"Do not resist change. Embrace it. Make it your ally. Work at the margin. Experiment. And if you expect to survive, develop an entrepreneurial competence!"
Fifteen years ago, I wrote "American business institutions are at an important crossroads. Their ability to compete, indeed, survive, in the coming decade will increasingly depend on their ability to develop what I will term an entrepreneurial competence." True words then, and perhaps even more relevant in today's high-tech, fast-paced, dot-com-come-and-go, global-deals-at-the-speed-of-light business atmosphere. In my positions as faculty director of the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and associate professor of business economics at UCLA Anderson School of Management, it has been my delight and honor to help shape the thinking of men and women who will succeed in this new business paradigm.
To be innovative and experimental requires a deep and broad knowledge base. The UCLA Anderson School of Management and the Price Center work together to provide a challenging curriculum for students who intend to embrace integrationist thinking, work across boundaries, and muster an uncommon amount of courage to pursue their entrepreneurial vision. The interdisciplinary and global nature of the entrepreneurship program offered at UCLA Anderson aptly prepares students for careers in all fields.
Firsthand experience in an entrepreneurial environment is so vital to the success of our curriculum that we have developed several programs that highlight the difference between a traditional management education and the "can do," "make it happen" orientation of entrepreneurial managers. The Venture Fellows Program, the Student Investment Fund, and the Knapp Venture Competition are a few examples of the experiential opportunities available to our students.
To encourage entrepreneurial research, the Price Center has established programs such as the Galef Symposium in Business Innovation which brings together practical research and business professionals. Five faculty chairs in entrepreneurship embracing several disciplines originated in the Price Center. Grants are offered to Ph.D. students, academic researchers, and faculty who have projects that demand an openness to flexibility and new ideas, a predisposition to study innovative methods, and a capacity to see beyond existing paradigms.
The Price Center also maintains a strong commitment to serving the non-profit and small business communities through management development programs and topical seminars. These venues allow participants such as Head Start directors, early childcare professionals, and owners of developing businesses to direct and grow their organizations with a focused, well-managed, entrepreneurial flair.
All of these efforts have a common goal of fostering the study and practice of entrepreneurship and business innovation. To all of you who share this passion and to those who wish they did, I advise: Do not resist change. Embrace it. Make it your ally. Work at the margin. Experiment. And if you expect to survive, develop an entrepreneurial competence!
Alfred E. Osborne, Jr.
Faculty Director, Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation