How one woman is changing the world of entrepreneurship education

Article originally published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on October 6, 2014

Earlier this year, I watched an incredible exchange between a student of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University and the Vice President of Retail for Apple, as they discussed the risks and challenges faced by an entrepreneur in launching a new business venture. At that point, I knew I was witnessing the very significant influence the Close School has on the education of Drexel students.

I had the privilege of visiting Silicon Valley with Donna De Carolis, the Founding Dean of the Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel, along with six of her staff and 16 of her students. In addition to visiting Apple, we visited eBay as well as a host of startup ventures.

The Close School of Entrepreneurship is the first freestanding degree-granting school for entrepreneurship in the United States. It is not part of any other school within the University – different than schools of entrepreneurship at other universities. Its mission is to offer all Drexel University students a path to entrepreneurship and to provide students from across all fields of study the opportunity to take courses to learn and to practice entrepreneurship skills. Whether a student starts their own venture or goes to work for an established company, these are skills useful in managing one’s life and career. The Close School is a safe place for a business concept to fail, and for the student to move on and pursue another idea.

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