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DePaul entrepreneurship program jumps in Princeton Review national rankings

Entrepreneurship program at DePaul
Students studying entrepreneurship at DePaul have opportunities to pitch their business ideas at events such as the Final Four Business Pitch competition hosted by the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center. (DePaul University/Kathy Hillegonds)
DePaul University’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program moved up nine places to rank No. 13 in the Princeton Review’s annual “Top Schools for Entrepreneurship” survey released Nov. 13. It was the biggest year-over-year rankings jump among undergraduate programs listed as the best in the nation for 2019. DePaul’s graduate entrepreneurship program also was recognized for its excellence by the Princeton Review and maintained its No. 20 ranking.

“We take pride in the continuing recognition we receive for being a leader in entrepreneurship education,” says Dan Heiser, chair of the Department of Management & Entrepreneurship at DePaul’s Driehaus College of Business. “We are particularly honored to be the only program in Illinois consistently recognized among the nation’s best at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

The Princeton Review based the 2019 rankings on surveys of more than 300 schools offering entrepreneurship studies. The 60-question survey gathered 40 data points, including 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. 

"These colleges and business schools have truly superb entrepreneurship programs," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's editor-in-chief, in a Nov. 13 news release that revealed the ranked schools. "Their faculties are genuinely engaged in entrepreneurism. Their courses are rich with in-class and out-of-class experiential components, and the financial and networking support their students receive via donors and alumni is extraordinary."

DePaul was one of the earliest American universities to offer courses in entrepreneurship when it launched its first class in the subject in 1971. Today, DePaul offers an MBA concentration in entrepreneurship and a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship, as well as an undergraduate major in management with an entrepreneurship focus. These programs prepare students to identify viable business ideas, create sustainable business plans and pursue investment strategies for launching and growing new businesses and nonprofits.

One of the distinctive aspects of  DePaul's program is the support students receive from the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul. The center offers aspiring entrepreneurs how-to workshops, mentorships, internships, and pitch competitions, as well as access to the city’s 1871 and 2112 start-up incubators. The center also recently launched the Women in Entrepreneurship Institute, which seeks to become the most comprehensive source of education, research, incubation and advocacy for women founders and their businesses.

“Our ability to leverage Chicago’s dynamic ecosystem of incubators and accelerators, our newly launched Women in Entrepreneurship Institute, and our annual Purpose Pitch competition support our goal to provide students and alumni with a holistic, real-world education in entrepreneurship,” Heiser says.

Bruce Leech, executive director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, notes that the programming reaches beyond DePaul’s business college and is also available to alumni. “The recognition from the Princeton Review reflects our growing campus-wide programming to support the entrepreneurial spirit of our students pursuing careers outside the business school—including in journalism, computer science, theater and music. Our student and faculty partners across the university share in this recognition.”

DePaul alumni started 548 businesses and raised more than $443 million in funding from 2008-2017, according to data gathered by the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center for the alumni portion of Princeton Review rankings survey. Ninety-five percent of the companies are still in business.

Read more on the Driehaus College of Business website​