Wednesday September 10, 2008

Entrepreneurship Program Moving Up

The University of Dayton's entrepreneurship program again ranked as one of the top five in the nation, and moved up a spot to No. 4.

The University of Dayton’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program moved up a spot to No. 4 in the 2008 list of best colleges for entrepreneurial programs released Sept. 9 by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine.

This is the third straight year UD has been on the list; UD ranked fifth the last two years. UD is the top Catholic school on the list and joins the University of Houston, Babson College and Drexel University in the top five.

The list is an exclusive ranking of the 50 most exceptional undergraduate business programs in the country for students studying entrepreneurship, according to the magazine, which surveyed 2,300 schools.

"The University of Dayton's entrepreneurship program is nationally ranked because it has many unique experiential features, including actual business creation," said Matt Shank, dean of UD’s School of Business Administration. "Our students become partners in learning and doing with faculty and business mentors. This theory-to-practice focus gives entrepreneurship students a context in which they can grow, develop and learn from their mistakes as well as their successes."

Schools were evaluated on broad criteria including academics and requirements, students and faculty, and outside-the-classroom experiences. Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review wrote that high-ranking programs demonstrated particular strength in hands-on learning that translates into real-world business experience. See the complete list at www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges.

In describing UD’s program, The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine noted this strength: “Students can't simply ‘declare’ their major in entrepreneurship. Instead, they have to show they're worthy of admission to the major by describing their behaviors, backgrounds and interests as they relate to entrepreneurship.”

According to students, the emphasis on experiential learning is a distinctive and valuable aspect of the program.?

"Everything in the program is centered on real-life experiences," said senior Addison Hoover, a double major in entrepreneurship and finance. "Most of the things that I'm doing are really hands-on."?

"Being involved in the business plan competition, running a micro-company, and just having classes in the entrepreneur setting has been just outstanding," Hoover said.

UD business students run Flyer Enterprises, the nation’s fourth-largest student-run business. Only Harvard, Georgetown and Stanford boast larger student-run operations. See more at http://www.flyerenterprises.com/.

UD’s sophomore entrepreneur students receive $5,000 to create and run their own micro-business.

The UD Business Plan Competition gives students an opportunity to compete for cash prizes as they plan and pitch the launch of a new venture. Winners of the 2008-2009 competition will compete for prize monies totaling more than $35,000. Read more at http://www.udbpc.com.

A strong partnership with the University’s School of Engineering pairs business with engineering students in the Design and Manufacturing Clinic to develop business plans for bringing innovations to market.

The Everest Real Estate Challenge pairs entrepreneurship majors with a commercial real estate professional as an adviser to improve growth of a large apartment complex owned by Los Angeles-based Everest Properties, a company founded by a UD graduate. Students compete for prize money and the satisfaction of seeing their ideas implemented by Everest.

Dean McFarlin, chair of the management and marketing department, said demand for entry into the program is high and increasing. A record number of sophomores have entered the program this year, representing a 35 percent increase over last year's class, he said.

In recent years, UD's entrepreneurship major has been the fastest growing major in the business school. It’s the only major requiring a separate application for admission. Total enrollment in the major for 2008 is approximately 170, with student GPAs averaging between 3.3 and 3.4.

In 2004, Forbes and The Princeton Review selected UD as one of the country's "most entrepreneurial campuses." UD's MBA program is listed in The Princeton Review's 2008 edition of its book, Best 290 Business Schools.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.