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Report: Better outcomes for students at Tribal Colleges and Universities with entrepreneurship courses

June 03, 2021

A new report from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) highlights the impact of business and entrepreneurship courses at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), which have long served as bastions of cultural identity at many American Indian and Alaskan Native reservations and important economic drivers in these prominently rural areas. MBDA finds statistically significant evidence that TCUs with stronger business and entrepreneurship curriculum typically serve the most rural areas, and that these areas have higher levels of self-employment, median earnings, and higher rates of bachelor’s degree attainment than areas served by TCUs without strong business and entrepreneurship curriculum.

MBDA claims these outcomes arise from experiential, hands-on business and entrepreneurship learning opportunities based on the unique characteristics and needs of local tribal communities where these TCUs are located. Although additional data is needed to develop more sophisticated models for measuring these impacts, this preliminary evaluation provides support for further developing business and entrepreneurship curriculum at the nation’s TCUs.

higher ed, entrepreneurship, equity, inclusion