Elective attracts students

Chris Davis lost his opportunity to enroll in an entrepreneurship course at the School of Business and Industry, because the class was full.

“I wanted to take it (the course) because I thought it would be a beneficial way to learn something about entrepreneurship, but it was full,” said the freshman business administration student from Milwaukee.

The class is an entrepreneurship elective that was brought to FAMU in 2001 by Dr. Bill Bullard, who started the entrepreneurship program at the University of Hawaii in 1991.

Bullard said students are taught different elements of entrepreneurship, including its characteristics, how to develop a business plan that will allow students to apply for a loan, as well as successful techniques for today’s entrepreneurs.

Deanna Brooks, 20, said she decided to take the course because of the entrepreneurship skills the class teaches.

“A lot of students have good business ideas and this class will help you in the future go through with your plans,” said Brooks, a junior business student from Cincinnati.

Thomas Jefferson, co-owner of UJAMAA, a FAMU apparel store in Governors’ Square Mall, said there are characteristics that an entrepreneur must possess that cannot be taught.

“In the beginning of UJAMAA’s operation I did the cleaning, painting, pricing, store layout, and accounting to cut back on costs,” Jefferson said.

“I get concerned when students think the secret in becoming an entrepreneur is taking a course.”

“I got my entrepreneurship degree from the school of hard knocks.”

“No course can teach you the thirst, desire and commitment it takes to be a successful entrepreneur,” Bullard said.

“You don’t make the person more entrepreneurial, they either are or they aren’t.”

Still Bullard wants entrepreneurship to eventually be offered to all students.

“Ultimately we would like to see entrepreneurship offered campus-wide because every educated person probably has the desire to be an entrepreneur.”

Isaiah Richard, 21, said he would recommend students who have “self-motivation and drive” to take the course.

“I believe it’s a dream for people to own their own business,” the junior business student from Atlanta said.

“No one wants to be a corporate puppet.”

Two entrepreneurship courses will be offered next semester to the delight of many students like Davis, who said he would try again to enroll in the class.

“The entrepreneurship elective appeals to me so much that I hope to successfully enroll in the future, even if it’s in my junior year.”

Samuel R. Flemmings can be reached at Rhymetree@aol.com.