Entrepreneurship Faculty Profile: Brad George
Professor. World traveler. Sustainability. Dance studio. What do these things have in common? Brad George! Professor George has been part of the Babson community for the last ten years. During the last decade, Professor George has advised students and educators from all the around the world. He has also practiced being an entrepreneur – through his teaching, world travels, and opening his own dance studio with his wife (just to name a few).
What is your role at Babson? How long have you been at Babson?
I’m an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship as well as a faculty advisor for the Butler Venture Accelerator program. I oversee the three-college Sustainability Certificate Program for Babson. I teach both undergraduate and graduate courses in entrepreneurship and sustainability and am actively involved in our Executive Education programs. I have been the faculty co-director for Babson’s summer Build programs the past six years, and have taught in a number of other programs both at Babson and around the world, assisting other universities and colleges with assessing their entrepreneurship programs. This is my 10th year at Babson.
Why did you come to Babson?
I liked the emphasis on teaching and student engagement vs. a focus primarily on research that is common at large research universities. When I interviewed on campus, the energy level was palpable and it seemed like a very exciting place.
What classes do you teach?
I have taught a number of different courses in my time at Babson – mostly focused on early stage entrepreneurship and sustainability. The undergraduate courses include Entrepreneurship & Opportunity, Accelerated Curriculum in Entrepreneurship, Introduction to Sustainability (jointly with Olin and Wellesley), Environmental & Sustainable Entrepreneurship, and Affordable Design & Entrepreneurship. On the graduate side I have taught Entrepreneurship & Opportunity, Global Venture Feasibility, and Sustainable EPS: The Norwegian Experience.
What area of research do you focus on?
Much of my early research and published articles are focused on aspects of entrepreneurial decision making and Entrepreneurial Orientation. However, I have also published work on pedagogical development and am currently moving my research focus more towards sustainable entrepreneurship.
What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
At the end of the day, I think that a large part of entrepreneurship comes down to being a creative problem solver – both in terms of finding a solution, but also in terms of finding resources. Without the resources, you can’t actually solve the problem.
What does the world need from entrepreneurs today?
Responsible leaders with a social conscience. Business has been far too influenced by what I feel is the incorrect view of Milton Friedman that profit maximization is the primary purpose of business and this has led us down a bad path for the last 45 years (since his 1970 NY Times article) that has led to significant environmental damage as well as dramatic social inequality. Capitalism is based on profits, but not maximization of profits. We need entrepreneurs that not only want to make money, but want to do it in a way that will be beneficial for their employees and communities as well.
Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs?
Talk to people!! Too often aspiring entrepreneurs want to run off and start a company without first figuring out if they actually should start the company. Does anyone actually want what you are offering? Why?
What do you think makes Babson unique?
Babson students, faculty and staff tend to have a “can do” attitude. They just look at what needs to be done and start trying to find ways to do it and I feel like Babson encourages this.
What do you do for fun?
Travel and see new places. I’ve traveled to over 40 countries and I love to try new things. I also try to swim regularly and have been a certified scuba diver for almost 30 years. I also enjoy designing and building sets for the annual show the dance studio my wife and I own puts on in May each year. I’m also currently working on learning to play Irish fiddle.
Describe yourself in four words.
Creative, Thoughtful, Reflective and Curious
Anything else people should know?
Prior to my academic career, I spent 15 years in the diesel engine industry working in manufacturing, design, technical sales support, field service, international training, marketing, business process improvement and strategic planning. Also, I noted previously, my wife and I founded and own a dance and fitness studio in Bedford, MA (Attitudes Dance and Fitness). As a side note, I also have two characters based on me in two novels (but I won’t say which ones).