Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular among college students, and the idea of dropping out to pursue entrepreneurial goals is on the rise, according to Forbes.com
Forbes attributes this trend to costly college educations. In an effort to prevent students from taking the Mark Zuckerberg and Sean "Diddy" Combs route, campuses around the country are developing opportunities to keep their innovative students on campus.
Harvard University has initiated a new $10 million dollar program called the Experiment Fund. The purpose of the fund is to bring venture capitalists to Harvard's campus to help student entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life, without leaving school. The venture capitalists teach students how to implement business plans and invest in student companies. Many of the investors are Harvard- alum entrepreneurs and understand the difficulty of starting a business as a college student.
Harvard isn't the only school making an effort to cater to its student entrepreneurs; institutions like Howard University and George Washington University are doing the same.
CEERC is the Communications Entrepreneurship Research and Resource Center in the School of Communications at Howard University. It serves as a training ground for emerging student entrepreneurs interested in communications and media entrepreneurial training.
Kathy Korman Frey, an adjunct professor at George Washington University, suggests that students who aspire to start their own businesses should look at colleges and universities which provide programs fostering ideas. This will prevent them from struggling to maintain their classes and their business.
“I would definitely leave school if I had a business that had the potential to gross a decent amount of money. I mean hey, Bill Gates doesn’t have a degree,” says Alyson Beckler, a student at Appalachian State University.
But not all students think leaving school is beneficial to their careers.
“All successful entrepreneurs know how to use little resources to maximize their opportunities,” says Matthew Aaron, a senior student entrepreneur at Howard University. “It doesn’t make sense for me to drop out of school to, you know, focus solely on my business, but then again I also think that it brings credibility to me in terms of when I’m speaking to clients because they know I have a degree.”
Students interested in finding more information regarding entrepreneurship should contact their campus career center. There are many other resources available to students if their campus does not offer entrepreneurship programs.
The Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards, also known as GSEA, is a worldwide competition for undergraduate, graduate, and even high school students. GSEA provides support to student entrepreneurs that are in the early stages of their careers in need of mentors, connections, and recognition so that their businesses can be taken to the next level.