For most students, summer has come to an end. This week marked the first days of class for many colleges and universities across the Midwest. For young entrepreneurial minds, the beginning of the semester is arguably the best time of the year. It is a chance for a fresh start because it opens the door to limitless opportunities. Right now, you can find bright, industrious minds all over campus actively pursuing various degrees. But where do these students go when they want to turn their passions into entrepreneurial careers?
They don’t have to go very far. The University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC), Kansas State University (K-State) and Rockhurst University all offer degree programs for students interested in entrepreneurship. Students at the University of Kansas (KU) can also earn a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from the KU School of Business School.
Entrepreneurship programs are a growing trend among many top universities in the country. K-State, located in Manhattan, Kansas, established its entrepreneurship program in 2009 as a reaction to the growing demand among students who wanted to pursue entrepreneurial careers. This year, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship recognized K-State with the 2011 Emerging Program Award. An honor rightly deserved.
K-State’s entrepreneurship program is growing fast. “We are working on bridging the gap between the classroom by connecting our coursework with outside resources,” says Chad Jackson, Associate Director of Entrepreneurship at K-State. K-State has already established a campus-wide business plan competition and a professional mentoring program. The program is now in the process of creating a venture fund and business incubator to help make the entrepreneurial endeavors of K-State students a success.
Students that have interest in social entrepreneurship would benefit from looking at K-State’s Entrepreneurship Program. In the next few years, K-State is looking to focus its direction on social entrepreneurship and startup organizations. It is put best by Jackson himself: “Social entrepreneurship is already a growing trend and it has the ability to make a huge impact on the world.”
It is wonderful to see so much growth in entrepreneurial education right here in the Midwest. So whether you’re from Manhattan, New York or Manhattan, Kansas, one thing is for sure—a great idea can come from anywhere.
Written by Laura Goede