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ASU shares its innovative approach to entrepreneurship education

August 29, 2013

Arizona State University’s unique approach to entrepreneurship education is featured in two white papers recently published by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that explore the state of entrepreneurship education on college campuses.    

The papers, which were released Aug. 1, detail the results of the Kauffman Campuses Initiative, which supported the development of interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education programs at U.S. colleges and universities. The initiative, which has since concluded, was launched with eight universities in December 2003. Ten additional campuses, including ASU, joined in 2006. 

The first paper, “Entrepreneurship Education Comes of Age on Campus,” reports on a gathering of educators from 16 institutions with notable entrepreneurship education programs – some Kauffman Campuses, some not – to discuss common practices and challenges. The report discusses a wide range of issues related to the implementation of entrepreneurship programs on campus, highlighting the rich variety of ways in which universities craft curricular and co-curricular offerings and how they develop activities that balance learning and doing.

In this paper, ASU officials shared insights on the university’s innovative approach to entrepreneurship education, particularly the way in which ASU has developed an entrepreneurial culture across the entire university by making the teaching of entrepreneurship central to the school’s mission.

“How can a large, diverse university set about fostering an academic and social culture in which the teaching of entrepreneurship feels not tangential but central to the school’s mission?” reads the report. “Arizona State University, with its very large student enrollment of more than 70,000, provides an example of how diverse strategies can interlock, making entrepreneurship, as one official told us, ‘a steady, explicit, and visible part of the vision at ASU.’”

The second paper, “Entrepreneurial Campuses: Action, Impact, and Lessons Learned from the Kauffman Campus Initiative,” features insights from leaders and educators of the 18 colleges and universities that participated in the Kauffman Campuses Initiative. ASU’s accomplishments are highlighted throughout the paper, including its success in embedding entrepreneurship throughout the university in numerous ways.

The papers are accompanied by a series of reflective essays by leaders of the 18 Kauffman Campuses that highlight the ways in which participation in the initiative transformed their campuses and culture, created opportunities for students, engaged and inspired faculty, and created a foundation for the future of entrepreneurship on their campuses and in their communities.    

Though the Kauffman Campus Initiative has concluded, ASU continues to work closely with the Kauffman Foundation to advance entrepreneurship. Most recently, Elizabeth Mack, an assistant professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, received a $30,000 grant from the foundation to study entrepreneurship in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The white papers and essays are available online at