By Robert Stitt
If you want to be a top-ranked chef, you go to Le Cordon Bleu. If you want to be a physicist, you go to MIT, Cal Tech, Harvard, Princeton, or Stanford. If you are a woman and you want to be an entrepreneur… is there a school for that?
As a matter of fact, CrunchBase is an authority on startups. In a recent CrunchBase report, the company noted ten universities turned out more successful female entrepreneurs than the others. This means that if you are a woman and you want to join the 9.1 million women who own businesses in the United States, you will have a better chance of success if you attend one of these universities which excel at developing female business owners.
According to Black Enterprise, the CrunchBase report took a random sampling of 3,616 successful female entrepreneurs to determine which university they matriculated from, if any. The report did not list the degrees the women received while attending university, but simply noted which universities produced the most successful female entrepreneurs from 2009 to 2014 according to their sample.
Interestingly, the list for entrepreneurs reads much like the list for career professionals. In other words, the universities that do the best job preparing their students to excel in their fields, also better prepare their students to succeed on their own. You will recognize the top 3 from the list of schools above:
While the top five should not surprise you, the next five just might, not just for who is there but for who is not.
6. University of Pennsylvania
7. New York University
The real surprise is that while these are the top schools in the United States for producing female business founders, the top 5 only produced about 15 percent of the total female entrepreneurial force during the study period. Further, a large number of successful women got their education from three British Schools: Oxford University, Cambridge University, and the London School of Economics (all were ranked in the top 25).
One interesting finding was that schools located in the northeast and on the west coast were more likely to turn out female entrepreneurs than those in other regions of the country. In fact, these two regions alone accounted for over 39 percent of where the entrepreneurs studied.
Does this mean you have to attend an expensive university to become a successful business founder? No, but it does mean that a large percent of your competition has. Sadly, graduates of the school of “life” and the school of “hard knocks” were not rated.