Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is College Necessary for Young Entrepreneurs?

IN THE NEWS from co-founder Adam Toren asks this question amid the surprising results of a study conducted by, which shows that the benefits of a college diploma may not be worth the time and monetary investment involved. Toren further argues that since many of the things entrepreneurs need to know can be provided by extra-curricular sources like the Internet, books, actual experience, and mentors, maybe would-be entrepreneurs would best be served by not going to college.

College in America

In a follow-up article entitled 100 Top Entrepreneurs Who Succeeded without a College Degree, Toren further strengthens the argument against college education for entrepreneurs by providing an exhaustive list of 100 successful entrepreneurs who were not able to complete (in some cases, even start) a college degree.

Some notable names in the list include:
  • Dave Thomas, billionaire founder of Wendy’s. Dropped out of high school at 15.
  • George Eastman, multimillionaire inventor, Kodak founder. Dropped out of high school.
  • Henry Ford, billionaire founder of Ford Motor Company. Did not attend college.
  • Michael Dell, billionaire founder of Dell Computers, which started out of his college dorm room. Dropped out of college.
  • Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s. Dropped out of high school.
  • Richard Branson, billionaire founder of Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, and more. Dropped out of high school at 16.
What do you guys think? Can entrepreneurship be taught in school? Putting it another way, can an aspiring entrepreneur learn anything worthwhile in college? Can you think of a notable Filipino entrepreneur who does not have a college degree (all the famous names I can think of seem to have completed college)? Air your thoughts by posting a comment below.
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