Babson Scales Up Entrepreneurship Education

A new initiative will provide more administrators, students, and faculty with access to Babson’s entrepreneurial training.

BABSON COLLEGE in Wellesley, Massachusetts, has created the Babson Academy to provide administrators, faculty, and students from other universities access to its entrepreneurial training. Launched in October, the academy will house all of Babson’s programs aimed at educators, including its existing Global Symposia for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE), as well as its Fellows Program for Entrepreneurship Educators, which welcomes approximately 20 select faculty from universities around the world for weeklong, immersive residencies at Babson.

The academy also will house programs intended for non-Babson students, such as Babson Build, a series of one- to three-week immersive experiential programs that are designed to help undergraduate and graduate students develop entrepreneurial mindsets.

“The mission is to provide access, inspiration, and community to the university entrepreneurship education market,” says Heidi Neck, academic director of the Babson Academy and the Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies.

One of the academy’s first new offerings is Heads of Entrepreneurship: Empowering the Educator. Funded by Santander Universities, a philanthropic division of Santander Bank that supports educational endeavors at institutions worldwide, the program helps university faculty and administrators develop their entrepreneurship education programming. In February, the academy also will host a SEE event at its campus in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the first time it will be held at that location.

In some cases, the school provides faculty with financial support to attend its training programs. For example, 40 faculty are invited each year to attend Babson’s SEE program in Chile for free. Of those 40, ten are selected to come to Babson as Fellows for a week.

Babson faculty also plan to create a master entrepreneurship teacher certification, along with additional programming on teaching entrepreneurially regardless of discipline, says Neck. In addition, the academy will reach out to other universities through the Babson Collaborative. As members of this consortium, universities can share best practices, co-create programming, and develop and promote global entrepreneurship education.

Creating the Babson Academy was a “logical” way for the college to better coordinate its external programs, connect with a greater number of like-minded university partners—and replicate its model of entrepreneurial education programming across the globe, says Neck. “The launch of the academy allows us to put our portfolio of offerings under one roof,” she says. “We want to inspire educators and their students to view entrepreneurship as a life skill to navigate uncertainty and develop the courage to act.”

Learn more about joining the Babson Collaborative.