Thank You

Dr. Dianne H. B. Welsh, Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism

Hope, Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism: the HERO within each of us, and one of the seminal strands of Dr. Dianne Welsh’s entrepreneurial philosophy. Welsh is the Charles A. Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at UNCG’s Bryan School of Business and Economics. She has authored seven books and more than 150 publications; her resume is replete with accomplishments and global accolades. Welsh was the 2015 Fulbright-Hall Distinguished Chair for Entrepreneurship for Central Europe; a Presidential Appointee to the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Air Force Academy; and invited by the United Nations to deliver the keynote address on Women and Entrepreneurship. Beyond the array of awards is an innovative scholar committed to developing inclusive entrepreneurship opportunities across campus disciplines, breaking barriers, and creating connections.

As an experienced entrepreneur who has owned four businesses, Welsh knows the territory and speaks with authority.

“Start now. It’s never too late to start a business and there’s never really a great time…if you believe in yourself, others will believe in you and they’ll also invest in you.”

Charles A. Hayes, for whom Welsh’s professorship is named, demonstrated similar determination when he came to Greensboro’s Guilford Mills in 1961. Their careers parallel in several aspects: research, international collaboration, and the visionary courage required for innovation.

Charles Hayes began work at Guilford Mills 15 years after its founder, James Hornaday, had created a textile business in his garage with six employees and six warp-knit machines, producing synthetic fabrics for ladies’ lingerie. Hayes joined Hornaday on the cusp of Guilford Mills’ growth as it opened its first dyeing and finishing plant.

Over his four decades of work, Hayes pushed Guilford Mills to implement the latest technology, investing in state-of-the-art equipment, facilitating national and international acquisitions, and creating new products that elevated the company to Fortune 500 status.

Welsh was hired in 2008 as the first chair holder in Entrepreneurship — and transformed UNCG’s program. She created the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center, the Spartan Trader and the Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program, which was named the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program in the United States by the U.S. Association for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship in 2012. The Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program makes entrepreneurship education available to every student on campus, through 46 courses over dozens of departments, including blended curricular objectives and minors for business and non-business students. The UNCG Entrepreneurship Program is now the largest in the United States among schools of similar size and stature.

In 2016 Welsh won an Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation Award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, recognizing UNCG’s Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program for experiential learning focus, community engagement, and collaboration with the Integrative Community Studies/Beyond Academics Program for intellectually and/or developmentally disabled adults.

“What sets this program apart is that it combines all students from across the university in an entrepreneurial learning environment and teaches students first-hand to respect, honor, and accept differences in individual learning styles and the contributions that each of us has the ability to make,” Welsh asserted.

By making entrepreneurship truly inclusive and available to all students, Charles A. Hayes Distinguished Professor Dianne H.B. Welsh inspires entrepreneurs at UNCG to discover the heart of the HERO within.

Story by Zoe Dillard, Donor Relations.


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P. Kevin Williamson

Associate Vice Chancellor