. It observes, asks questions, assesses feedback, acts. It empowers and inspires.

“Taking responsibility, or leading a novel commercialization effort, is entrepreneurship,” said CFE Assistant Director of Entrepreneurial Practice Nick Moroz. 

The CFE believes there are six behaviors that embody the entrepreneurial spirit – innovating with technology, experimentation, managing risk, identifying opportunity, building relationships and perseverance.  

Solving a problem that improves society defines entrepreneurship while ensuring the solution is scalable and sustainable. 

Attracting and collecting needed resources along the way, while managing, motivating and leading a group of people to see the concept realized is also key. 

Relentless focus on reassessing and listening to the needs of customers is a must.  Experimentation is also realizing you can’t know all of the answers at the beginning, and designing a set of experiments to get to the next value increasing milestone as quickly as possible.

Finally, being able to be optimistic about the changes being made while being paranoid that the risks aren’t being addressed is a fundamental aspect of the entrepreneurial spirit. 

The Center instills these behaviors in its students through classes and programs open to all schools and colleges that are designed to teach the skills needed to successfully translate high-potential projects and ideas into the world. In learning these skills, individuals become better prepared to identify and act on opportunities to solve problems in any organization, or entrepreneurial endeavor.

“The CFE mantra of Do, Risk, Try, Fail succinctly captures how one would apply an entrepreneurial mindset,” said CFE Curriculum and Experiential Learning Assistant Director Christine Gordon. 

Taking responsibility for a great technological and commercial effort is what is taught at the CFE, and the mantra speaks to this directly. 

No matter your passion, interests, previous entrepreneurial experiences or ambitions, the CFE has specialized opportunities that will expose you to new ways of thinking and support your unique goals.