In an effort to further stimulate youth entrepreneurship, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on Tuesday pledged $35 million in planning grants to colleges and universities across the nation.
The grants will be combined with other matching commitments from funding partners, to contribute more than $200 million to college entrepreneurship programs over the next five years.
“We want all students, not just those in business schools, to see the value of thinking like entrepreneurs,” said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, based in Kansas City, Mo. “We want them to be able to recognize and seize opportunity when it presents itself, no matter what field they find themselves.”
This marks the second Kauffman Campus Initiative, the first of which awarded eight schools a total of $25 million to eight schools in 2003, to help develop entrepreneurial programs within liberal arts, engineering, and other disciplines.
This year, the foundation is upping the ante by combining its efforts with other funding partners and participating schools, including the Akron, Ohio-based Burton D. Morgan Foundation.
The Morgan Foundation, whose mission is to support organizations that foster entrepreneurship, contributed $5 million to provide the opportunity for nine liberal arts colleges in Northeast Ohio to participate.
“Northeast Ohio is facing serious economic challenges, so we want to encourage small businesses to provide employment opportunities,” said Deborah Hoover, the foundation's vice president. “We’re encouraging students to be as creative as possible, making these programs available to everyone, no matter what their major.”
Each of the colleges that the Kauffman Foundation selected will be a given a planning grant to develop its proposal, which will be presented to an independent panel of judges in December. Each participating school is eligible to receive a grant, based on their proposal and commitment to entrepreneurial education.
Schools participating in the new grant program include Brown University, New York University, and University of Wisconsin at Madison.