• The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs


George Moker has been director of the undergraduate entrepreneurship program in Sawyer Business School since July. We spoke with him about the program, Generation Y, and why launching a business isn’t always as scary as it sounds.  

Suffolk’s undergraduate program in entrepreneurship was recently named among the top 25 such programs in the United States. Why do you think that is?

We have a strong sequential curriculum where one course leads to another course—it’s very easy for students to understand and the goal is to get the students to launch a business. I think our ranking is really tied to the number of students who launch, and the number of faculty we have who are entrepreneurial.

What kinds of businesses have student launched so far?

One student launched what would have been an Internet cookie delivery business that morphed into a business that’s providing cookie desserts to restaurants in the Boston area. We had another student who launched Rate My Company, which is similar to a ratemyprofessor.com, where a Web site grades companies based on employee feedback.

The number of students engaging in entrepreneurial activities is on the rise. Why?

There’s more emphasis on entrepreneurship today. When you’re looking at Generation Y, you’re looking at a generation that wants to take more control of their lives, and when we spend the bulk of our adult lives working, students today are saying ‘Well, if I’m going to do that, I’m going to do it on my own terms.’ A lot of that is easier said than done. But that’s what’s creating this phenomenon. The other part of it is that there are more resources and information than there ever were. And—before the credit disaster at least—there used to be a lot of available credit, and that created opportunities for the students to be able to really take a look at a business, and say, ‘Yes, I can really do this.’

What do you say to the parents or students who get a nervous about majoring in a program that requires some risk?

Entrepreneurship is the wave of the future. Between 66 and 75 percent of high school students want to start their own businesses. This is the new economy, as far as I’m concerned. Plus, our program is flexible. Students can minor in something else or even major in finance or management and minor in entrepreneurship. This program allows students to learn all facets of business through entrepreneurship. So you don’t have to focus solely on management or accounting or finance. You get this one major that ties it all together.


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George Moker
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship