Lynnette Claire

Lynnette ClaireProfessor and Director, Business and Leadership - vita

BA, BS, University of California, Davis
MS, PhD, University of Oregon

Prof. Claire's expertise in entrepreneurship combined with her teaching skills and interest in applying research allows her to help students, organizations and communities become more entrepreneurial. Specifically, she focuses on how to teach people to be better at recognizing opportunities, and how to improve entrepreneurial culture.

Using a cognitive approach, Lynnette developed and uses research-based exercises to help students and professionals recognize opportunities more effectively. Half of her entrepreneurship course (BUS440) is devoted to improving opportunity recognition through interactive practice. Other course assignments include starting a business (the Business Blitz), job shadowing a local entrepreneur and making a short documentary about him or her (, and writing a full business plan.

Social entrepreneurship refers to innovative mission-driven (rather than profit-driven) organizations. The business model—and innovating within it—is the focus of social entrepreneurship (BUS442). Each student chooses a social sector of his or her choosing to examine through a series of 10 assignments, ranging from traditional scholarly research to personal interviews to a public poster session. Students may examine a variety of sectors from food deserts to domestic violence to solar to animal welfare. The assignments build on each other and enable each student to explore the subject in the local, national and international environments. The class also chooses a cause to create some sort of hands-on innovation around. The fall 2012 class chose food waste:

Prof. Claire teaches a senior research seminar in strategic consulting (BUS 482) that works with small businesses, non-profits and government in the Tacoma area. Teams of three students work for three full months to develop a professional strategic plan. After reading the attached guidelines potential client organizations should contact Prof. Claire to discuss the potential for a collaboration. For students, the experience builds their self-efficacy and prepares them for the working world, while teaching strategic thinking.

Other courses: Prof. Claire occasionally teaches Principles of Management (BUS305) which teaches students with the foundational concepts of management, both strategy and organizational behavior. She is also developing an entrepreneurship in the arts course.


The entrepreneurial culture of a community enables its residents to take action on their entrepreneurial interests more willingly and more effectively. Prof. Claire has created the Tacoma Entrepreneur Network (TEN) across the University of Puget Sound, the University of Washington Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University and Evergreen State Tacoma as the first step in helping Tacoma become more entrepreneurial. This work has been generously supported by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation and the University of Puget Sound.

TEN features four major events that involve prizes each year:

  • Innovate! Create!
    • one-day collaborative team competition
    • open to Tacoma college students
    • October
  • Plan to Change the World
    • competition for innovative ventures that meet social and/or environmental needs
    • open to Tacoma college students
    • November
  • Elevator Pitch Competition
    • 3-minute pitches about entrepreneurial ventures
    • open to Tacoma college students
    • March
  • Business Plan Competition
    • three categories of competition: financial, environmental and social
    • open to all Washington college students
    • features a Moving Forward Dinner for winners and judges and investors
    • April

Additionally, TEN features many Dine with an Entrepreneur events each term; these are opportunities for students to gather in small groups (less than four) with local entrepreneurs to hear their stories, ask questions, and receive advice. Every term, an Entrepreneur in Residence gives talks, shares meals, and meets with students on campus. Movie and TED Talk nights and student-initiated events also take place on campus. Additionally, there are opportunities to attend other local entrepreneurship events such as the South Sound Entrepreneur Weekend and the UW Business Plan Competition.

Twitter: TEN_College Edition


Prof. Claire envisions TEN as a multi-faceted organization. The community-level network will be the next TEN organization to launch, helping high-growth entrepreneurs build connections and share experience and resources. Prof. Claire is available to help other communities build their entrepreneurial culture.

In addition to TEN, Prof. Claire leads other entrepreneurial efforts at the University of Puget Sound. The Entrepreneurship Club has meetings and leads events such as BuyCotts. The new Commencement Hall houses the Entrepreneurship House (E-House), a residential program for upper division students.  Application: E-House Application 2015-16 

Fall Semester 2017

BUS 380a, Entrepreneurial Mindset Arts, TTh 9:30-10:50, McIntyre 212  - SEEKING Arts Organizations
BUS 482a Strategic Management and Consulting SRS, TTh 12:30-1:50, McIntyre 107


One day, the baby tiger went out exploring and saw hunters. The baby tiger ran in fear, “Mama, Mama,” cried the baby tiger, “There are hunters out there with big guns and they are building traps. What will we do?! We’re doomed!”

“Come here, my cub,” said the mama tiger, “and I will teach you how to pounce.”

The cub learned its lesson and the hunters were never heard from again.

“Never doubt the value of a good basic education,” said the mama tiger.