Smith Entrepreneurs Hall offers students more than just a meal from Sub Connection.The Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, a club for any student interested in entrepreneurship, welcomes underclassmen and non-business majors, CEO president Leslie Martin said.
David Minor, director of the Neely Entrepreneurship Program said that once a month, members of CEO are able to have dinners with successful entrepreneurs and members also have the opportunity to work with a mentor.
“This provides an opportunity to talk one-on-one to someone and use them as a sounding board and resource,” Minor said.
Martin, a senior entrepreneurial management major, said the club also takes trips to entrepreneurial firms around Fort Worth.
“You see how differently and creatively you can run a company,” she said.
The club has done a good job getting juniors and seniors who are already in the business school involved, Martin said, and the focus is now on any TCU student interested in entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurship is something that can apply to every major,” she said.
Minor said: “CEO is a big, big part of what we’re doing with the entrepreneurial program.”
At the beginning of the semester, Martin said CEO set up a booth at the Student Activity Fair so freshmen could get information about the club.
The club plans to post fliers this weekend to let students know about the first meeting on Tuesday in Smith Hall, where TCU graduate Ash Hazenlaub will be speaking, Martin said. To encourage all majors to attend the meeting and possibly join the club, the fliers will be posted in freshman dorms, Worth Hills and other buildings around campus in addition to the business buildings, Martin said.
CEO has five officers and 15 board members, Martin said, and the board is divided into committees, with one committee focused on marketing the club.
“With the board, we have more resources, and can reach more students,” she said.
Last year, CEO had around 100 members, paying $50 for a year or $30 for a semester, Martin said. This covers gas expenses for trips, dinners and other programs the club offers, she said.
Bobby Silber, a senior entrepreneurial management major and CEO vice president of operations, said seven CEO members participated in the Intern-Scholars Program this summer. They gave support to small, start-up businesses, Silber said, and each student worked at least 200 hours helping the business do anything they needed.
Silber said he witnessed “all the little processes and things they have to go through.”
Martin said: “It’s one thing to sit in the classroom, and it’s another thing to actually see the struggles of starting the company.”
Minor said CEO is part of the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program that started in 2000. Before the program was established, students could major in management, but starting in 2000, students could major in entrepreneurial management and courses were added, he said.
Entrepreneurial management has 189 declared majors, making it the second largest field in the business school, Minor said. Only finance is more popular, he added.
Of pre-business majors, Minor said, there is also a high concentration of entrepreneurial management majors. This may be the result of the Texas Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Program that recognizes successful high school students who have started and managed their own businesses, Minor said. TCU sends information on the program and nomination forms to every high school in Texas, public and private.
“The word’s out with folks that we have a strong program,” Minor said.