Entrepreneurial Campuses: Action, Impact, and Lessons Learned from the Kauffman Campuses Initiative
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Research Paper
10 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 2013
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation launched the Kauffman Campuses Initiative (KCI) in December 2003 to encourage new, interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education programs throughout American colleges and universities.1 The Foundation sought to make entrepreneurship a campus-wide experience, to help schools become more entrepreneurial, and to ensure that thousands of students on diverse campuses would begin to see their own knowledge and resources from a more entrepreneurial perspective. Eight universities were part of KCI1 when it launched in 2003. In 2006, five more universities and five Northeast Ohio liberal arts colleges (in partnership with the Burton D. Morgan Foundation) were selected for the KCI program, for a total of eighteen universities.2 As the grant program reaches its conclusion, we saw an opportunity to examine the work that was done on a diverse set of campuses and learn from the experiences of these schools. To that end, the Foundation convened a group of thought leaders for a day of intensive discussion in September 2012. In addition, campus leaders from KCI schools submitted reflective essays in early 2012, expressing the ways in which the KCI grants transformed their campuses and culture, created opportunities for students, engaged and inspired faculty, and created a foundation for the future of entrepreneurship on their campuses and in their communities. Together, these essays and the conference afford us the opportunity to highlight some of the significant transformations that have taken place at the eighteen KCI campuses, as well as at other entrepreneurial schools around the country.
With this collection, we share the essays we received in order to bring these stories and perspectives to light. These pieces reveal the common themes that emerged as schools sought to create a more substantial place for entrepreneurship on their campuses. They illuminate the varied experiences of the participating schools, the similarities and differences in their approaches, and the lessons learned. They synthesize the accomplishments of the KCI and offer observations and models that may be helpful to other campuses and their communities as they endeavor to strengthen existing entrepreneurship programs or to launch new efforts to bring entrepreneurship to campuses. At the Foundation, we see this collection of essays as both an inspiration and a guide for future work. We learned invaluable lessons from our collaboration with the KCI schools and from the observations they shared from their experiences in the initiative. These lessons and insights will inform our continuing efforts in both education and entrepreneurship.
Keywords: Kauffman campuses, higher education, university, college, entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurship
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