The UAB Collat School of Business’s entrepreneurship program has earned the top award in a national competition of entrepreneurship programs.
The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) honored UAB’s program with the prestigious 2022 Model Emerging Program Award at the association’s annual conference January 8.
“Our entire community is extremely excited, especially the students,” said Patrick Murphy, Ph.D., Goodrich Chair of Entrepreneurship at UAB. “The faculty and staff have worked tirelessly for the past two years, and it feels great for our program to receive this major award.”
USASBE honored four university entrepreneurship programs with Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards. The Model Emerging Program Award acknowledges new or recently restructured entrepreneurship programs with demonstrated student impact. Other award recipients this year included Virginia Tech (Model Program Award); Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts (Excellence in Pedagogical Innovation Award); and The Garage at Northwestern University (Excellence in Co-Curricular Innovation Award).
“USASBE is the country’s premier professional organization for entrepreneurship educators and has been promoting entrepreneurship education worldwide for 40 years,” Murphy said. “For it to recognize UAB as having the top emerging entrepreneurship program, to be judged as such by our peers, is a very powerful external validation.”
USASBE noted UAB’s momentum, vision, and its faculty and staff as primary factors for the recognition.
“The competition for the Model Emerging Program Award is always tough, and the UAB team researched, translated and implemented best practices of entrepreneurship education to make a connected impact with their students and the community,” said USASBE CEO Julie Shields.
The entrepreneurship program's major and minor programs have grown to an estimated 150 students since the program began in 2020, according to Murphy. The school received a $1 million gift in 2021 to fund student scholarships and program enhancements.
“The judges felt strongly that this program has achieved remarkable goals in a relatively short amount of time to make it an exemplary model emerging program,” said Judi Eyles, USASBE’s 2022 program chair.
Murphy said he expects the program to continue to grow in 2022, launch a $5 million fundraising campaign, and recruit additional faculty to accommodate its exceptional growth.