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Published January 27, 2023
The University of Wyoming College of Business Entrepreneurship Program won the Model Emerging Program Award at the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Conference Jan. 18-22 in Tallahassee, Fla.
This major national award “recognizes colleges and universities for their efforts developing nascent entrepreneurship programs that demonstrate outstanding progress toward becoming comprehensive, bold and innovative educational programs with early records of student impact.”
“The winner of the Model Emerging Program Award has developed a well-defined focus for its cross-campus program and is positioning it well to attract many students,” says Judi Eyles, 2023 USASBE awards co-chair. “In three years, they have accomplished a significant amount of traction, both academically and through programs that are reflective of their culture. The judges were impressed with this program’s authenticity and focus. They presented a very strong program that is growing quickly, and it really stood out in this category.”
The UW Entrepreneurship Program currently is represented by an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship minor program and an entrepreneurship major program. UW began its entrepreneurship major program in 2020. In the three years since its inception, the major has experienced rapid growth, with almost 100 students pursuing the entrepreneurship major as of fall 2022.
Experiential education, a purposeful and integrated compilation of required and elective coursework that supports students in cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset, and opportunities to connect with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wyoming are all hallmarks of the UW Entrepreneurship Program. The College of Business continues to build its programs and plans to incorporate an entrepreneurship certificate program option as part of the Master of Business Administration offerings beginning in fall 2023.
This is the first time the UW College of Business has won a USASBE award.
“We are ecstatic to be chosen as the winner of the 2023 Model Emerging Program Award,” says Patrick Kreiser, the Rile Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship and Leadership in the College of Business. “USASBE has a long-standing tradition of supporting excellence in entrepreneurship education. Receiving a major national award such as this is recognition that the academic programming that we have developed and the experiential activities that we are providing to students, both inside and outside of the classroom, are helping to cultivate innovative business models and a new generation of business leaders who will propel the Wyoming economy forward.”
The impact of the Entrepreneurship Program is not limited to the College of Business. UW non-business majors can complete the entrepreneurship minor, which includes elective coursework from other UW colleges and schools. Students from around the state can compete in the John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition, where they receive mentorship and business feedback on their startups and have a chance to be awarded prizes for growing their own businesses. Students also may attend the Women Entrepreneurship Week Founding Stories Gathering each October to learn from female founders.
“Considering the strength of the competition, we are absolutely thrilled and honored to be named as the first-place winner of the 2023 award,” says College of Business Dean Scott Beaulier. “This recognition, in part, is a testament to the tremendous momentum we have created in our entrepreneurship programming; the dynamic and interdisciplinary collaboration that we are driving across campus; and the need throughout the university and the state of Wyoming to instill entrepreneurial thinking into all students we encounter.”