Babson College, one of the top entrepreneurship colleges in the United States, whose mission is to prepare entrepreneurial leaders to create economic and social value everywhere is looking at potential collaboration with Sultan Qaboos University and business families in Oman to promote entrepreneurship education.
Dr Kerry Healey, president of Babson College and members of the global advisory board, visited Oman recently and held discussions with Sultan Qaboos University and a number of Omani business families.
Babson is very much focused on entrepreneurship, while SQU offers a much broader and diverse range of courses. “We would like to collaborate with likeminded Universities and family business on entrepreneurial projects. Additionally, we are looking forward to exploring the possibilities for student exchanges with SQU in addition to teaching entrepreneurship. SQU is certainly the type of university, which we would like to work with. They are committed to developing and supporting entrepreneurs.”
Babson College, she says, is a private business school in Massachusetts, established in 1919 and it offers UG, MBA programmes and graduate degree in entrepreneurship. It is ranked no 1 in the US for entrepreneurship education. And its central focus on entrepreneurship education has made it the top entrepreneurship college in the United States. The business-oriented school has over 2,000 undergraduate students and all of them have had the experience of being an entrepreneur. Currently, 55 students from Middle East study in Babson and most of them are from Dubai.
Today, everyone, everywhere, is talking about entrepreneurship. Increasingly, the world is recognising and valuing entrepreneurship of all kinds as a powerful force for solving the economic, social, and environmental issues confronting our world.
She says, “At Babson, we understand that the word entrepreneurship means much more than just starting a business. Entrepreneurial thought and action can, and is, being applied everywhere from large corporations and family businesses to nonprofit organisations and social causes, and by people of all ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds.”
At Babson, students are given an opportunity to start their own business from the first year of their college. “The focus is on thinking and acting entrepreneurially.” Students are divided into small groups and provided with seed funding to work on their ideas and starting a company. This way, the students gain confidence of beginning a real business, running it and also closing it down.
Babson has been at the forefront of seamlessly weaving social, economic, and environmental responsibility and sustainability into the fabric of its business curriculum. At Babson, entrepreneurship of every kind begins with the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profits. Community involvement and social responsibility are not an afterthought for Babson students; they are an integral part of the entrepreneurial process from day one. “I believe entrepreneurship is the world’s greatest force for creating social and economic value. And, the value of increased entrepreneurship to the world will be immense,” she says.
Babson, she says, also has a global scholarship programme, which gives an opportunity for students from around the world to come and study. “Every year, we admit 10 students to become global scholars irrespective of their income level,’’ adds Dr Kerry.
Around 20 per cent of the youth in the Middle East are unemployed and it is extremely important that the youth feel empowered and have the knowledge that they need to create their own success and not wait for an opportunity to come to them. They need to create their own opportunities. The potential for small businesses is huge.