University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
 

October 11, 2005
Contact: Jennifer Ekman, USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

USA Mitchell College of Business Begins New Concentration in
Entrepreneurship;
Dr. Calvin Bacon Joins Faculty to Lead Program

The University of South Alabama Mitchell College of Business has launched a new concentration in entrepreneurship, recognizing the growth of new businesses across the region and country.

Dr. Calvin Bacon Jr. has joined the Mitchell College of Business faculty to lead the new concentration, which will be offered to undergraduates through the management department.

Bacon comes to USA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he led that school’s entrepreneurship program since 1998. It has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the best entrepreneurship programs in the country.

Mitchell College of Business Dean Dr. Carl Moore said he’s excited about the program since approximately 80 percent of all new jobs are created through small business growth and development.

 
Dr. Calvin Bacon Jr.
 
Dr. Calvin Bacon Jr. has joined the Mitchell College of Business faculty to lead the new concentration program in Entrepreneurship.

“The entrepreneurship program will provide students with the broad-based knowledge and skills required in a small business environment,” Moore said.

“The entrepreneurship program will provide students with the broad-based knowledge and skills required in a small business environment,” Moore said.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Bacon has joined our faculty and will apply his knowledge and experience toward building a quality entrepreneurship program at USA.”

Dr. Marjorie Icenogle, who leads the Mitchell College of Business management department, said the new concentration came after studying the needs of students in an economy that has become increasingly characterized by Mobile-based growth businesses.

“We saw the entrepreneurial concentration as a good fit with the local economy,” Icenogle said.

The eight classes in the concentration include small business management, new venture creation, financial statement analysis, business law, organizational behavior, human resource management and marketing courses.

The interdisciplinary approach offers students the tools to work successfully as entrepreneurs, managing different aspects of a business while they grow it.

Trained as an engineer, Bacon worked in private industry before returning to academia to receive his master’s degree in business administration. After more work as an operations manager, he returned for his doctorate degree, with an emphasis on management and entrepreneurship. During his coursework, he began teaching classes in entrepreneurship.

“I consider myself a business person who happens to have a current assignment of teaching,” Bacon said.

Previously, many business theorists assumed great entrepreneurs were born, not taught, but Bacon disagrees.

“The one thing we can’t teach is initiative,” he said. “If an individual has initiative, we can teach that person to be successful.”

In the past, many of his students have taken courses in entrepreneurship although they were majoring in other fields. Students enroll in entrepreneurship courses because they realize they can become a small business owner or because they may consider serving small business owners as lawyers or accountants, Bacon said.

His plans for the entrepreneurial program include close collaborations with the local business community. Bacon envisions having experienced entrepreneurs mentor students and, in turn, having students provide research and recommendations to new entrepreneurs.

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