“Waco is decidedly a cool town,
and for Baylor students to not appreciate that is weird.“
-Harper Mayfield | Baylor Lariat
In a recent Baylor Lariat article, student writer Harper Mayfield stated “Waco is decidedly a cool town, and for Baylor students to not appreciate that is weird.”
If that isn’t a sic’ em kind of mic drop, what is?
After a quick online search for things to do in this heart of Texas hot-spot, a 2020 VacationIdea.com article popped up with the “25 Best Things to Do in Waco, Texas.” Obviously, several of the activities are associated with Baylor University. Even more intriguing is the mention of a couple of local small businesses. Both Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits and Heritage Creamery received a shout out in the article. But that’s not the first time that a small business in Waco has received a nod. Lula Jane’s, a small unassuming bakery nestled quietly on Elm Avenue, was recognized as a 2020 Travelers Choice Winner by TripAdvisor.
As a matter of fact, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, AdvisorSmith.com recently ranked Waco seventh on a national scale for mid-size cities with the most small business owners. That’s a big deal.
Considering that Waco is also home to the Baylor University nationally-ranked Entrepreneurship Department, it kind of seems like there may be this fabulous trifecta brewing with Waco, Baylor Entrepreneurship and local small businesses.
With more than forty years of experience,the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department is a nationally recognized academic leader. For the 2021 national rankings of undergraduate entrepreneurship programs, Princeton Review / Entrepreneur Magazine and U.S. News & World Report have once again both ranked the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department as a top-ten program.
With a top-notch team of dedicated faculty and staff, the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department is committed to the study, teaching and practice of new business creation. Students and local small businesses alike are the beneficiaries of that strong commitment. What makes this commitment exceptionally extraordinary is the color-outside-of-the-lines type of thinking. It’s the kind of innovative thinking that motivates, inspires and challenges.
The Baylor Entrepreneurship Department recently took a stroke outside of the lines with the Oso Launch Program. Oso Launch was designed to provide a niche group of entrepreneurially-minded incoming freshmen with a program that could provide guidance, mentorship and networking for their next four years on campus. Through Oso Launch, students not only build an entrepreneurial foundation with unique challenges in a learning environment, but they also have the opportunity to raise much-needed capital. That’s not the kind of experience you get from a textbook in a classroom setting.
The Entrepreneurship Department continues outside of the lines with the Community Entrepreneurship Program (CEP). This fairly new initiative expands the reach of the department deep into the community. Participants in CEP are local, small business owners who simply want to grow their business. The program provides peer-to-peer networking and valuable mentorship, along with training and coaching. CEP utilizes Baylor Entrepreneurship faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors in delivering this best-in-class Baylor content in a non-threatening, caring environment that welcomes small business owners from all backgrounds.
The list Baylor Entrepreneurship forward-thinking initiatives and programs could go on and on. From the New Venture Competition and the 1846 Business Incubator to the Texas Family Business Awards and the BEST Program, Baylor Entrepreneurship is making a mark both inside of the classroom and the community as well.
Indeed a trifecta is brewing. And we happen to agree with Harper Mayfield. Waco is a cool town…a seriously, very cool town.
For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.