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Welcome to Entrepreneurship, an OpenStax resource. This textbook was written to increase student access to high-quality learning materials, maintaining highest standards of academic rigor at little to no cost.

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Art attribution in Entrepreneurship

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About Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is designed to meet the course needs of a one-semester undergraduate course on the subject. This resource will cover the key principles of entrepreneurship alongside the concepts, strategies, and tools needed to succeed as a small business owner, franchisee, founder, or other entrepreneurial professional.

Coverage and scope

Our Entrepreneurship textbook aligns to the scope and sequence of most introductory entrepreneurship courses. We have endeavored to make the core theories and practical concepts engaging, relevant, and accessible to students. We sought to achieve this by relating concepts to everyday life, contemporary issues, and the real-world challenges that students may face as twenty-first century entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship course coverage and approach varies greatly by institution. Some programs focus on research or cases, others on simulation or competition, and many synthesize a variety of approaches. While OpenStax engaged a wide array of faculty reviewers, opinions differ based on the purpose, audience, and structure of the course. The material’s open licensing enables you to customize the content and incorporate additional resources in order to fit your course goals.

Engaging Feature Boxes

Throughout Entrepreneurship, you will find features that engage students by taking selected topics a step further and challenge students to apply what they are learning. Each feature box contains either a link to a deeper exploration of the topic at hand or critical thinking questions that may be geared toward class discussion, student projects, or written essays. Our features include:

  • Work It Out. This feature presents entrepreneurial opportunities or dilemmas for which students are asked to work out a solution.
  • Are You Ready? Students are asked to reflect on their readiness for applying the chapter’s concepts in these integrated exercises, partial plans, or scenarios of a plan or project.
  • What Can You Do? This feature challenges students to take the role of a social entrepreneur and balance a host of interests, some conflicting, as they explore possible venture opportunities.
  • Entrepreneur in Action. Chapter-relevant entrepreneurial endeavors are profiled so students can examine the real-life efforts of entrepreneurs.
  • Link to Learning This feature provides online resources and videos that are pertinent to students’ deeper exploration of the topics. Link to Learning boxes allow students to connect easily to some of the most important thought leaders and concepts in the field.

Module materials that reinforce key concepts

  • Learning Objectives. Every module begins with a set of clear and concise learning objectives. These objectives are designed to help the instructor decide what content to include or assign, and to guide students on what they can expect to learn. After completing the module and end-of-module exercises, students should be able to demonstrate mastery of the learning objectives.
  • Summaries. Section summaries distill the information in each module for both students and instructors down to key, concise points addressed in the section.
  • Key Terms. Key terms are bold and are followed by a definition in context. Definitions of key terms are also listed in the glossary, which appears at the end of the module online and at the end of the chapter in print.
  • Assessments. Review, discussion, and case questions accompany every chapter, providing opportunities for students to recall, discuss, and examine the concepts learned in each chapter.
  • Suggested Resources Each chapter concludes with a collection of additional resource links to provide budding entrepreneurs with additional resources to support their entrepreneurial goals.

Answers to Questions in the Book

Answer to all Review Questions and Case Questions are provided in the Instructor Answer Guide via the Instructor Resources page. Due to the high variability of responses and the focus on critical thinking, answers to Work It Out, Are You Ready, and What Can You Do questions are not provided.

Additional resources

Student and instructor resources

We’ve compiled additional resources for both students and instructors, including Getting Started Guides Companion PowerPoints, an Instructor Solution Guide, and a Test Bank. Instructor resources require a verified instructor account, which you can apply for when you log in or create your account on

Instructor and student resources are typically available within a few months after the book’s initial publication. Take advantage of these resources to supplement your OpenStax book.

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Technology partners

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About the authors

Senior contributing authors

Michael Laverty, Colorado State University Global

Dr. Laverty received his BA from the University of Notre Dame, his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management, and his EdD from Nova Southeastern University. He is also a certified Six Sigma Black belt. He instructs business courses at numerous universities in the US and abroad. As a former equity partner in a very successful venture capital group, Laverty has owned many business ventures ranging in size from $1–35 million. His continuing scholarly and practitioner-oriented focus is paying back through mentoring and developing entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow.

Chris Littel, North Carolina State University

Chris Littel is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Management at the Poole School of Management at North Carolina State University and previously instructed at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and the Institute for Entrepreneurship at Florida Gulf Coast University. Littel holds a B.S. in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a master’s in International Economics, International Relations and Security Studies from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. Littel has also served in leadership positions in companies such as Johnson & Johnson, and currently works as a consultant. He teaches a variety of entrepreneurial courses in which students work with startup companies to help solve growth challenges.

Contributing authors

Chandra D. Arthur, Cuyahoga Community College

Martin S. Bressler, Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Stephen M. Byars, USC Marshall School of Business

Bryan Coleman, Assumption College

Mehran C. Ferdowsian, Wilkes University

Geoffrey Graybeal, Georgia State University

Wm. David Hawkins, Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Jennifer Herrera, Capella University

Lyzona Marshall, Seton Hill University

Angela Mitchell, Wilmington College

William Nantz, Houston Community College

Denisse Olivas, University of Texas at El Paso

Karli Peterson, Colorado State University Global

Mark A. Poepsel, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Kevin Raiford, College of Southern Nevada

Jeffrey J. Sabolish, University of Michigan-Flint

Sally Sledge, Norfolk State University

Kurt Stanberry, University of Houston-Downtown


Joseph F. Adamo, Cazenovia College

Tom Adamson, Midland University

Franklene M. Baker, Grand Rapids Community College

Jennifer Bergenfeld, New York University

Lucian Bifano, Auburn University

Kathy Bowen, Murray State College

Dixon Cooper, Ouachita Baptist University

Shawna Coram, Florida State College at Jacksonville

Peter Hackbert, Berea College

Peter T. Hahn, Roger Williams University

Perry Hidalgo, Gwinnett Technical College

Karen Hines, Berkshire Community College

Nai Lamb, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

David LeCount, Tulsa Community College

Ira T. Lovitch, Mount Saint Mary’s University

Debra McCarver, Washington State University

Bruce A. McHenry, South Mountain Community College

Russ Meade, Husson University

Eleonor Moore, Kirtland Community College

Phillip L. Nelsen, Salt Lake Community College

Miguel A. Orta, Nova Southeastern University

Chris Papenhausen, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Susan Peters, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Brian Pusateri, University of Scranton

William R. Sandberg, University of South Carolina

Natalie Sappleton, Quantic School of Business and Technology

Linda Shul, Central New Mexico Community College

Marcene S. Sonneborn, Syracuse University

Andreas Widmer, Catholic University

Lisa Zidek, Florida Gulf Coast University

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