Heidi Neck is the Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College. As Faculty Director of the Babson Symposia for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE), she passionately works to improve the pedagogy of entrepreneurship education because new venture creation is the engine of society. Given the integrated and multidisciplinary nature of entrepreneurship, teaching entrepreneurship requires an entrepreneurial approach. In her own words:
I demand that my students think and act entrepreneurially, which requires creative problem-solving, calculated risk-taking, and improvisation. From a pedagogical perspective, I have to do the same. Teaching entrepreneurship requires continual innovation, fearless experimentation, and structured chaos. There is absolutely nothing more fun to teach! Yet I have a significant responsibility. Given the chaotic and nonlinear nature of entrepreneurship I must develop the discovery, thinking, reasoning, and implementation skills of my students so they may lead, manage, and excel in highly uncertain entrepreneurial environments. I want my students to identify and capture the right opportunity at the right time for the right reason.
In addition to entrepreneurship education Professor Neck’s research interests include social entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship, and creativity. She has published numerous book chapters, research monographs, and refereed articles in such journals as Journal of Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education. She is on the editorial board of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice and Academy of Management Learning & Education. Recognized for her contributions to innovative teaching and curriculum developments, she’s received numerous awards including Babson’s Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Gloria Appel Prize for entrepreneurial vitality in academe, United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Outstanding Entrepreneurship Course, USASBE Best Practice Pedagogy for theatrical improvisation, and USASBE best workshops for social entrepreneurship development and entrepreneurship pedagogy using the historic account for Ernest Shackleton’s journey to the South Pole as a backdrop for a discussion on entrepreneurial thought and action. Babson has nominated her twice for the Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year Award—but only nominated!
Heidi Neck completed her Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Louisiana State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Professor Neck teaches entrepreneurship at the executive, MBA, and undergraduate levels, and consults small businesses. She regularly speaks and teaches around the world helping educators better teach entrepreneurship and espousing the positive force of entrepreneurship as a societal change agent.