Westmont College’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship acquired a new roomie recently, and the school’s Eaton Center will receive some prestigious recognition in the Forbes magazine due out on Sunday.
Pepperdine University’s new satellite campus for its part-time masters in business administration (MBA) program will share Westmont’s off-campus location in the Hutton Parker Foundation building on West Anapamu Street, giving Santa Barbara MBA-seekers a local option. Malibu-based Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School prides itself on small class sizes and the ability to pull faculty from area businesses, with a focus on information technology and systems industries. The part-time graduate program allows students to continue working while also being exposed to real business-based problems and challenges.
Downtown’s Westmont center was designed to give undergrads an opportunity to live within Santa Barbara’s community and work 20 hours a week as an intern at a for-profit business or a nonprofit or government group. Rachel Winslow, director of the Social Entrepreneurship center, said the program offers a big advantage since students are placed within the urban community. Adding Pepperdine’s graduate program to the mix gives the students another avenue to meet entrepreneurs.
What has caught Forbes’s attention is Westmont’s work in Haiti. Rick Ifland, director of the Eaton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, holds degrees from Westmont, Oxford, and the University of Kentucky’s Gatton business college and is an established entrepreneur himself. He takes college students annually to Haiti where they help start small businesses like food stands and taxi services by navigating the world of micro-loans. The financial magazine placed Westmont at number 10 on its list of the 50 most entrepreneurial colleges, based on a LinkedIn tally of alum who started businesses. Topping that list was Cooper Union, where mechanical engineering students take a hands-on course modeled after a class at Stanford, a perennial winner in Forbes’s Most Entrepreneurial Research University list, called Lean LaunchPad.