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The Babson College Learning Ecosystem: Recognition for Excellence in Entrepreneurship

Ian Lapp

Guest post by: Ian Lapp, PhD, Dean of the Undergraduate School

Here at Babson College, we create unique learning opportunities in multiple settings, in the classroom, across the campus, and in the wider world.  Like a natural ecosystem, the Babson learning ecosystem has essential components, nutrient cycles, important interactions, and energy flows.  By shedding a little light on how all this works, you will come to understand why for 21 consecutive times, the Undergraduate School has been ranked No. 1 for entrepreneurship by U.S. News and World Report.  In brief, the synergistic relationship that our students have with their peers, professors, and other partners in learning is critical.  Add in our methodology known as Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A) emphasizing the importance of action, experimentation, and creativity in solving problems in business and society, and you begin to gain insights into this only-at-Babson experience.

To start with, Babson pioneered the study of entrepreneurship and has the largest dedicated entrepreneurship faculty in the world.  Our entrepreneurship faculty are not only thought leaders in the field, but they have literally written the book on teaching entrepreneurship.  The over 200 full-time faculty across all ten divisions of the College, integrate business strategy, a liberal arts worldview, and an entrepreneurial mindset into a personal and powerful experience for our students.  Then add to this endless opportunities for engagement with the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship; Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership and WIN Lab®; The Lewis Institute and the Social Innovation Lab; and the Innovation Pipeline.  This Babson experience prepares our students and alumni to help reshape organizations, communities, and industries as well as develop whole new fields and ways of doing things.

In my role as the Dean, I have the privilege of witnessing the transformation of our students as they become change makers on campus and then join the ranks of our alumni going on to launch new businesses or innovate within an existing organization. Babson’s learning ecosystem of distinctive experiences, from coursework to co-curricular activities, take place in cutting-edge spaces including the Schlesinger Innovation Center and the Weissman Foundry (construction beginning in 2018). Babson’s location in the Greater Boston area provides access to workplace experiences that challenge and stretch our students in ways that will benefit them throughout their professional and personal lives.

From the first days our students spend on our campus, as a student in Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) where they create their own businesses, to internships and team-based consulting with the Management Consulting Field Experience (MCFE) to the last days with Advanced Liberal Arts classes—they are constantly living Entrepreneurial Thought & Action in the Babson learning ecosystem. We cultivate an environment where risk taking is encouraged, failures are learned from, and innovation is at the core.  Here students can innovate and accelerate. This all contributes to making a Babson graduate special: they truly are Entrepreneurs of All Kinds®.

Being recognized consistently by our peers and the press, as the consensus No. 1 in entrepreneurship is a point of pride.  It is clear that no matter what the ranking or the accolade, what we are doing here at Babson is working.  Please consider following our journey on Instagram as we continue to strive to be more innovative and entrepreneurial in the months and years to come.