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DePaul MBA in Entrepreneurship Ranked Among the World’s Best

DePaul entrepreneurship program
DePaul's graduate entrepreneurship program blends both theory and practice, placing it in the 2021 Best MBA Programs for Entrepreneurship in Poets&Quants.

A new business school ranking recognizes DePaul University’s MBA program among the world’s best for entrepreneurship.

The DePaul MBA placed No. 40 in the 2021 Best MBA Programs for Entrepreneurship rankings released Oct. 27 by Poets&Quants, an influential business school news website, and its partner, Inc. magazine.

Poets&Quants used 10 metrics to assess entrepreneurship programs at business schools internationally, examining factors that include elective entrepreneurship courses offered, presence of student-run entrepreneur clubs, percentage of students and alumni who have launched businesses, and the availability of accelerator space, mentors and new venture competition cash prizes.

Maija Renko, Coleman Entrepreneurship Chair at DePaul, says the university’s graduate entrepreneurship program stands out because it blends theory and practice. “Our students are exposed to both the latest research and thinking around entrepreneurial success, as well as opportunities to directly learn from practicing entrepreneurs and their businesses.”

“Entrepreneurship is endemic to almost all careers in today’s business world,” she adds. “We teach entrepreneurial skills and mindset in a way that students can use when pursuing a variety of careers, not only when starting their own businesses.”

Complementing classroom learning, DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) and Women in Entrepreneurship Institute (WEI) offer a wide range of practical programming that supports the entrepreneurial aspirations of students and alumni.

The CEC offers start-up workshops and access to Chicago’s 1871 and 2112 business incubators, as well as new venture and innovation competitions. “Even during this virtual time, we have monthly workshops where our MBA students connect with subject matter experts and mentors to help them with their new ventures,” says Bruce Leech, CEC executive director. “Our Student Innovation Expo and Purpose Pitch competitions will be held virtually this year, offering students the potential of winning scholarship dollars or award money to help their new ventures.”

Established two years ago as part of the CEC, WEI spun off to become an independent institute at DePaul’s business college this fall. It serves as a resource for women entrepreneurs at the university and in the community, offering a business accelerator program as well as research and public policy support that address issues facing women business founders. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on small businesses, all of the women-owned ventures that have gone through the institute’s incubator are still in business, thanks, WEI Director Abigail Ingram says, to “the resources, grit and downright stubbornness of our founders.”

DePaul’s academic and co-curricular support for aspiring business founders has made its mark on the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In the past 10 years more than 178 DePaul graduate students have started new ventures, raising more than $17 million in venture capital, Leech says. 

Thomas Donley, interim dean of the Driehaus College of Business, says the college is continually looking for ways to expand on the success of its entrepreneur programs. This fall the college launched a new entrepreneurship major in its Bachelor in Business degree program.

“We’re excited to receive this recognition from Poets&Quants,” he says. “It attests to the high quality education and connections to entrepreneurial success that students can find at DePaul.”

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