Should formal education and entrepreneurship mix?

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peter_head_shot_1There is a lot of debate in entrepreneurial circles about whether the best way to learn about starting a business is by just doing it, or by going to school and getting a degree.

My guest on today’s radio show, Peter Burns, has a very interesting perspective on this topic, as he has both been a serial entrepreneur, starting his first successful business at 19 (and over a hundred others in the proceeding 30 years) as well as founding the first-of-its-kind Institute of Entrepreneurship right here in Phoenix, Arizona.  With entrepreneurial guru Michael Gerber of “E-Myth” fame as a key and active advisory board member, there are a lot of cool and “anti-academic” things happening at the college including  Club Entrepreneur.

Learn about Peter’s own path to entrepreneurship, and his view on the role formal education can and should play in an entrepreneur’s journey.  The show starts in minutes (!), and details are here:

Date:  Friday, July 6
Time:  11am-12pm Pacific Standard Time
Topic:  Should formal education and entrepreneurship mix?
To listenClick here

If you miss the live show, you can always listen later, through the link above.  To download as an Mp3, you will have to click on the title of the show, which will bring up the “download as Mp3” option.

Update 7/6 at 12:07pm PST:  there was a strange technical glitch today on the VoiceAmerica site, so you may not be able to view the description of the show and the download link until it is fixed. I’ll let you know when it is working.  Update 7/9 at 10:00am:  It is working now!  I really enjoyed the interview and think you will too, so please download and let me know what you think.

6 Responses to “Should formal education and entrepreneurship mix?”

  1. BizzFlip says:


    It’s great to see more and more schools combining entrepreneurship into their schools core values! But, I think TCU’s Neeley school of Business had one of the first schools established:



  2. Bootstrap says:

    I’ve read Mark’s blog on immigrant entrepreneurs and found it interesting as well. In my opinion, I don’t see the need for entrepreneurship and formal education to mix, as I’ve observed as well that most entrepreneurs “think-outside-the-box”. Most entrepreneurs tend to gain their knowledge, skills through experience rather than education.

    But that’s just me.

  3. Hi Pam, just listened to your Peter Burns interview, it was excellent. I know Peter well, but it’s always fun to hear the story from the beginning. Anyway, our paths have crossed a number of times and I just wanted to formally introduce myself since we’ve never really spoken. I like what you are doing with Escape From Cubicle Nation and am proud to have others following the same vision of spreading entrepreneurship!

    Corey Kossack
    President of Club Entrepreneur

  4. Murali says:

    A recent report by Kauffman Foundation infers that there is a strong correlation between educational attainment and entrepreneurship. The report studied in particular Immigrant entrepreneurs. However, coming from a similar background, I don’t see any relation to it. More thoughts here:

  5. Mark says:

    I think formal education and entrepreneurship training for students’ should absolutely exist.


  6. Hi Pam — I’ll definitely check out that podcast. Meantime, just wanted to make sure you knew about Babson College’s Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. They’ve been around for a while. I learned about them when I worked for Senator Kennedy on the LEADERS Act — Linking Educators and Developing Entrepreneurs for Reaching Success. It was a proposal to support small business incubators that had strong affiliations with colleges or universities. The bill didn’t make it through Congress, but I’ve spoken recently with someone about possibly reviving it.