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Learn to Recognize Opportunities With a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is on the rise. According to the Kauffman Index, a report prepared by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, small business activity increased in 2015 in the United States after declining for six years. Forty-nine out of 50 states saw an increase in small business activity. Thirty-eight in 40 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas tracked an increase in small business also. Activity is beginning to surpass pre-recession levels and is slightly above the historical norm. The business climate is open to entrepreneurs who are ready to develop new business opportunities.

Spotting New Business Opportunities

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, researchers H. James Wilson, Danna Greenberg and Kate McKone-Sweet tell the story of entrepreneur Jim Poss. One day, Poss was walking down a street in Boston and noticed how much exhaust a garbage truck was releasing into the environment and how poor a job it did collecting the trash from the street’s trashcans. Trash flew down the street and piled up in corners. Poss began to work on an idea for a more efficient garbage truck that would be solar-powered. He ended up with something completely different: A bigger trashcan.

Researchers Wilson, Greenberg and McKone-Sweet noted that Poss created an opportunity using three practices that they have observed repeatedly in 1,500 businesses. Switching between the practices as circumstances warrant, the best leaders combine all three practices:

  1. Relying on self and social awareness — Entrepreneurs look for ideas based on what they see near them and what is important to them. In the above example, entrepreneur Poss was inspired while going about his daily life and first looked for a solution in a field he knew well — solar energy.
  2. Employing cognitive ambidexterity — Simply put, employing cognitive ambidexterity means to be flexible in one’s thinking and information gathering. The researchers note that strong entrepreneurs switch between “prediction approaches,” analyzing existing information, and “creation,” taking action to generate data that did not exist before. A mix of both approaches helps to produce viable products and services.
  3. Considering social, environmental, and economic value simultaneously — The researchers use the acronym SEERS — which stands for social, environmental and economic responsibility, and sustainability. They observe entrepreneurs considering all of these elements at the same time and in equal measure as they develop ideas.

How a BBA in Entrepreneurship Teaches Entrepreneurs to Spot Ideas

A BBA in Entrepreneurship includes classes in finance, technology, management and analysis. At Lamar University, online students spot ideas, analyze information and make decisions so that their entrepreneurial skills grow in the ways that are important when identifying new business opportunities. By analyzing the marketplace — trends, growth and niches — Lamar University online students learn to see openings for new ventures.

Courses in the Lamar University online BBA in Entrepreneurship include:

  • Business Analysis I — This course is an introduction to the quantitative methods of analysis as applied to business problems. Topics of study include collection of data, statistical description, probability theory, probability distribution, sampling theory, estimation and introduction to test of hypothesis.
  • Entrepreneurial Market Opportunities — This course focuses on recognizing opportunities in the marketplace, analyzing industry/market trends, size, growth opportunities, niches and capitalizing on opportunities through new business creation.
  • Seminar on Entrepreneurship — This class gives students an overview of the new venture creation process. It includes topics of entrepreneurial psychology, opportunities in the marketplace, gathering resources and the business plan.
  • Strategic Analysis — This capstone course for the undergraduate business program helps students understand the task of the strategic management process in a digital, global environment. The course assumes that a company’s success depends on the student as an entrepreneur to adapt to rapidly changing markets, globalization, shifting governmental policies and new technologies. The emphasis of this course is on sharpening analytical decision-making and communication skills. The case study method and/or a global simulation are used to acquaint the student with probable, authentic strategic situations in the economy.

As students earn a BBA in Entrepreneurship, they sharpen their entrepreneurial thinking through the courses and through interactions with their fellow students. Having gained this knowledge, they will be ready to develop their ideas in a market that is once again welcoming and rewarding risk takers.

Learn more about the Lamar University online BBA in Entrepreneurship program.


Harvard Business Review: How Entrepreneurs Find Opportunity

The Kaufmann Index: Entrepreneurship Series

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