Belmont University’s Center for Entrepreneurship has landed a $150,000 grant from the Coleman Foundation to fund its Entrepreneurship Across Belmont initiative designed to educate students who aren’t majoring in business to prepare them to operate successful businesses in their chosen career field.
“The Coleman grant will help Belmont to become a national leader among universities integrating entrepreneurship across their campuses,” said Dr. Jeff Cornwall, professor of management, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and holder of the university’s prestigious Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship.
“We are looking forward to establishing initiatives with other faculty in the arts, sciences and other professional programs to support their students interested in entrepreneurship and self-employment in their chosen fields of study,” Dr. Cornwall said.
Belmont began offering entrepreneurship as a business major in June 2004. Already 39 students are enrolled. The program’s Entrepreneurship Club has 43 student members, 24 of which are not traditional business majors, but are majoring in audio/video, commercial music, design communications, graphic design or music business.
The program’s Business Hatchery has 20 students using it to launch businesses, including 15 who are not traditional business majors. And some 23 students are involved in running retail businesses in the three retail spaces the university owns along Belmont Boulevard, including 11 students who are not traditional business majors.
Belmont’s program was one of several university entrepreneurship programs that received a $40,000 Coleman grant in August 2004. Only two schools that received that first grant were chosen to receive this second, larger, three-year commitment of funding from the Coleman Foundation.
Cornwall notes recent surveys by the Chronicle of Higher Education have consistently found that almost 40 percent of college students list owning their own business as a significant career goal tied to their college education – yet only about one percent of college students at schools with entrepreneurship programs actually choose entrepreneurship as their major.
Students interested in one day owning their own business “are found in majors all across the university,” Cornwall said. “Our experience at Belmont shows at least this percentage of the student body has this goal in mind for their careers. Since so many students intend to choose an entrepreneurial path within their chosen field of study, finding ways to integrate basic knowledge about the entrepreneurial process benefits these students by improving their chances for success.
“The Entrepreneurship Across Belmont initiative will address this challenge with the goal of taking entrepreneurship education campus-wide over the next three years,” he said.”
The Coleman Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit, private, independent foundation established in the state of Illinois in 1951 by the two founders of the Fannie May Candies company. The Coleman Foundation makes grants nationally for entrepreneurship education.
The Tennessean: Entrepreneur center gets $150,000 to help non-business students succeed – May 22, 2005