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The Best Colleges for Young Entrepreneurs

If you’ve been reading the Kantner Foundation blog, you know that we love supporting young entrepreneurs. Since 1987, we’ve made it a point to encourage kid- and teen-preneurs to follow their passions, build their enterprises, and realize their dreams of business success across a wide spectrum of fields.

As a scholarship foundation, we know that our young entrepreneurs are already planning for the future. Those of you who are just starting your path to college might be considering schools with the best programs for young entrepreneurs like you. Whether you are already the CEO of your successful small business or still dreaming of the day you turn your ideas into reality, we believe it’s never too early to look at your college options.

Based on rankings in both US News and the Princeton Review, we’ve collected 6 schools around the United States that we believe offer the most exciting opportunities for young entrepreneurs. These colleges include not just solid academics and robust business departments, but plenty of programs and organizations designed to foster and nourish that entrepreneurial spirit.

And remember, when you’re ready to apply, consider The Kantner Foundation for scholarship money!

BABSON COLLEGE

Babson Park, MA

Most popular entrepreneurial major: Business Administration and Management

Why it’s good for young entrepreneurs: To put it bluntly, Babson College’s entire focus is on entrepreneurship. Across all disciplines, Babson emphasizes leadership, problem-solving, and opportunity mindset. What this means is that the entire faculty and staff are there to help young entrepreneurs grow and innovate. It’s like going to Entrepreneur University.

Through their Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® methodology, Babson teaches young entrepreneurs “to balance action, experimentation, and creativity with a deep understanding of business fundamentals and rigorous analysis as the ideal approach to creating economic and social value.” In other words, Babson is an immersive entrepreneurial college experience.

Can’t wait to get started? Check out Babson’s Summer Study for High School Students.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Ann Arbor, MI

Most popular entrepreneurial major: Business Administration and Management

Why it’s good for young entrepreneurs: UMich boasts over 30 on-campus student organizations devoted to entrepreneurship, including competitions, workshops, and internships. UMich “helps turn ideas into action by supporting, connecting, and expanding the Michigan entrepreneurial network and community,” through the school’s Innovate Blue system of interdisciplinary programming for undergrads. What does that mean? They consider themselves a nurturing and guiding force for young entrepreneurs. Every month, UMich holds a New Enterprise Forum where young entrepreneurs can network and pitch ideas.

You can even minor in Entrepreneurship through courses such as Entrepreneurial Creativity and Entrepreneurial Business Basics.

BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Waco, TX

Most popular entrepreneurial major: Marketing/Marketing Management

Why it’s good for young entrepreneurs: Baylor believes that students learn best through experience. They offer a major in Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation that “culminates in the development of an actual business plan designed to launch the student’s entrepreneurial career.” Basically, by the time you graduate, you’ll have already started your new business.

Baylor offers a New Venture Competition for college students worldwide. Winners receive mentorship, networking opportunities, and cash prizes. Other entrepreneurial support at Baylor includes programs and internship opportunities for students at the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise, internships and job opportunities, and the Business & Innovation Living-Learning Center housing and academic support.

Thinking about attending Baylor? Try their Summer Accelerate Program for high school students.

UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

Houston, TX

Most popular entrepreneurial major: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

Why it’s good for young entrepreneurs: UH offers students the chance to earn a BBA degree in Entrepreneurship itself. Students can take courses such as Social Entrepreneurship, Women in Entrepreneurship, and Business Plan and Implementation. They even host a center called RED Labs, which helps students work in teams to build and launch a real business.

UH also features a yearly hack-a-thon style weekend called the Femtech(+) Innovation Challenge, a “Battle of the Classes” competition for students enrolled in various entrepreneurship classes, and a 3-day spring business competition for young entrepreneurs to sell food or products on campus.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY

Provo, UT

Most popular entrepreneurial major: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

Why it’s good for young entrepreneurs: At BYU, young entrepreneurs can earn their BS in Entrepreneurial Management with classes such as Startup Bootcamp and Social Impact: Do Good Better. The school boasts 13 active clubs for business-minded students, including Women in Entrepreneurship, Women in Management, and, of course, an Entrepreneurship Club.

The Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology by BYU Marriott helps business-minded undergrads learn and practice “leadership, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship skills,” as well as “establish actual ventures, especially tech-oriented and scalable ventures.” Each semester, the Rollins Center supports business-centered competitions. So get ready to jump right in!

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Ames, IA

Most popular entrepreneurial major: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

Why it’s good for young entrepreneurs: ISU emphasizes a multi-disciplinary approach to entrepreneurship for undergraduate business students. This includes their CyBIZ Lab at the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business, where “cross-functional teams of undergraduate and graduate students work on business and organizational projects.”

In addition to majoring or minoring in entrepreneurship, there are plenty of clubs and organizations to join, including Entrepreneurial Product Development. This club focuses on experiential projects and real-world business development so you can get started on your business right away.

Throughout the year, ISU also offers six different optional programs focusing exclusively on developing leadership skills. The Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship sponsors information sessions, “pitch-offs,” and venture competitions for students.

Whatever your entrepreneurial goals are, wherever your dreams take you, we hope you will continue to nurture your passion for business and enterprise. The schools listed above are a small sample of the many collegiate programs out there designed with young entrepreneurs like you in mind. Remember that entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination. With that in mind, we here at the Kantner Foundation can’t wait to see what exciting roads you travel on your path to success!

Will you be one of the next recipients of a Kantner Foundation college scholarship? If you are a Florida high school entrepreneur, click here to learn more!


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