Hollins University’s new Entrepreneurial Learning Institute (ELI) combines the hallmarks of a liberal arts education—critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and leadership—with the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset that are driving opportunity and business growth in the 21st century.
“Through ELI, students from all majors and minors have an opportunity to align a diverse set of classes with programs and experiences that foster collaboration and generate innovative solutions, thus connecting academic work with practical application.”
Director, Entrepreneurial Learning Institute
Professor of Practice, Economics and Business Department
What Makes Entrepreneurship Different at Hollins?
Hollins University’s Entrepreneurial Learning Institute takes a deeper approach to entrepreneurship that goes beyond venture-based businesses, and benefits students from all majors through collaboration across the curriculum. Students have access to:
- Applied Entrepreneurship and other joint courses taught by Hollins faculty and the principals of prehype, an entrepreneurial and innovative firm with offices in New York, London, Copenhagen, and Rio de Janeiro. Among a variety of opportunities, students gain hands-on experience at prehype’s New York office as part of a January Short Term internship.
- Work with the Roanoke Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including: The Advancement Foundation, Valleys Innovation Council, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, RAMP (Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program), Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, and Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center
- Hollins resources and programs including the acclaimed Batten Leadership Institute, life skills and career development, study abroad opportunities, and a passionate network of successful alumnae and business leaders.
What Our Students SaY
“The Entrepreneurial Learning Institute completely rewrote my college experience, and not only showed me that my skills as a writer can be applied outside of the English department, but through independent studies and internships, it also taught me how to implement these skills in and outside of the classroom.”
Claire Tourigny, English with creative writing concentration major and business minor
“ELI has given me the ability to see problems in a whole new light and develop the skills to solve these problems creatively and effectively. I feel capable and ready to handle the unexpected and show others how to do so as well!”
Grace Davis, business major and psychology minor
“Having the opportunity to work with the Entrepreneurial Learning Institute at Hollins has been one of the biggest gifts in my college life. I have learned endless skills on how to be action oriented, adaptive to challenges, and most importantly how to seek opportunity within problems presented. In short, my involvement with ELI at Hollins has been the most eye-opening, engaging, and resourceful experience that I can take beyond the campus grounds.”
Zahin Mahbuba, undeclared major
Meet Karen Messer-Bourgoin
Karen Messer-Bourgoin experienced a successful business career occupying positions ranging from Wall Street to Main Street. Her practical experience serves as a framework for academic subject matter that is beneficial for traditional students, particularly as it relates to real world applications and job placement.