Belmont’s Entrepreneurship Program Ranks Top 20 in the Nation Again

Massey College of Business major demonstrates consistent success stories for students, graduates starting new businesses

Massey College of Business exterior

For the second year in a row, Belmont University’s undergraduate entrepreneurship major is among the Top 20 programs in the country for students interested in starting a new business, according to a ranking released today from The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine. The education services company named Belmont No. 20 on its list of 2021’s Top Schools for Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Sarah Gardial, dean of Belmont’s Massey College of Business, said, “Belmont has a highly developed entrepreneurship infrastructure – both curricular and extracurricular – to support the needs of budding entrepreneurs in colleges all across the Belmont University campus. And the ability to deliver these programs in Nashville, one of the top metro areas in the country, allows us to connect with start-ups, new technologies and emerging businesses right outside our doors.”

“The Thomas F. Cone Sr. Center for Entrepreneurship continues to expand its programming each year in support of our incredible students and the Nashville business community,” added Elizabeth Gortmaker, director of the Cone Center for Entrepreneurship. “We’re honored to deliver resources that contribute to our students’ ideas and new ventures. The continued recognition by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine is a testament to the hard work and talents of Belmont University’s students.”

Belmont represented the only school in Tennessee, and one of only eight colleges in the Southeast, to be named to the top 50 on the undergraduate programs’ list. Belmont’s prime location in Nashville makes it even more attractive for budding entrepreneurs as the city was named No. 11 on the Inc.’s Surge Cities list of Best U.S. Cities to Start a Business in 2020. The publication noted that Nashville’s startup scene is “booming” for entrepreneurs working in a wide variety of industries, from fashion to health care.

Named in honor of the nationally acclaimed entrepreneur who is the only person to take three companies public at the New York Stock Exchange, the mission of the Jack C. Massey College of Business is to educate entrepreneurial and ethical future business leaders. Since launching the entrepreneurship major in 2003, it has become the largest major in the Massey College.

Entrepreneurship majors, as well as students from other programs, who are interested in starting their own businesses can receive guidance and support from the campus’ Thomas F. Cone Center for Entrepreneurship.Thomas F. Cone Sr. was chairman and president of Cone Oil Company Inc. and founder of three companies, Cone Solvents Inc., Tennessee Adhesives Co. and B&C Aviation. The Cone Center provides a clear path to equip students through ideation, launch and development and provides robust co-curricular offerings along with an emphasis on experiential learning. A few Belmont Entrepreneurship stats include:

  • Belmont entrepreneurs represent 629 businesses in 84 cities and six countries around the world
  • These start-ups have raised more than $305 million in funding
  • 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 the Entrepreneur-in-Residence 
  • Other resources available to students include free legal clinics, accounting clinics and practicing entrepreneur roundtables

The Cone Center is scheduled to hold its second annual Belmont Entrepreneur Awards event on Dec. 15, as a virtual celebration honoring Belmont’s Top 100 alumni founders for their excellence in entrepreneurship and business. The event, which will be held at noon, will honor alumni located in 29 cities and who graduated from 31 different majors. Additional details on the event and how to attend/view will be released soon.

The Princeton Review tallied the 2021 lists based on its summer 2020 survey of administrators at more than 300 undergraduate and graduate schools offering entrepreneurship studies. More than 40 data points were analyzed for the ranking list tallies. Topics on the 60-question survey included: the percentage of faculty, students, and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors; the number and reach of mentorship programs, scholarships, and grants for entrepreneurial studies; and the level of support for school-sponsored business plan competitions.

“The schools that made our ranking lists for 2021 all offer exceptional entrepreneurship programs,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor in chief. “Their faculties are outstanding. Their courses have robust experiential components, and their students receive outstanding mentoring and networking support. We strongly recommend these fine schools to anyone considering a college major or graduate degree in this burgeoning field.”

“The pandemic has triggered a massive wave of entrepreneurial interest, and more Americans are starting businesses now than in the last decade,” said Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine. “That means there’s even more hunger for valuable information and insights on how to build and grow a business. We’re proud to publish this annual ranking, so that we can give future entrepreneurs guidance on the robust education programs that can help them start their journey.”

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 publish in Entrepreneur’s December issue, available on newsstands today.