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UNC No. 1 in Entrepreneurship; Noted Leader in Field to Speak

Carolina is considered tops in the country for fostering entrepreneurship in a ranking by The Princeton Review and Forbes.com.

The ranking cited Kenan-Flagler Business School’s undergraduate degree with a concentration in entrepreneurship; an entrepreneurship minor scheduled to begin next fall in the College of Arts and Sciences; and the new Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative, which seeks to promote enterprise among faculty, staff and students.

According to Forbes.com, “students are encouraged to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, including the Carolina Entrepreneurship Club and Students in Free Enterprise, and to exploit school-sponsored programs like the Carolina Launch Program, designed to guide students through the process of starting up their own venture. The school also partners with a number of prominent companies, including Ernst & Young, which hosts the Master Panel of Entrepreneurs, during which award-winning entrepreneurs share their stories with students.”

The Carolina Launch Program is part of the entrepreneurial initiative, an $11 million program funded in part by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to infuse entrepreneurial approaches to education campuswide and help faculty, staff and students launch commercial, social and artistic ventures.

Forbes.com and The Princeton Review compiled data from 357 colleges and universities nationwide, asking questions about how they encourage and train undergraduates to become successful entrepreneurs.

The rest of the top 10, in descending order, were the University of Notre Dame, Louisiana State University and A&M College, Northeastern University, Indiana University, Carnegie Mellon University, Syracuse University, the University of Arizona, the University of Iowa and the University of New Hampshire.

The Princeton Review also measures “America’s Most-Connected Campuses” in an annual survey of computing capabilities, technology policies and coursework. Carolina ranked fifth out of 25 of the most “wired,” or technologically capable, schools in the country.

In related news, noted social entrepreneur Bill Drayton will speak on campus on Nov. 18 about “How to Change the World.”

Drayton, considered the “father of social entrepreneurship,” will have two public appearances, both free and open to the public:

  • “A conversation with Bill Friday,” 2 to 3 p.m. at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.
  • “Creating Financial Markets for Social Initiatives,” 5 to 6 p.m. at the Kenan Center.

Drayton is the first featured entrepreneur of the new Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative Speaker Series, which brings leading practitioners and scholars to UNC to interact with faculty, staff and students. He is among the social entrepreneurs featured in a new book, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of News Ideas, by David Bornstein.

Drayton is chairman and CEO of Ashoka Foundation, which he founded in 1980 to foster worldwide social entrepreneurship. He piloted his program in India with a budget of less than $50,000. Today, Ashoka spends $7 million a year to finance social entrepreneurship fellows globally.

The Ashoka Foundation grew out of Drayton’s experiences at Harvard University, where he graduated in 1965 with highest honors. As a student, he was founder and president of the Ashoka Table, an interdisciplinary weekly forum in the social sciences. He went on to study at Balliol College in Oxford University and later was elected a MacArthur Fellow.


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