Entrepreneurship is a hot topic on college campuses in the United States these days.
An article by Jim Hopkins of Gannett News Service points out:
- Historically, universities prepared students to manage Fortune 500 companies, education experts say. Schools taught big-company finance and organizational behavior but little about start-ups, such as developing business plans and seeking venture capital.
That changed, especially in the 1990s, after research showed most jobs and innovations are created by start-ups. Also driving academic interest in small business:
Demand. More students think self-employment is a safer haven than working for big corporations. “Many saw parents downsized out of work,” says John Challenger, chief executive officer of executive outplacement consultant Challenger Gray & Christmas.
But big companies also don’t want to get left behind. In campus job hunts, they’re seeking students with entrepreneurship skills so they can better compete against start-ups.
More than 500 universities have entrepreneurship majors in undergraduate and MBA programs, up from as few as 175 in 1990. “Huge growth,” says Donald Kuratko, head of the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, an academic trade group.
Fund raising. Universities discovered that entrepreneurs and companies are more interested in supporting schools that teach entrepreneurship.
Yet a further sign that the American economy is becoming more entrepreneurial. Perhaps it is true — that more people are turning to self-employment out of choice rather than lack of job options.