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Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught?

You bet it can--and in our 1st Annual Top 100 Entrepreneurial Colleges and Universities, we reveal which U.S. schools do it best.

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This story appears in the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In 1970, a national survey of business schools found just 16 courses offered in entrepreneurship. Since then, entrepreneurial education has taken off like the Internet craze. Karl Vesper, University of Washington management professor and entrepreneurship expert, did the groundbreaking 1970 study that, when repeated in 1997, uncovered more than 400 schools offering at least one course in entrepreneurship, and more than 50 schools with four or more courses.

"Money, mostly" is the reason so many schools have added entrepreneurship to their offerings, says Vesper, who explains that colleges want to tap into donations from wealthy alumni. But the visibility of entrepreneurs in business in the past three decades has also played a role. As headlines blared about the innovation and personal wealth that went hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs and start-up ventures, especially in the technology sector, the public became increasingly fascinated with start-up businesses and the risk-taking mind-set that defines the entrepreneur.

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