Belmont Entrepreneurship Program Nationally Ranked Again for 2022

Belmont Comes in at No. 6 in Southeast, Represents only Entrepreneurship Program in Tennessee to be Recognized by Princeton Review, Entrepreneur Magazine

students shopping at the store
Belmont's new student-run business, Where the Well Things Are

Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine have again partnered to decide the top programs for studying entrepreneurship and have aptly ranked Belmont University’s Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program as no. 30 overall on its 16th annual “Top 50 Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurship” List. Belmont was also ranked no. 6 in the Southeast and continues to be the only program in Tennessee to be included in the Top 50 recognized schools.

“Entrepreneurship at Belmont University has an incredibly strong history and only continues to get better,” said Dean of Belmont’s Massey College of Business Dr. Sarah Gardial. “The Massey College of Business and the Thomas F. Cone Center for Entrepreneurship have established a stellar record for success in Nashville and across the country, and our program’s graduates are a perfect illustration of that success. With Dr. Greg Jones’ leadership and his emphasis on encouraging an entrepreneurship mindset within all disciplines across campus, I am eager to see how our programs continue to flourish moving forward.”

Belmont provides entrepreneurship students with a comprehensive ecosystem that creates hands-on, experiential learning opportunities, and real-time entrepreneurial activities through the on-campus Hatchery and Accelerator, student-run businesses, clinics, speakers, mentorship and advising. Entrepreneurship majors at Belmont and other students who are interested in starting their own businesses can receive guidance and support from the Cone Center for Entrepreneurship, which provides a clear path to equip students through the entire entrepreneurship process and provides robust co-curricular offerings along with an emphasis on experiential learning. 

student talking in class
Scott Rouse speaks about Body Language and “Your Short Pitch” in the Accelerator Program at Belmont University on March 2, 2020. (photo taken prior to COVID-19 pandemic)

Belmont faculty are actively engaged in the Nashville community and have fostered a network of successful entrepreneurs who mentor students. Students are connected to the resources in the city through partnerships with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Social Enterprise Alliance and Nashville Tech Council. 

With these resources in place, Belmont Entrepreneurship has been able to achieve the following stats:

  • Belmont entrepreneurs represent 724 businesses in 87 cities and six countries around the world
  • These start-ups have raised more than $325 million in funding
  • Roughly 70 percent of Belmont alumni businesses are still in business 10 years down the road, indicating the program is preparing students to start and sustain new businesses
  • Approximately 3,500 square feet of prime campus retail space is reserved for Belmont students to use to develop and manage small businesses
  • Belmont hosts annual business plan and pitch competitions
  • The Hatchery, on campus co-working space, provides an office environment containing basic resources to help students develop their own entrepreneurial ventures
  • Students are advised by faculty, staff and local entrepreneurs, who are part of the Belmont Entrepreneur Network and can learn first-hand from this year’s three alumni Entrepreneurs-in-Residence 
  • Other resources available to students include free legal clinics, accounting clinics and practicing entrepreneur roundtables

“Our program continues growing each year as our unique model aims to support students’ entire entrepreneurial journey – from ideation to business development. It is an honor to be ranked this year for our success, despite the challenges of the past year,” said Elizabeth Gortmaker, director of the Cone Center for Entrepreneurship. “We are excited about the future of our program alongside the energy of our growing alumni network. It’s amazing to watch our alumni become successful and want to pour back into their Belmont community, such as the three alumni serving as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence this year. I know that mindset will continue to grow as our alumni go out and find their own success.” 

The Cone Center is scheduled to hold its third annual Belmont Entrepreneur Awards event on December 13, honoring Belmont’s Top 100 alumni founders for their excellence in entrepreneurship and business. The event, which will be held at 6 p.m. in the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, will honor alumni located in 31 cities and who graduated from 37 majors across campus. Additional details on the event and how to attend will be released soon.

Based on data Princeton Review collected from its summer 2021 survey of more than 300 schools with offerings in entrepreneurship studies, this year’s list names 50 undergraduate and 50 graduate schools as outstanding choices for students aspiring to become entrepreneurs. The company tallied its lists based on analyses of more than 40 data points from the survey.

“The value of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking continues to grow in our daily lives,” said Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine. “We’re now seeing Americans start businesses at the fastest rate in a decade. By sharing this list, we want to continue to provide the much-needed information that people are looking for to forge their path to entrepreneurship. This list is a valuable reference tool for where future leaders can attain the knowledge, community and training grounds to succeed on that path.” 

The Princeton Review has reported its lists of top schools for entrepreneurship programs annually since 2006 in partnership with Entrepreneur Media Inc., publisher of Entrepreneur magazine. An article on the lists will be published in Entrepreneur’s December issue.