Student becomes first-ever Entrepreneurship grad at Minot State University

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Only half of small businesses will survive for five years or longer, and about one third will survive for 10 or more years, according to

A new degree option at Minot State University was created to teach students how to start and maintain a thriving business.

A recent graduate became the first ever to receive the university’s brand-new entrepreneurship degree.

“If I had to define entrepreneurship, it would be creating,” says Garrett Weishaar.

The Entrepreneurship program at Minot State University isn’t about learning how to create a business, it’s about actually creating one, which was appealing to the program’s first-ever graduate, Garrett Weishaar.

“You can basically work on and create an actual business, but within a safe environment,” he says. “So if you mess up or fail you might get a bad grade but you’re not losing lots of money.”

Liam McRae will graduate this Spring with a certificate in Entrepreneurship and is putting those same skills to the test.

“I’ve learned so much from those types of classes where it’s more business related and not theory of business,” McRae says.

The students had to execute ideas ranging from a unique food delivery service to importing food from New Zealand to the U.S.

They say having to experience the hurdles of things like legality, investor proposals, branding, and even hiring is what separates the program from other business-related degrees.

“Once your eyes are kind of opened to what entrepreneurship actually is, it changes the whole way you look at life and how you look at jobs and everything from relationships to your passions,” Weishaar says.

Dr. Tracey Mays teaches many of the required classes and says that innovation is the key to success, and having real-life experiences in the program helps engage that entrepreneurial mindset.

“I want them to go out and take some shots and if they’re successful at it, great. If not, learn from the opportunities, pivot and start to move forward,” Mays says.

The desire to learn entrepreneurship skills continues to grow.

More than 30 million Americans are starting or running new businesses, according to

And when it comes to college, the number of on-campus entrepreneurship programs in the U.S. has gone from 180 to more than 2000 in the past 30 years.

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