The Coleman Foundation

Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows Program

F

or nearly 40 years, the Coleman Foundation has supported the growth of post-secondary entrepreneurship education through a number of grant streams. Over ten years the Coleman Foundation Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows Program helped entrepreneurship professors in business schools work with faculty in other departments to address this need.

The following report describes the goals of the Coleman Foundation for the Fellows Program, how the Program was brought it to life, its development, and some of the most important lessons from its ten years of activity.

Report from the CEO

Letter from the President and CEO

Created by two successful entrepreneurs, the Coleman Foundation has made entrepreneurship education a central focus of its grantmaking since 1981. Coleman Foundation resources have anchored entrepreneurship teaching in many U.S. universities and colleges. Our most recent initiative, the Coleman Foundation Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows Program, is the subject of this report.
Studying

Post-secondary Entrepreneurship Education

The Fellows Program leaves two main legacies:
  1.  multidisciplinary faculty from 33 colleges and universities who have embedded the teaching of entrepreneurship skills and knowledge in their coursework; and
  2. tens of thousands of students who have learned about entrepreneurship as a possibility for themselves and acquired skills that can help them respond to opportunities.
Jd Builder - Smart Trading Modules

Fertile Earth: Entrepreneurship Education Groundwork

The hub of entrepreneurship education on campuses is the business school and, more recently, the entrepreneurship center. Students who don’t think of themselves as business people or entrepreneurs may never set foot in either. Even those who recognize that an introduction to entrepreneurship would be valuable often find it difficult to make time for such electives without extending their studies beyond four years.
Coffee

Building Community: Coffee With Colleagues

The Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurship Community of Practice (and informally “the Coffee Cup”). The Coffee Cup included a handful of ingredients: face-to-face and web-enabled meetings, a website, and support for external professional development for Fellows.
Students

Students: The Real Test

As Program Coordinator Joe Roberts discovered, students were eager for the learning opportunities provided by Project Directors and Fellows. “Listen, it’s not about us,” he said. “It’s about the success of students. The students were already thinking about entrepreneurship. We were talking about doing this and doing that. The students were saying, ‘Hey, guys, whether you do it or not, I’m already there.’”
Sunset

Program Ends: Infusion of Modules Method for Education Thrives

Early in 2018, the Coleman Foundation announced that it would sunset the Entrepreneurship Fellows Program in the 2018-2019 academic year. The decision was based on the Foundation’s sense that the Program’s original goals had been achieved, as well as the desire of Board members to explore supporting local, community-based programs.
Assessment

Program Assessment

Measuring the impact of any foundation grant tends to be challenging for a host of real-world reasons. For the Fellows program, one major impediment was pointed out by the Program Coordinator: “There is no proven method to test entrepreneurship [education].
Expenditures

Foundation Resources

The Coleman Foundation is proud of its lean approach to funding the Program, and hoped that the relatively low annual cost of the Program would help make it possible for Project Directors to replenish their budgets from other sources. Over ten years, the Foundation invested $4.7 million in the Coleman Fellows Program.
Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned and Recommendations

Early in 2018, the Coleman Foundation announced that it would sunset the Entrepreneurship Fellows Program in the 2018-2019 academic year. The decision was based on the Foundation’s sense that the Program’s original goals had been achieved, as well as the desire of Board members to explore supporting local, community-based programs.