Edited by Michael H. Morris
Chapter 24: Developing business courses that make an impact: Rutgers Business School’s Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
By the year 2050, more than two thirds of the global population will be living in urban areas. As a result, urban areas are important hubs of commerce and human activity, and the economic development of these areas has become one of the most significant challenges of the 21st century (Boston and Ross, 1997; Gittell and Thompson, 1999; Robinson, 2008). In 2008, a vision was promulgated to create the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) to support a research, teaching and economic development project agenda that addresses modern urban challenges. Since Rutgers is a business school in a state university in the largest metropolitan area in the United States, we were uniquely positioned to also develop a course that addressed these challenges from a business school perspective. In the Fall 2008 semester, a new course entitled Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (UEED) was launched as an elective in the MBA program. The purpose of this course is to explore the many dimensions of urban entrepreneurship and economic development through an exploration of business and policy issues. We achieve this by combining elements of a traditional case based entrepreneurship course with seminar-styled discussions and a community consulting project. Since we offered the course on our Newark campus, we had a unique opportunity to have the city become a laboratory for students’ education. Students in this course are directly involved in the economic development initiatives of Rutgers-Newark and CUEED.
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