Welcome to the Elon Enterprise Academy, established September 1, 2001.

The Need for an Integrated Business Program at the College Level

      Business education at the post secondary level is facing several critical issues.  Industry demand for well-prepared and immediately productive employees is forcing business programs to reexamine their curricula with an eye toward innovation, integration and experiential learning.  The need for new and effective ways of improving the maturity of business graduates is being stressed by the leading business accreditation agency, the AACSB.  A new program, called the Elon Enterprise Academy (EEA), offers a modified apprenticeship approach for business education.  The EEA focuses on a series of “learning/teaching enterprises” where students from three separate disciplines will learn and apply management and marketing techniques.  They will integrate course content and actual business experience within a “real-world” framework by developing business plans, starting their businesses, and working closely with organizational experts who are versed in both theory and practice.   Students will learn that this endeavor is not simple and segmented, but complex and integrated.  Students will have the opportunity to experience failure, as well as success in producing a quality product or service.  They will also be able to hone their skills of adaptation and survival, so necessary for business-oriented graduates today, and currently not available in traditional business education. 

It is the EEA philosophy that the student is better served by first experiencing “messiness and even failure within a somewhat protected environment, rather than when they are on the job in the real world.”  The ultimate goals are to better prepare students for the complexity and messiness of organizational life, encourage them to be innovative and adaptive, develop their abilities to be self-directed and to work in teams, and to enhance their planning, problem-solving and leadership skills.       

The Entrepreneurial Leadership Experience

    In 1998, Barth Strempek, associate professor in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, developed the Entrepreneurial Leadership Experience (ELE) at Elon University, Elon, NC, to teach students management, marketing and entrepreneurship by developing start-up businesses that produce and market professional quality music CDs, sold under the label, Elon ImproVibes.

The Elon Enterprise Academy

    In ___, 2001 Elon University received a $385,324 grant from the U. S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) to create a learning laboratory for students to apply management and marketing skills through the development of new business enterprises.  Elon will match the grant with $334,991 to provide the three-year project with $720,315. Fifty-three percent of the project will be financed with federal funds, while 47 percent is financed by nongovernmental sources.   Strempek will administer the grant.

    The grant will fund the creation of the Elon Enterprise Academy (EEA), a center that will provide 60-70 students with real world organizational experience. The EEA will supplement students’ classroom education, beginning in the junior year,  in the areas of business, leisure and sports management, and music.



“The Elon Enterprise Academy is designed to give students a solid start to their careers by making them more capable of surviving, and even thriving, in today’s complex business environment,” Strempek says. “This program will encourage students to recognize opportunity, take initiative, assess risk and reward, take informed chances and follow through.”  




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This website is maintained and updated by Cindy Biles  (cbiles@elon.edu).

This page was last updated Feb. 18, 2002.