The Close School of Entrepreneurship

In today's extremely competitive global workforce, there is an increased value and demand for initiative, independence, innovation, and the intellectual dexterity to rethink the old ways of doing things and invent new ones. The Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship has pioneered an approach to entrepreneurship education that addresses this need by teaching students to be entrepreneurial thinkers and doers, preparing them to meet the world market on solid footing and to create their own opportunities.

The Close School defines entrepreneurship as more than starting a company or sparking innovation within established organizations. At the Close School, entrepreneurship is a habit of mind and an attitude; a skill set applicable to pursuing innovation in business, personal, and career contexts. We assist students in cultivating an approach to life built around innovative thinking, calculated daring, and proactive behavior.

Within our unique curriculum, students learn skills such as resilience, collaboration, negotiation, and communication. The Close School's academic programs prepare students to face the challenges of self-employment, new-venture creation, and an ever-evolving 21st-century workforce.

Background

In December 2012, the Charles and Barbara Close Foundation's gift of $12.5 million established the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship. In January 2013, the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship became the first degree-granting school of entrepreneurship, independent of a business school, in the nation. The Close School is founded on the principle that every student should have the opportunity to dream big and pursue their passions. We encourage, educate, and enable innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Why is learning about entrepreneurship important to your career? There are several significant reasons. First, entrepreneurial skills will protect you in a weak job market by giving you the tools to create your own jobs. Second, learning about entrepreneurship broadens your perspective about ways to pursue your career entrepreneurially, rather than on traditional pathways in particular fields. Third, today, more than ever, companies seek employees with some type of entrepreneurial experience. Leading companies of all sizes understand that they must innovate to survive and prosper. Students who have developed an entrepreneurial mindset have strong communication skills, recognize how to take initiative, and know how to execute. By hiring entrepreneurial individuals, these companies are bringing innovative perspectives into the workplace.

Entrepreneurship is much more than the process of starting a company. Entrepreneurship is a habit of mind and an attitude; a skill set applicable to pursuing innovation in business, personal, and career contexts and an approach to life built around innovative thinking, calculated daring, and proactive behavior. Our goal is to infuse entrepreneurial thinking and doing in our courses and related programs.

Our courses and programs are designed to be experiential and interdisciplinary. They are available to all students throughout the University, regardless of major. We offer a fully funded Entrepreneurship Co-op and courses that provide small amounts of seed funding for new student businesses. Through our Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship, an array of programs and business competitions enhance your entrepreneurial experience.

At the Close School of Entrepreneurship, we believe that all students have the potential to be innovative; to take their ideas, in whatever context, and make them a reality. To elicit the entrepreneur in you, we offer students who are interested in learning about the process of innovation and entrepreneurship various curricular and co-curricular paths to becoming an "entrepreneur."

Goals and Objectives

  • Present entrepreneurship as a way to think, learn, and succeed in terms of values, behaviors, and process.

  • Provide a cutting-edge approach to entrepreneurship education.

  • Complement and enhance undergraduate and graduate education outcomes for students by developing entrepreneurial thinking within the curriculum.

  • Encourage and create a supportive academic and physical environment to allow the pursuit of student passions and big ideas.

  • Provide students, upon graduation with three competencies:

​​1. The entrepreneurial mindset.

2. An entrepreneurship toolkit.

3. Expertise in a specific content area of their choosing.

School Offerings

The Close School of Entrepreneurship offers students various paths to becoming an “entrepreneur.” The School is based on the premise that all students have the potential to be innovative: to take their ideas, in whatever context, and make their ideas a reality. The curricular and co-curricular programs are formulated to accommodate students’ potential paths to learning and living entrepreneurship.

Academic Programs

The School offers a BA and an MS in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, undergraduate minors in Corporate Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Social Entrepreneurship, and a graduate minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In addition, the Close School offers to all Drexel students, many elective courses with minimal or no prerequisites that integrate entrepreneurial education with all other academic disciplines at the University.

Through the appointment of a core of excellent teaching faculty (serial entrepreneurs and seasoned executives) and tenured/tenure-track faculty, the Close School cultivates a research agenda, providing thought leadership to academics and practitioners. Finally, the Close School of Entrepreneurship collaborates with regional and national organizations and the entrepreneurial community to advance innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives.

Entrepreneurship Co-Op

The co-op experience is the hallmark of a Drexel education. Drexel students intersperse one or three six-month periods of work within their academic plans of study. By weaving together scholarly and practical experiences, Drexel students graduate with a unique set of skills that open up a diverse array of professional opportunities upon graduation.

The Close School recognizes that many undergraduates have already started their own companies. To encourage this entrepreneurial spirit within our student body, the Close School, in collaboration with the Steinbright Career Development Center, offers to all Drexel undergraduate students the opportunity to use their own company as their co-op experience. Students who qualify for this opportunity receive a salary ($15,000), like other co-op students who work for established companies and organizations. Most importantly, students participating in the entrepreneurship co-op receive weekly mentoring from Close School faculty.

The Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship

The Baiada Institute is the cradle of entrepreneurship at Drexel University. Open to all students at Drexel, Baiada provides student entrepreneurs the physical space, mentoring, and resources to start their first (or next) big thing. The Baiada Institute translates the Close School of Entrepreneurship’s groundbreaking curriculum into disruptive ideas led by innovative companies, created by Drexel students from all academic disciplines.

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