Belmont University’s fast-growing entrepreneurship program at Belmont University has received a $40,000 grant from the Coleman Foundation. Part of this grant will be used to fund the creation of a second student business “hatchery” on campus. The remainder of the grant will support the Entrepreneurship Across Belmont initiative that is seeking to integrate entrepreneurship education to reach students from a variety of academic majors outside the College of Business, including students choosing a formal minor in Entrepreneurship and students taking advantage of the many co-curricular programs offered through the Center for Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Jeff Cornwall, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship at Belmont’s Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business, says the university’s first Student Business Hatchery, opened a year ago, has proven to be successful in helping students launch several start-up ventures. The second hatchery will be geared toward supporting more established businesses.
The first business hatchery is a two-room office that provides the basic business infrastructure to support students running businesses on campus and has computers, fax machine, copier, file space, a conference table and other resources.
“Any student who has a business up and running or who is about to launch a new business is eligible to use the Hatchery, no matter what major they are studying,” Cornwall said. “In the first year at our small university we had twenty students representing eleven different businesses, most of them formally incorporated, in our hatchery program.
“Several of the students who operated businesses in the Hatchery last year have graduated and are now working on these ventures full time in the outside world,” he reports. “We continue to offer advising and networking assistance, but they are launched from the Hatchery into their own space. They are beginning to hire employees, buy equipment, etc., helping in their own way to expand the entrepreneurial base of our local economy.”
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.