Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The liberal arts advantage in entrepreneurship

Students follow their passion into their major and choose a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation (ENTP) to make their dreams come true. Our program serves as a connector for all programs and majors from the arts to the sciences, catalyzing innovation and change across the College.

Students can combine any major with a minor in ENTP. Our program is tailored to supporting every student's unique goals. Students learn foundational skills to help them think critically, solve problems creatively, adapt to rapidly changing environments, and innovate for the future.

art institute

Combinable with all majors

Launched in 2014, Lake Forest College's entrepreneurship and innovation program has become the most popular minor on campus. It is open to all undergraduate students regardless of major. ENTP continues Lake Forest's storied tradition of innovation. 

professor lecturing

Attentive instruction

Our small class sizes ensure our students receive personalized instruction and attention in each and every class. Through direct faculty instruction, mentorship, and experiential projects and work, ENTP students are prepared to design the future, addressing problems in ways that will ultimately improve lives and change the world.  

students in classroom

Building entrepreneurial resilience

We are committed to helping our students build entrepreneurial resilience and habits of mind to thrive in college and beyond. When our students go out into the world, they are equipped with the design-thinking skillset, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a creative, human-centric approach to problem solving. Our students are ready to meet the demands and solve the problems facing us today.

Engaging with Chicago's entrepreneurial community

At Lake Forest College, students are exposed to an unparalleled experience with access to Chicago’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

Chicago, Illinois is a powerful thriving hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Illinois universities have been a steady and fundamental output of top entrepreneurial talent and successful ventures. Illinois universities have been responsible for creating direct economic stimulation and local job creation as the number of student and faculty ventures increase.

Our distinguished faculty teach the foundations of entrepreneurial resilience.

ENTP students learn how to build effective entrepreneurial teams and contingency plans.

ENTP students are prepared to design the future.

Our students solve problems that move business and society forward.

In ENTP, we promote and foster an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Our students work with mentors and coaches to put what they learn into practice.  

Embracing diversity in entrepreneurship

The entrepreneurship and innovation program at Lake Forest College is a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive community comprised of 33% students of color and first generation college students and 44% women. We believe entrepreneurship should be accessible to everyone, and we are working towards the day when every entrepreneur regardless of race, place, gender, income, or background has the opportunity to realize their dream. 

We believe every person with an entrepreneurial resilient mindset and a good idea deserves the opportunity to create and launch, and we believe it is the spirit of collaboration, resilience, and inclusion that makes our program vibrant and special.

Taqiul Ghani portrait
In 2021, my non-profit startup, Project Rummana, experienced significant growth. However, upon enrolling in ENTP classes, I was fortunate to receive invaluable guidance from expert professors, who provided me with deeper insights into various aspects of my business model. As a result, I was able to optimize my utilization of resources, saving considerable amounts of time and money. Our ENTP department boasts an exceptional team of professionals who possess extensive knowledge and experience in their respective fields. At present, I am actively seeking to acquire further insights into how I can develop Project Rummana into one of the largest non-governmental organizations in South Asia.
Taqiul Ghani '25
Most Popular Minor on Campus

More than 25% of Lake Forest College students participate in the ENTP programming, courses, and internships that allow students to tailor their experience based on their:

1) AREA OF INTEREST (clean technology, inequality, water rights, food)…

2) INTENDED CAREER PATH including intellectual property development (scientists, artists, writers), self-employment (designers, doctors, lawyers, real estate), nonprofit (social innovation, NGOs, education, arts, government) or for-profit venture (start-ups, corporate intrapreneurship, small business).

3) Need for NECESSARY SKILLS for success beyond the ENTP curriculum (writing, web design, accounting, organizational psychology, etc.).

The Self-Design Major in Entrepreneurship

"I wish the College offered an ENTP major."

Some of our strongest students find that no one traditional major fully meets what they want to study.
The Self-Designed Major emphasizes self-determination for its students, while offering guidance and assistance in developing their individualized plans.

The Self-Designed Major is suitable for students who feel there is no one major that meets all of their individual needs and goals. 

Innovation Spaces

Lake Forest College has a series of Innovation Spaces, creative spaces where students can experiment with the latest technology in virtual reality, 3-D printing, audio and video recording, digital photography, theater design, and software creation. Students working on new ventures work with their teams, and mentors, at the Oppenheimer Center.


Entrepreneurship and social innovation students regularly participate in national and international competitions and ideathons such as the Davis Prize for Peace, Princeton University’s Environmental Ideathon, and TCU’s Values and Ventures Competition in addition to the Venture Design Challenge with $10,000 in total prizes.

Interested in learning more?

Check out the Venture Design Challenge

Program Leadership

Created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the ENTP program is looked after by the Entrepreneurship Advisory Council, a group of highly successful global social innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders with a diverse range of expertise.  

The Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Kate Jackson, is a native of the Silicon Valley and comes from a family of inventors, entrepreneurs, and changemakers. An entrepreneur and connector at heart, she is energized by collaborating with diverse stakeholders and building bridges. Because of her background, she is focused on bridging the coastal-midwestern divide, spotlighting and elevating the cultural richness, innovative spirit, and intellectual vibrancy alive and thriving in Midwestern hearts and minds. She also mindfully bridges the humanities and business worlds; she earned her BA and MA in English from The University of Chicago and her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. And the for-profit and non-profit spheres working for leading organizations including Accenture, Deloitte Consulting, JP Morgan Private Bank, Lollipop Theater Network, and the John G. Shedd Aquarium.  

High Praise for Program
  • In 2021, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTP) placed in GCEC's (Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers) top 4 for "Outstanding Student Engagement and Leadership," a recognition of our center's commitment to putting students and alumni at the center of all that we do.
  • ENTP placed in the top 3 of USASBE’s (United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) “Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Programs” in 2017. 
  • Entrepreneur in Residence, Patricia “Trish” Thomas, named Illinois Entrepreneurship Professor of the Year by Future Founders at the 2nd Annual EntrepreneurshipU Awards.
Distinct Approach

What is distinct about the Lake Forest approach is that our courses and programming provide students with the skills, competencies, knowledge, discipline and experience to flourish during the process of finding and solving problems.

We do this by teaching and deliberately practicing the foundations of psychological resilience, which include re-framing failure and adversity; cultivating self-efficacy, self-advocacy, and agency; building networks of support; practicing fearless asking; and navigating difficult conversations in parallel with the study and application of leading entrepreneurial education and frameworks. 

The ENTP program is focused on teaching our students how to become entrepreneurial leaders; effective team members; to plan for and navigate their future in times of uncertainty and change; and to build resilience as a means of improving future outcomes. Students learn to understand their personal strengths and motivations, and how to use them as a vehicle for growth in themselves, their teams, their ventures, and ultimately the world around them.

Related Programs

Contact Us

Janet McCracken
Professor of Philosophy
Chair of  Entrepreneurship and Innovation