During this past academic year, the Touro Graduate School of Business (GSB) has placed new emphasis on entrepreneurship. We sat down with Dean Mary Louise Lo Re, Ph.D. to learn more.
Q. Please tell us about the Touro Graduate School of Business and entrepreneurship.
A. Entrepreneurship is one of the seven tracks in our MBA program representing 13 percent of our student body. With the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, GSB is focusing more on this important area of study.
Q. Why do you think that entrepreneurship is an important area to offer GSB students?
A. Entrepreneurship is one of the five forces that shifts a nation’s demand curve. Moreover, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics attests that entrepreneurship plays a vital role in the growth of the U.S. economy. To date, there are 27 million working-age Americans who are starting or running new businesses in the U.S.
Q. Has anything changed in the training of tomorrow’s business leaders that makes the study of entrepreneurship an important part of their business school training?
A. Today, the barriers of entry for launching businesses have significantly decreased. Ambitious young businesspeople no longer need a storefront, they don’t have to confront zoning regulations and customers and employees aren’t restricted to a business’ geographical location. Another key change is the importance of branding, growth and availability of statistical analysis of data—which is paramount for any new business venture.
Q. How do you train your entrepreneur track students?
A. Embedded in our graduate courses is a pathway towards the creation of a new enterprise and full-blown business plan. Students work in groups to develop a fresh idea or a rebranding of an existing product/service. They conduct research and create a working model for their new enterprise. GSB students learn hands-on on what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Q. Do you have entrepreneurs on your faculty?
A. We have many faculty members who have or have had their own business or serve as consultants to major firms—among them Dr. Corrado Amato, a member of the GSB faculty and expert in business management, entrepreneurial process and organizational leadership. He recently completed a five-course specialization certificate program in entrepreneurship at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He oversees GSB’s participation in the Mid-Hudson Valley Business Competition, which is designed to encourage students to learn how to compete, develop a business plan, think like an entrepreneur and transform an idea into a new business venture while providing tools, funding ($10,000 1st prize award) and resources available in the New York State area. In addition to our skilled faculty and competitions, we bring in senior professionals as guest lecturers.
Q. What type of entrepreneur students do you hope to graduate?
A. We hope to graduate entrepreneurial-minded students who will start their own business ventures or who will make tactical changes in their current career paths.