Entrepreneurs Share Tips and Inspiration at All-Day Business Conference

Dr. Ed Knox, director of CUNY SPS online business programs

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) online business programs hosted the all-day business conference Entrepreneurial Thought & Engagement on April 14. The symposium featured a group of successful entrepreneurs, educators, and CUNY SPS students who discussed the entrepreneurial process and its impact on communities and their economies.

Dr. Edwin Knox, academic director, online business programs and Carlos Ronisky, business faculty member, moderated the online panel that began with remarks from Interim Dean Jorge Silva-Puras. In his opening speech on the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit, Silva-Puras noted, “If you have a good business idea and if you execute that business idea with excellence, it can transform your life as an individual, and that of your family and of your community.”

The conference included presentations by three respected entrepreneurs: Jonnel Doris, former NYC commissioner for small business services, under Mayor Bill de Blasio; Dr. SherRhonda Gibbs, dean of Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado; and John Mogulescu, dean emeritus of CUNY SPS. 

Doris, who led the nation’s largest city workforce and small business agency, explored how economically important small businesses and entrepreneurship are for municipalities. Since Doris helped to double the certifications of minority and women owned firms to close to 10,000 companies, he could directly speak about the direct societal impact of entrepreneurship.

“The entrepreneur plays a significant role in society. Not by themselves, but as a collective,” Doris said. “Their ability to see a problem, imagine a solution, and drive implementation by bringing products and solutions to market is invaluable. Entrepreneurs are an essential part of creating a sustainable and prosperous society.”

Next, Dr. Gibbs gave a presentation informed by her research on opportunity recognition and minority entrepreneurs. Like Doris, Dr. Gibbs spoke about how entrepreneurship can elevate communities.

“We (entrepreneurs) generate more jobs. If you want high-paying jobs, typically entrepreneurs are ones providing opportunities for those jobs. There is an increase overall in economic development because of entrepreneurship,” Dr. Gibbs stated. “Entrepreneurship increases business tax, increases sales tax and collections in property tax and, therefore, will benefit society overall.” 

Following this, Dr. George Otte, senior associate dean of academic affairs, introduced Dean Emeritus Mogulescu.

Throughout Mogulescu’s talk, he spoke of the importance of the faculty, staff, and students who helped him launch many of his educational initiatives at CUNY, and gave credit to those who worked with him. “I had a couple of incredible idea people. They would give me ten ideas a week and nine of them were terrible,” Mogulescu explained. “We would laugh about that and we would try to sort out in a group that one (idea) that was really, really good and that had a good chance of succeeding. Over the years, our track record became really good.”

For the next segment of the conference, attendees were divided into various breakout rooms. Participants gathered in discussion groups; each group had a unique theme and its own moderator. The various mini-workshops covered entrepreneurial issues that included: nonprofits, information systems, psychology and nursing, applied theatre, and sociology.

These breakouts were followed with two bonus workshop sessions for all attendees: a creativity workshop chaired by Dr. Gibbs, and in closing, a real estate case study offered by Herbert Sherman, adjunct professor at CUNY SPS.

About the CUNY SPS Online Business Programs

The BS in Business online degree program provides students with a fundamental background in business functions and principles that can be used to build or advance their careers. Through the examination of case studies, global business models, and analytical tools, students gain a strong understanding of where they would make the greatest impacts within an organization. Additionally, the attention devoted to ethical decision-making, corporate responsibility, and team collaboration helps students develop the practical managerial skills needed to thrive in a range of business areas.

The BPS in Applied Management and Entrepreneurship will also allow AAS degree holders in career preparatory fields such as accounting, graphic design, marketing, computer information systems and network technologies, hospitality management, and other vocational or technical programs to acquire skills, knowledge, and credential needed to progress in their current career or open their own business. Similar to other CUNY SPS programs, the BPS in Applied Management and Entrepreneurship will be offered fully online.

The MS in Business Management and Leadership online degree program inspires working professionals to become innovators, influencers, and decision-makers across all areas of business. With an emphasis on maintaining corporate ethical practices in a global environment, the program examines case studies and organizational models to help students solve timely issues related to diversity, sustainability, and consumer trust. Unlike the MBA, the MS degree provides versatility and flexibility to all students as they learn the core business functions in addition to the emerging industry areas. The program grounds itself in the ability to help students analyze numerical and non-numerical data alike so they can become better at explaining and justifying their decisions.

About the CUNY School of Professional Studies

As New York’s leader in online education since 2006, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) offers the most online bachelor’s and master’s degree options at the City University of New York, and serves as the University’s only undergraduate all-transfer college. With 26 degrees and numerous other non-degree and grant-funded workplace learning programs, CUNY SPS meets the needs of adults who wish to finish a bachelor’s degree, progress from an associate’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, and advance in the workplace or change careers. Consistently ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report for its online offerings, and noted for its soaring growth and enrollment, CUNY SPS has emerged as a nationwide leader in online education. The School’s renowned and affordable online programs—which offer in-state tuition to all students regardless of where they live—ensure that busy working adults may fulfill their educational goals on their own time and schedule.

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