Entrepreneurship on Campus: Using Data to Identify Emerging Entrepreneurs

Illustration of Bucky Badger riding in a paper airplane over the clouds

This post is the first in a series on Wisconsin School of Business Associate Professor Jon Eckhardt’s research on student entrepreneurship and university entrepreneurial ecosystems at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The research is made possible through the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.

On the surface, young student entrepreneurs on college campuses might look like any other students. But delve a little deeper and their patterns might be markedly different: perhaps they’re balancing an academic course load with working at a startup, for example, or busy founding a company of their own in a field completely outside of their declared major. Some students may leave school entirely before their four years are up to pursue their startup aspirations full time.

Until now, colleges haven’t known how to find this invisible demographic—and for good reason.

“Universities have not traditionally focused on entrepreneurship as a career path,” says Bekhzod Khoshimov, a Ph.D. student in management and human resources at the Wisconsin School of Business. “So what explains the fact that some students want to become entrepreneurs?”

Khoshimov is part of a team that works on a campus-wide survey on entrepreneurship started by Jon Eckhardt, an associate professor of management and human resources at WSB. Eckhardt has been analyzing the data from the first three years of the survey, 2015 through 2017. Along with Khoshimov, who joined in 2016, the project has expanded to now include Brent Goldfarb, a professor at the University of Maryland; UW–Madison economics graduate students Carol Liu, Kai Gu; and undergraduate math student Rebecca Wang. Together, they are working to discover what characteristics and experiences make some more inclined toward entrepreneurship.

Read the full article at: https://wsb.wisc.edu/faculty-research/forward-thinking-faculty-blog/2019/01/25/entrepreneurship-on-campus-using-data-to-identify-emerging-entrepreneurs