Annals in Entrepreneurship Education series
Edited by Michael H. Morris
Chapter 16: Entrepreneurship at Babson College: curricular, co-curricular and executive education programs
Babson College introduced entrepreneurship as a discrete academic discipline nearly 50 years ago and it remains an integral part of our DNA. How do we do this? We recognize that there is a debate between theory and practice, some schools rooting their curriculum more in theory and others focusing on the applied. We believe that in order to learn entrepreneurship, one must do entrepreneurship. Our philosophy is that doing entrepreneurship does not exclude theory. On the contrary, effective doing of entrepreneurship requires a set of practices and these practices are firmly grounded in theory. The students, however, don’t necessarily see the theory—it’s invisible and hidden in the practice. We call this actionable theory and this is the guide for our curriculum and programs. Connecting theory with practice, we infuse ‘Entrepreneurial Thought and Action’R throughout our curricular and co-curricular offerings. In our hands-on, collaborative environment, students and faculty see the world as it really is and conceive innovative solutions. Babson College’s innovation was to break entrepreneurship education out of its silo and integrate it across the curriculum so all our students can learn to apply their entrepreneurial skills from a foundation of strong functional business knowledge. Our campus is a learning/living laboratory where we question assumptions and value new ideas. In shaping the leaders of tomorrow, we are ourselves shaped by the new knowledge and restless energy that is part and parcel of the Babson College experience.
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