AACSB-accredited Schools Lead the Way in Entrepreneurial Education

Entrepreneurs / 1st May 2017

AACSB International (AACSB), the world’s largest business education network, has recognized 35 global business schools for their commitment to creating and incubating cutting-edge business innovations and fostering entrepreneurship in the next generation of business leaders.

In its inaugural year, AACSB’s Entrepreneurship Spotlight Challenge highlights AACSB-accredited schools that deliver innovative and creative best practices through a range of distinctive entrepreneurship programs, or through a variety of impactful center formats. To participate, accredited schools were invited to submit one example of how they demonstrate a unique commitment to student learning while providing opportunities for students to gain the skills required to be successful in business—whether in a startup or a world-renowned corporation.

“Entrepreneurship isn’t a buzzword anymore—it’s an instinctual drive that blends visionary, creative thinking with a little bit of bravery,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “For today’s world, graduates need to be agile thinkers, and business schools are putting the mechanisms into place that challenge students to anticipate the unknown through integrated, real-time learning.”

As part of the selection process, the nominations were reviewed by a panel of corporate leaders from a variety of disciplines, including venture capital, consulting, and accounting. Core to the Collective Vision for the industry, AACSB supports the collaboration of business practice with business education. By integrating the perspectives of business professionals into the selection process, relevant impact could be identified.

“Business schools continue to seek new ways to forecast the needs of business,” added Robinson. “Having this kind of partnership and feedback not only opens important channels for dialogue but affirms that accredited schools are implementing the tools necessary to prepare graduates for the next level of business.”

A total of 120 nominations were submitted by AACSB-accredited schools across 34 countries, all of which highlighted unique approaches to fostering and developing entrepreneurship in undergraduate and graduate students. Across the recognized schools, three key themes emerged:

Entrepreneurship is cross-disciplinary. Through novel strategies, business schools are taking a lead role in connecting students in the arts, music, STEM, medicine, CSR/sustainability, and other disciplines to incorporate the core strengths of each across the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Societal issues benefit from entrepreneurial approaches. Coursework and experiential learning leverage innovation and creativity to address pressing social issues. Entrepreneurship is no longer primarily about financial gain—the focus is shifting toward driving social change to benefit underserved communities around the world.

Entrepreneurship and experiential education are inseparable. Universities challenge student thinking and approaches to risk—at home and abroad—via hands-on immersion experiences through consulting projects, collaborations with new or existing business owners, development of alumni mentorship networks, as well as innovative partnerships with local governments to promote economic growth.
To view the selected nominations, and to learn more about the review panel, visit www.aacsb.edu/esc.

About AACSB International

As the world’s largest business education alliance, AACSB International (AACSB) connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to over 1,500 member organizations and more than 785 accredited business schools worldwide. With its global headquarters in the United States; EMEA headquarters in the Netherlands; and its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education. For more information, visit aacsb.edu.

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