Entrepreneurship Minor Inspires a Variety of Business Paths

PROVO, Utah – Dec 07, 2021 – BYU students across campus—whether they’re majoring in computer science, microbiology, or anything in between—can gain a business background for any number of careers or prepare now to build their own startups by earning the entrepreneurship minor at the BYU Marriott School of Business. The minor is designed to complement the knowledge students gain through their majors by teaching business skills and inspiring students to consider different ways to enter the entrepreneurial field.

The first recipient of the entrepreneurship minor was Rebecca Mijares, who graduated in 2020 with a degree in commercial music. Mijares and her husband, Jose, started their shoe company, Memoire Kids, while Mijares completed the minor. Memoire Kids sells children’s shoes that are a hybrid of a sock and a shoe.

“My husband and I took several entrepreneurship classes together. Because we started our business while taking entrepreneurship classes, we received real-time help from professors,” she says. Mijares says this model of learning while doing helped the two up-and-coming business owners have a more successful first year of operation than they anticipated.

Beyond helping Mijares start her first business, the entrepreneurship minor and subsequent experiences with Memoire Kids have inspired her future career plans. “My goal is to run businesses for the rest of my life,” she explains. “I love this career path because I have seen how starting and running a company fits my personality.” Mijares and her husband are in the process of expanding their business portfolio by beginning other startups, using the lessons they have learned from Memoire Kids and BYU Marriott.

Other students working on the entrepreneurship minor may not have the same business ownership goals as the Mijares family, but they are still inspired by the coursework. Emily Felt, a BYU senior from Manteca, California, who is majoring in public relations and plans to go to law school, is completing the minor to broaden her business background. While her career goals have remained the same since starting the minor, Felt has seen how she can incorporate business and entrepreneurship into a variety of fields.

“As I take classes from the entrepreneurship minor, I am learning more about the basic structure of businesses,” she says. “This knowledge will help me if I decide I want to start my own law firm, work in business law, or do PR for a startup company.”

Students such as Felt and Mijares are the reason why the entrepreneurship faculty at BYU Marriott wanted to create a minor for all BYU students. The entrepreneurship faculty’s goal with the minor is to provide meaningful course offerings for students with diverse backgrounds and career paths.

“The entrepreneurship minor helps students discover the best ways to contribute to or even launch a startup company while gaining knowledge in technical areas within their majors,” explains BYU Marriott associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship Mike Hendron, group leader for the entrepreneurship program. “The courses in the entrepreneurship minor are designed to give students complementary skill sets that they might not learn in any other way as a BYU student.”

The entrepreneurship minor is completed by taking 17 credit hours from the list of required and elective courses, which cover a wide range of entrepreneurship principles. Regardless of which classes students pick, the minor is designed to be experiential so students can begin to work on actual business ideas as they progress through their classes.

“As faculty, we try to help students develop the skills needed to pursue their different entrepreneurial goals,” Hendron continues. “In many cases, classes in the minor are taught by professors with real-world, entrepreneurial experience, so these individuals bring applicable knowledge from their own lives. Because of that experience, all of the classes are hands-on and help students begin thinking about the various aspects of starting a business.”

For Felt, the experiential nature of the minor allows her to explore various career options. Earning the minor not only represents an accomplishment in her life but also an opportunity to create the best path for her. “Whatever outcome I decide, I know that I’ll have a solid foundation for several different careers because of the minor,” she says.

Rebecca Mijares, the first BYU student to complete the entrepreneurship minor. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Mijares.
Rebecca Mijares, the first BYU student to complete the entrepreneurship minor. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Mijares.
Mijares and her husband, Jose, fulfilling orders for their company, Memoire Kids. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Mijares.
Mijares and her husband, Jose, fulfilling orders for their company, Memoire Kids. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Mijares.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Mike Miller