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Babson College, HBCU Consortium to Develop Entrepreneurship Curriculum

Babson College, HBCU Consortium to Develop Entrepreneurship Curriculum


Babson College and four historically Black colleges and universities have formed a partnership to support entrepreneurship initiatives. Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, North Carolina A&T and Southern University will work with Babson to create curricular materials focusing on African American entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses, and a teacher exchange program.

“The partnership is designed to create the right materials and environment to help African American students develop their entrepreneurial thinking and skills,” says Dr. Stephen Spinelli, director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College, who will co-direct the project with Adrian Alleyne, the center’s marketing manager. “This entrepreneurial mindset can then be applied in any business venture; large or small, public or private, corporate or not-for-profit, local or global,” Spinelli says.

The effort is supported by a $40,000 matching grant by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Babson’s proposal was selected from more than 300 proposals reviewed by judging teams comprised of foundation staff and entrepreneurship experts and educators. Proposals were rated on a variety of factors including the number of students reached, the variety of disciplines involved, and the focus on experiential learning.

The 2002 Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics conducted by researchers from Babson College and the Kauffman Foundation reports that African Americans are 50 percent more likely to start a business than their Caucasian counterparts. New business formation at the minority level is more widespread than previously disclosed.

The study also found that education is a significant predictor of new entrepreneurship ventures, particularly for African Americans. African American men with graduate degrees are 2.6 times more likely to start businesses than their White counterparts. “The high level of entrepreneurship among African Americans, combined with the dearth of business cases written on African American entrepreneurs, underscores the tremendous need for the Babson/HBCU consortium,” Spinelli says.

The Kauffman Foundation works with partners to encourage entrepreneurship across America and improve the education of children and youth. It was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman.

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