Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 11:47 am | Fair 71º


Westmont Ranks Among Forbes’ Top 10 Entrepreneurial Colleges

Westmont College has been ranked No. 10 on Forbes’ 2015 list of the 50 most entrepreneurial colleges in the nation.

The magazine evaluated the country’s most entrepreneurial schools based on entrepreneurial ratios: the total number of alumni and students who have identified themselves as founders and business owners on LinkedIn divided by the school’s student body (undergraduate and graduate combined).

This year the magazine separated research universities and smaller colleges.

The top 10 colleges joining Westmont on Forbes’ list include Cooper Union (1), Middlebury College (2), Colorado College (3), Bennington College (4), Morehouse College (5), and Trinity University (8).

Others schools are Pomona College (12), Vassar College (15), Amherst College (25), Sarah Lawrence College (35), Villanova University (45) and Swarthmore College (49).

Forbes says about Westmont, “Its entrepreneurship center sends students to Haiti to help launch locally owned small businesses, like food stands and moped taxi services.”

For the past two years, Westmont students have traveled to Haiti during spring break to fund businesses using microfinance.

They hire Haitians to manage the projects throughout the year who select prospective business owners based on recommendations from local officials.

Students train the owners of the new enterprises, help them write acceptable business plans and introduce accountability and checks and balances for daily operations.

“We seek to equip students with the skills and experiences they need to become social innovators, entrepreneurs and people who seek the global good as well as capital entrepreneurs,” Westmont President Gayle Beebe said. “The best studies indicate that one of the most pivotal experiences for undergraduates is an internship or experience that allows students to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom.”

Rick Ifland, director of Westmont’s Eaton Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, chairs the Department of Economics & Business and developed the Haiti project as part of his class “Business at the Bottom of the Pyramid.” He accompanies the students to Haiti each year.

Westmont Downtown, a new, semester-long academic program, opens in fall 2015. Based in downtown Santa Barbara, the program will train students in both capital and social entrepreneurship and provide internships with Santa Barbara-based businesses and social agencies.

Rachel Winslow leads Westmont’s new Center for Social Entrepreneurship and coordinates Westmont Downtown.

Westmont alumni have started numerous businesses in the Santa Barbara area, including AppFolio, which recently went public, and MedBridge.

— Scott Craig is the manager of media relations at Westmont College.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >