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Archive for Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Kauffman foundation gives $25M in grants

December 16, 2003

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— The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is giving $25 million to eight U.S. universities to create interdisciplinary entrepreneurship programs at the schools.

The foundation, the area's largest philanthropy, announced Monday that it would give $3 million to Florida International University, $3.1 million to Howard University, $4.5 million to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, $3.5 million to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, $3.5 million to the University of Rochester, $2 million to the University of Texas-El Paso, $2.16 million to Wake Forest University and $3 million to Washington University in St. Louis.

Schools must match the Kauffman grant with at least twice the amount awarded, meaning at least $75 million will go toward the programs.

The foundation said while entrepreneurship programs traditionally had been available in business schools, the eight universities plan to create campus-wide programs.

Plans range from Howard University's adding an entrepreneurship minor to Florida International University's adding faculty in a variety of disciplines and training them to teach entrepreneurship. Washington University in St. Louis plans to house its entrepreneurial students together, add 15 new courses and double the number of student-run businesses on campus.

The University of Rochester said it would create a center on campus to give students access to entrepreneurship training, promote entrepreneurship research and identify business partnerships with alumni, local businesses and nonprofit groups.

"The support of the Kauffman Foundation will have a transforming effect on our ability to have all of our constituencies become even more entrepreneurial than they are right now," said the university's president, Thomas Jackson.

Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, said the goal was to prepare students to run successful businesses.

"If roughly one in 10 Americans are trying to start a business at any given time, shouldn't we be preparing more to succeed?" Schramm said. "These Kauffman Campuses schools will create a boundary-less culture of entrepreneurship, empowering all students on campus to access the skills, orientation and networks that can lead to greater opportunities for them and to the creation of jobs, innovation and prosperity for America."

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