Sacramento State entrepreneur program could benefit regional economy

Craig Sanders

With an economy still in recovery, Sacramento could receive financial relief from entrepreneur students who are being trained in creating their own small businesses.

The Sacramento State business department offers a three course sequence in the entrepreneurship concentration that allows them a safe environment to explore and experiment with their own ventures and ideas.

Anne Fuller, a business assistant professor, taught several of the courses over the six years she has been at Sac State.

Fuller said the classes cover opportunities, generating ideas, innovation within large organizations and most importantly, how to grow ideas.

“The program leads people to say here is an idea,” Fuller said. “Now how can I turn this into a business opportunity?”

Michael Bloss, a senior business major, said the classes help him and other students get ahead through experience and mentorship and their many cultivated ideas can eventually affect the Sacramento community.

He referenced several class projects from previous students in the program who have already sparked into growing businesses including Silk Road Soda and a pill bottle safety device that comes with a four-digit combination code.

Fuller said these small businesses are important for the economy not just in Sacramento, but in the other regions of the world as well.

Amanda Coyne, senior business major, found the entrepreneurship program helpful especially when it came to networking and learning how to be a team player.

“You will meet awesome colleagues who share your likes and interests,” Coyne said. “You can put your ideas out there and have other people help you along the way so you don’t feel alone.”

One project Fuller requires involves letting individual students pitch ideas to the class. The other students then get to pick their favorite idea and work on it together.

Fuller said students get really into their project, even if at the end of the day they find out their idea did not turn out the way they wanted.

The point is to give the students enough confidence with the process to be able to go through it again with their next business idea.

According to the Office of Institutional Research, among 4,246 undergraduate business students, 234 had a concentration in entrepreneurship.

Fuller said even though the concentration is small and relatively new, it is important due to the beneficial roles it plays for the college and community.

Students who graduated from the College of Business had the highest percentage of respondents who planned to be “working full-time” at 87.1 percent.

Bloss said the new small businesses being started by alumni will hire students from within the department as a way of giving back to the education that helped groom their success.

“The entrepreneur program here at Sac State has really opened a lot of doors and helped me advance my skills to a level I would never have thought of,” Bloss said. I am going to be ready to take my ideas to marketplace and make it successful. Because of that I thank them.”