UAB Barefield Entrepreneurship Program hosts annual United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference

National conference hosted by UAB attracts entrepreneur educators from around the nation to Birmingham.
Written by: Katherine Kirk
Media Contact: Adam Pope

Entreprenuership ConferenceThe University of Alabama at Birmingham’s J. Frank Barefield, Jr. Entrepreneurship Program recently hosted the 2024 United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship conference. With approximately 700 educators from across the United States and 15 other countries attending the conference and more attendees online, UAB was the host sponsor and played a key role in connecting Birmingham to a vast audience of entrepreneurs worldwide.  

“We deliver a world-class entrepreneurship education to our students and learners in our community, so it was an honor to host those from around the nation in Birmingham to learn more about entrepreneurship education,” said Patrick J. Murphy, Ph.D., Goodrich Endowed Chair and director of the Barefield Entrepreneurship Program in the Collat School of Business. “At UAB, we empower students to use that new knowledge to join and launch entrepreneurial ventures to make an impact on our ecosystem and beyond. It was wonderful to share the work at UAB with so many other leading programs in the field.”

According to the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, the conference’s economic impact on the city was nearly $1 million.

“About 90 percent of attendees had not been to Birmingham before,” Murphy said. “The event established many new connections inside and outside our regional economy.”

Established in 2020, the Barefield Entrepreneurship program offers a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and an Master of Business Administration degree with an entrepreneurship concentration. The program has a strategic alliance with the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and with Innovation Depot, which generate co-curricular and extracurricular educational experiences that magnify the program’s impact on the Birmingham region.

USASBE was founded in 1981 and is the country’s premier entrepreneurship education organization holding its annual conference in different cities around the country.