Edited by G. Page West III, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Kelly G. Shaver
Anthony Mendes and Cynthia Kehoe Background In 2003, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation issued a request for proposals for a funding opportunity to support the development of cross-campus entrepreneurship education in American colleges and universities. This was a new direction for entrepreneurship education in four-year colleges and universities.1 Other than such noted exceptions as Cornell and Iowa State Universities, entrepreneurship education, though growing, was still primarily available to engineering and business students.2 Some business schools had recently begun to create undergraduate entrepreneurship minors for non-business students, and individual faculty in other departments taught single courses related to entrepreneurship. Still, in the early part of this decade, while the majority of college graduates who started businesses did not have business degrees, the majority of students who had ready access to an entrepreneurship program were majoring in business or engineering. The challenge from the Kauffman Foundation to grant applicants was to create new models for cross-campus entrepreneurship education. The eight recipients represented a diverse group of campuses with different types of proposed programs. The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) was one of the Kauffman Foundation award winners, with a proposal to work with faculty and graduate students as well as undergraduates. The proposal was created based in part on knowledge obtained from a 2002 inventory of the status of entrepreneurship education in over 3,100 two- and four-year US colleges and universities. The study confirmed a weakness in the academic legitimacy of entrepreneurship.3 Problems included the lack of tenure track...
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