What makes the best college for Entrepreneurship

What Makes the Best College for Entrepreneurship?

March 31, 2021 | Estimated Read Time: 7 Minutes
By: Karl Klaussen

If you’re looking for the best college for entrepreneurship, a good place to start is with the rankings.

Next, research what the schools have to offer in three areas: academics, faculty, and resources. 

  • Academics: Look at the blend of business courses, courses in the arts and sciences—essential in today’s business world—and experiential learning opportunities that a school offers. A mix of academics and real-world learning is a critical component to finding the best college for entrepreneurship, and the best college for entrepreneurs.
  • Faculty: Get to know the professors. Faculty at entrepreneurship colleges must have real-world entrepreneurship experience, no matter what subject they teach. Why? Because you don’t have to start a business to be an entrepreneur. Infusing entrepreneurship into teaching is about knowing the elements of success, and having the tools, resources, and right setting to convey that.
  • Resources: Look for a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem and opportunities to test and refine your entrepreneurial skills.  

We’ve compiled a guide to finding the best college for entrepreneurship that has the right mix of these elements to set you on the unparalleled path to success.

Start with the Entrepreneurship Rankings

Rankings offer an apples-to-apples comparison, and a benchmark for factors and criteria that are important. Top schools tend to meet certain criteria that define what makes the “best” schools. U.S. News & World Report ranks the top undergraduate entrepreneurship programs each year and is considered by many to be the industry standard.

While rankings are important, and carry cache when looking for a job and a career, it’s what’s behind the rankings that really matters. Look for the teaching methodology and get to know what, and how, you will learn. Remember, it’s a learning journey, and you want to make sure that an entrepreneurship college will nurture you, support you, and evolve your journey over time.

Look at the Academics

In your search, it’s critical to differentiate between starting a business and learning the skills of entrepreneurship as a springboard to success. Entrepreneurship is not just about starting a business, though it’s that, too. Entrepreneurship is about acquiring the skills of success, and entrepreneurship colleges know how to teach those skills in the context of entrepreneurship. So, whether you start a business, work your way up the company ladder, or blaze your own trail, these are the skills of success whatever path you take.

In short, entrepreneurship education is about creating an entrepreneurial mentality in students that is crucial to corporate and social innovation, and leads to success in any business setting. These skills include:

  • Adaptability
  • Perseverance
  • Calculated risk-taking

Each of these skills, plus managing ambiguity, thriving in uncertainty, and acquiring the “action mindset” translate well into other business realms, whether inside a Fortune 100 company or a family business.

Andrew Corbett, Chair of the Entrepreneurship Division and The Paul T. Babson Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College, illustrates this point using the school where he teaches as an example.

“What we're really doing is using the vehicle of a startup to teach entrepreneurial leadership skills that make our students successful in whatever path they chart for themselves.”

Once you understand the academic approach of an entrepreneurship college, look at its campus and resources, particularly around centers for advancement.

Does the Faculty Live and Breathe Entrepreneurship?

When searching for the best college for entrepreneurship, look at the number of faculty dedicated to entrepreneurship.

  • How many full-time faculty? 
  • How many adjunct professors? 
  • And, how many lecturers does the school have?
  • Do they partner a dedicated tenure track academic professor with an experienced entrepreneur faculty?

Be sure to learn how a school implements its academic philosophy with practical real life experience, because that is what is going to trickle down to the student experience. Faculty should be experienced and accomplished, along with performing research in the area of entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership.

Does Your School Have a Hub for Entrepreneurship?

When looking into the best college for entrepreneurs, assess what types of facilities, resources, centers, and institutes they have devoted solely to entrepreneurship in its many forms. Also take note as to how innovation and leadership play into the school’s ecosystem.

  • Does your school have accelerators, incubators, and mentors? 
  • Are there pitch competitions? 
  • Are there opportunities for experiential learning for you to put into practice what you learn in the classroom? 

These are all important questions to ponder when considering the best college for entrepreneurs. Many campuses have a centralized location to incubate ideas, launch businesses, and practice leadership. But, how they deliver these essential aspects of an entrepreneurship education varies from school to school. For instance, some schools use their resources and development centers to position their students to find solutions to today’s most pressing problems.

That’s true for Candy Brush, the vice provost of Global Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson. In Inc.com, she notes this trend. “Our students care deeply about things like water or conservation or the environment. They’re coming here to learn business skills to apply to some of those problems. It’s not just achieving an economic outcome—you have to do that in order to sustain an enterprise—but it’s also considering the social implications.”

Once you’ve looked into the rankings, academics, and resources put toward the development of entrepreneurship, leadership, and innovation, the next question is: What is the right entrepreneurship school for me?

Looking for the Best College for Entrepreneurship? Think Babson.

Babson College is unique for its academics, centers, and institutes, its faculty, and a balanced approach to learning that challenges students to make important connections between their activities in and out of the classroom. The result is a meaningful learning journey centered around Babson’s core curriculum that develops leadership, teamwork, and critical-thinking abilities. 

The three stages of Babson’s core curriculum are:

  • Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) – An award-winning course that teaches students entrepreneurial leadership from the new startup perspective, “outside” of an established business—required for all first-year students.
  • Socio-Ecological Systems – Students study the science behind how people and nature work together, and why that matters. This is where students learn how to create and assess opportunities—essential to making an impact in organizations of all kinds. 
  • Advanced Experiential – Students cap off their journey by undertaking a semester-long project with a company or nonprofit. Here, they gain entrepreneurial leadership experience from “inside” an existing organization.

Babson also boasts top ranking in a variety of categories. Each ranking offers a different lens into the unique and powerful entrepreneurship education students receive at Babson.

Babson’s Entrepreneurship Rankings

While rankings are one factor in a college’s makeup, it is what’s behind the rankings that ultimately determines the value and effectiveness of the educational journey as a whole.

Babson Academics: Geared for Success

At Babson, students blend business fundamentals with the liberal arts and sciences and real-world experience. By doing so, they gain valuable exposure to a variety of perspectives, analyze problems, gain insights, and build critical thinking skills for the modern business world. 

By immersing themselves in experiential projects, and blending action with experimentation, students leave Babson career-ready and in demand.

World-Renowned Faculty

One hundred percent of Babson’s entrepreneurship faculty—making up the largest dedicated entrepreneurship department in the world—have started, bought, or run a business. As such, they contribute to Babson’s unique entrepreneurial DNA.

  • 100% professors (0 teaching assistants)
  • 100% of faculty have entrepreneurial experience

Since Babson’s faculty have “been there,” they possess a unique way of relating to the subject matter and their students.

Babson also has a world-class hub for entrepreneurship that is central to the College’s mission.

Babson College’s Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership

The Blank School at Babson College is home to Babson’s entrepreneurial centers and institutes where students gather, collaborate, research, and gain real-life experience to augment what they have learned in the classroom.

  • The Butler Launch Pad at Babson offers co-working space, mentors, workshops, competitions, Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) program, and access to a Seed Fund.
  • Babson’s Summer Venture Program, a 10-week intensive accelerator provides free housing, advisors, and mentors, and helps students launch and grow their ventures.
  • The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson empowers women and offers the WIN Lab, a six-month accelerator for female founders.
  • The Social Innovation Lab at Babson connects a global, interdisciplinary community of students and mentors dedicated to building social impact ventures.
  • Babson’s Institute for Family Entrepreneurship fosters entrepreneurship in family businesses and offers a four-year Amplifier Program for students.
    Babson’s new 10,000-square-foot Weissman Foundry offers a collaboration space, media lab, woodshop, kitchen, and performance space where students can create and prototype.

The Blank School at Babson develops leaders who lead with empathy, morality, compassion, and drive to identify problems and create scalable solutions that can benefit individuals, communities, and the world. 

Babson College President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD sums up Babson’s unique approach to entrepreneurship education this way: “The world and workplace are rapidly evolving, and higher education, along with nearly every other sector, is being disrupted. As the best school for entrepreneurship, Babson is uniquely positioned—even obligated—to shift the paradigm and lead the change that today’s environment demands.”

Interested in learning more about Babson College for entrepreneurship?

Take the next step today.

I’ve always had an interest in entrepreneurial thought and business. I learned that Babson reflects this idea of helping one another and finding new solutions that better the world.”
– Shruti Jain ‘24
Hometown: Richmond, California

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About the Author

Karl Klaussen is a copywriter and marketing content specialist. An alumna of the University of Colorado, Boulder, he has worked at and with ad agencies, startups, non-profits, and global brands. He currently works for Babson College and writes extensively about the higher ed landscape.

Like this article? Have a suggestion? To contact our team with comments or article ideas, send us a note at news@babson.edu.

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