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Best Colleges for Entrepreneurship

College Top Entrepreneurial Colleges

This is Part 5 of our Back to College series, which aims to help college students thrive as small business owners. In Part 4, we covered building professional social media accounts. To view all the posts in the series, click here.

 

Best Colleges for Entrepreneurship

It’s one thing to get a college degree that prepares you to get a good job at someone else’s company – it’s another thing to learn how to start a company of your own. Many college students major in Business or areas of study like Marketing, Finance, and more – but what if you truly want to learn about how to become an entrepreneur and start your own business while you’re still in college?

Some entrepreneurs would say that the best training to be an entrepreneur is to learn by doing – to just go out and start a business and start finding customers and making sales. But there are many fundamental skills and knowledge areas that can be important for entrepreneurs to know, and getting a college education is almost always a good investment in your long-term career success. Many universities even have dedicated entrepreneurship programs that teach college students how to understand essential principles of the business world while learning to think with an entrepreneurial mindset.

So if you or a college student or high school senior you know is thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you might want to consider one of these top-ranked colleges and universities for entrepreneurship, according to the Princeton Review:

 

  1. Babson College: This private business school, based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, has 2,106 students enrolled in its entrepreneurship program, with 55 different undergraduate courses related to entrepreneurship. Babson alumni have gone on to start 118 companies in the past 5 years. The college has an annual business plan competition that gives away $75,000 in cash prizes, 100% of the entrepreneurship faculty have successfully started, acquired or run a business, and the school also connects students with 927 individual business mentors.
  1. University of Houston: The university’s Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship has 1,306 students enrolled, and offers 31 undergraduate classes in entrepreneurship and related subjects. Houston alums have founded 66 companies and raised more than $7.2 million in funding during the past five years.
  1. Baylor University: Based in Waco, Texas, Baylor has an entrepreneurship program with 2,112 students and 29 different entrepreneurship classes for undergrads. Baylor alums have founded 200 companies and raised $2 million in the past 5 years, and the school’s annual business plan competition awards $100,000 in cash prizes.
  1. Brigham Young University: BYU has an annual business plan contest that awards more than $300,000 in cash prizes, and during the past five years, BYU alums have founded 256 companies and raised nearly $160 million in funding.
  1. University of Oklahoma: Oklahoma has 253 people enrolled in its entrepreneurship program, and during the past five years its alums have founded 70 companies and raised more than $306 million in venture capital funding.
  1. Syracuse University: Syracuse’s Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises program has 267 students enrolled, and offers 64 different undergrad courses in entrepreneurship and related subjects.
  1. Northeastern University: Based in Boston, Northeastern has 490 students enrolled in its entrepreneurship and innovation program, and its alums have founded 400 companies during the past five years, raising more than $12.2 million in venture capital funding.
  1. University of Southern California: USC has 1,599 students enrolled at its Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and its graduates have founded 250 companies in the past five years.
  1. Baruch College: Part of the City University of New York, Baruch College offers an entrepreneurship program with 647 students enrolled in a total of 16 entrepreneurship-related classes. In the past five years, Baruch grads have founded 1,000 companies and raised $70 million.
  1. Miami University (Ohio): Miami of Ohio has 997 students enrolled at its Institute for Entrepreneurship, with 39 undergrad classes on entrepreneurship-related subjects.

 

By reading about some of the top-rated schools for entrepreneurship, it’s clear that there are a few things that prospective entrepreneurship students should look for in a college program:

  • Real-world learning: The best colleges for entrepreneurship tend to have lots of faculty that have started their own businesses, letting you learn from real entrepreneurs who have gone through the entrepreneurial journey before, as well as real-life challenges like business plan competitions to test your ideas in a supportive learning environment.
  • Networking: Ideally, a good college entrepreneurship program will introduce you to a great network of talented classmates and generous business mentors who can inspire you to get better at building your business acumen, or introduce you to investors and business partners.
  • Great location: This is not the #1 most important thing for everyone, but if you’re going to invest a lot of money in college tuition, it might as well be at a college that is located in a city where you would like to live and work and build your business. Many online businesses can be built from anywhere, but there is still value in being in a city that is full of like-minded people and talented employees and ambitious investors who are looking to support promising new businesses like yours. Entrepreneurs tend to cluster together around certain cities and regions that produce a lot of fast-growing companies – choose your college wisely.

 

Have you gone to college for entrepreneurship? What did you learn, and how did it compare to the old-fashioned way of “learning by doing?” Leave a comment and let us know, or tweet us at @KabbageInc.

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Kabbage Team

The Kabbage Team is here to not only fund the small business loans you need, but to help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.

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