Jason Entsminger joins the Maine Business School

Jason Entsminger has been named assistant professor of entrepreneurship and innovation and assistant Extension professor and small business specialist at the University of Maine, effective September 15.

Entsminger comes to UMaine from the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD), hosted at Pennsylvania State University. NERCRD is one of four such centers established by USDA to coordinate research and Extension activities that support rural community development. There he led the center’s outreach-oriented mission, engaging with northeast land grant universities and rural development partners.

Entsminger’s research is focused on economic theories of firms and organizations and their strategic decisions. His work is often through the lens of food systems entrepreneurs. As an Extension professional, he pays particular attention to how the university system can support a successful entrepreneurial environment in rural communities. Topics of current interest include the networks used by entrepreneurs, rural forms of innovation, and minority-owned enterprises.

“We’re excited that Jason Entsminger will be engaged in the theory and practice of entrepreneurship in Maine,” says Jason Harkins, interim executive dean at the Maine Business School. “Along with teaching courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, Dr. Entsminger will help support Maine business owners with their needs and bring the experiences in the field into the classroom and his research.”

Through its economic development strategy, Maine has identified innovation and entrepreneurship as critical components of long-term growth and prosperity. As statewide efforts continue to encourage and facilitate the success of small businesses, Jason’s outreach work will strive to create curricula to help entrepreneurs form meaningful networks that will improve the success and performance of food system businesses.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Entsminger will be joining the Maine Business School and UMaine Cooperative Extension in this new joint position,” shared Hannah Carter, dean of UMaine Extension. “This position addresses both academic and industry needs, and we expect Jason will have an immediate impact as he has a great deal of knowledge and experience especially as it relates to small, rural businesses.”

Entsminger earned his Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri. He holds master’s degrees from the University of Florida and a consortium of European institutions. His three bachelor’s degrees are from the University of Nevada, Reno.