Quite simply, there is almost unlimited opportunity for entrepreneurship on campus. That is one of the reasons that we are seeing more and more campus entrepreneurs. From loans and housing to food and clothing, campus entrepreneurs have entered many of these markets.
The Global Higher Ed blog has a fascinating posting that explains that the campus market has kept the Washington Post (and its writers) afloat over the past 10 years. According to GlobalHigherEd the WAPO just won 6 Pulitzers, but the real story is who paid for it. From the blog
Washington Post Company is being bankrolled by Kaplan, by far the Post’s most profitable unit. Kaplan, for those of you who do not know, is a global education company, with approximately 50% of its revenue derived from the higher ed sector. It serves over 1,000,000 students per year in over 600 locations, and employs 27,000 staff according to Kaplan sources.
GlobalHigherEd also includes a powerful quote from the WAPO’s 2007 Annual Report:
Fifteen years ago we were accurately described as a media company. Over that time Kaplan has grown into a powerhouse, a multidisciplinary and increasingly international education business unlike any other education company in the world. For the last six months of the year, Kaplan’s revenue was almost half of the company’s, at 49%. Kaplan will continue to grow stronger in 2008. The Washington Post Company is now an education and media company (this isn’t “re-branding”; it’s reality), and the accent on education could get a lot stronger in the future.
The point, of all of this, is that the campus as market is incredibly profitable and big, established firms (such as WAPO) are heading there to make up for their slowing/declining businesses. Campus entrepreneurs are more agile and on campus and should have a great chance to beat out larger players.
(this post was written while sitting in a 9 person PhD seminar on qualitative research methods — sorry Prof W.)