News | November 22, 2022

NewsSchool of EntrepreneurshipStudent success

Princeton Review ranks FGCU 15th for undergrad entrepreneurship

Contributors: James Greco, Photography

Florida Gulf Coast University’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program leaped seven spots to No. 15 in The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine’s “Top 50 Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurship Studies for 2023” list.

FGCU first appeared on the list three years ago at No. 30, inched up to No. 29 in 2020 and jumped to No. 22 last year. It’s the highest-ranked undergraduate entrepreneurship program in Florida.

Sandra Kauanui, director of the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship, credits FGCU’s rise in the ranking to the success of businesses created by students and alumni. Princeton Review requests data including the amount of venture capital entrepreneurs raise and gross revenues their businesses bring in, she said.

Photo shows Lucas Hall at FGCU
Lucas Hall is home to the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship.

“Those are two of the key things. They’re really measuring the outcomes of our students,” Kauanui said. “Our students who’ve graduated and gone on into business are doing extremely well. Most of them are starting businesses in Southwest Florida, so our graduates are staying here and helping the economy. That really makes me feel good.”

Through the school’s curriculum, entrepreneurship students develop skills necessary to create and lead new businesses or contribute to established companies. Since 2016, students and alumni of the program have started over 374 businesses, raised $10.8 million in venture capital and earned more than $111 million in total gross revenue, Kauanui said. As of this fall, there are 778 students in the undergraduate degree program – compared to 537 a year ago – with thousands more from other majors taking entrepreneurship classes.

Princeton Review selected schools for its lists based on a summer 2022 survey of administrators at nearly 300 undergraduate and graduate schools offering entrepreneurship studies. The survey asked administrators over 60 questions about their school’s programs, and Princeton Review analyzed more than 40 survey data points to determine the rankings.

“Since the mid-2000s when we debuted these ranking lists, student interest in entrepreneurship studies has grown dramatically, as has the commitment to this field in higher education and the extraordinary support of the business community for these programs,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor in chief. “We strongly recommend these schools on our entrepreneurship studies lists for 2023. Their faculties are outstanding. Their programs have robust mentoring components, and their students receive networking support that will serve them for years to come.”

The rate of entrepreneurship and business creation has hit record highs in recent years, noted Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine.

“We’re seeing more people seeking insight on how to become successful entrepreneurs,” he said. “With this list of schools, aspiring entrepreneurs have a valuable reference for exploring schools that excel at helping young leaders expand their business skillsets and networks.”

On other Princeton Review lists for 2023, FGCU ranks No. 2 among 10 schools on the top South undergraduate entrepreneurship list and is included in the “2023 Best Colleges: Southeastern” and “Green Colleges” lists.

For more information about the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship, visit fgcu.edu/soe.