Babson’s Refreshing New Take on Business Plan Challenges

Contributed by Heidi M. Neck, the Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College and an Agawa Associate.

There are over 250 business plan competitions in the U.S. every year, and Babson College has eliminated theirs. It’s true! Babson College is no longer hosting the annual business plan competition that started around1980. Recent research coming out of Babson by Julian Lange, Ed Marram, and Bill Bygrave suggests that business plans don’t really have an effect on the operating performance of the venture. After studying Babson alumni that graduated between 1985 and 2009, they concluded that professional experience contributed more to future venture success. Reading between the lines we can also make some depressing leaps about the value of entrepreneurship education given that so many professors around the world use the business plan as the gold standard in pedagogy.

It’s time for entrepreneurship education to be a bit more entrepreneurial! Babson is taking the lead once again. The annual business plan competition is being replaced with an action-based competition called the Babson Entrepreneurial Thought & Action

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