Eastern Washington University’s Center for Entrepreneurship continues to gain international recognition. Last week, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) awarded Eastern this year’s Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center award. The award is given annually to the top emerging entrepreneurship center, five or less years in development.

The GCEC, according to its website, is the premier academic organization addressing the emerging topics of importance to the nation’s university-based entrepreneurship programs. It has become the vehicle by which the top, established entrepreneurship programs, as well as emerging programs, can work together to share best practices, develop programs and initiatives, and collaborate and assist each other in advancing, strengthening, and celebrating the role of universities in teaching the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The new honor isn’t the first for the Center for Entrepreneurship in 2020. In January, EWU took home the USASBE Model Emerging Entrepreneurship Program award. Given by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, this award is widely recognized as the most coveted among entrepreneurship educators in the United States. Eastern is one of only two universities to have earned both awards.


The USASBE also recently shined a spotlight on Bruce Teague, PhD, the founding director of the EWU Center for Entrepreneurship. You can read the full article by following the link below.


InsideEWU caught up with Teague to learn more about what these honors mean for Eastern’s program, as well as current and future students.

What does it mean to you to win these awards?

First, it means that we have achieved the goal of being an internationally reputed program and center. I have always wanted people to think of excellence when they think of EWU.

These awards were the first goals I set when I began building the entrepreneurship program and the EWU Center for Entrepreneurship. Within our program, we often discuss the benefits of pursuing big, hairy, audacious goals because even if you do not achieve them, you will push yourself to achieve the unexpected. These were our big, hairy, audacious goals. In this case, we achieved them both.

What do these awards say about the EWU Center for Entrepreneurship?

These are arguably the most sought-after awards by programs and centers in the field of entrepreneurship. Both the USASBE Model Emerging Entrepreneurship Program award and the GCEC Outstanding Emerging Center award emphasize quality, innovativeness and replicability. In other words, these awards mean that EWU has been held up as a global example for other programs and centers to model themselves after. It means that EWU Entrepreneurship is not only viewed as exceptional in design, but also as cutting edge.

This year, GCEC received more than 100 award nominations from around the world. To place this award in context, recent winners include Brown and Dartmouth, of the Ivy League. EWU has now joined this illustrious list. Basically, this means that EWU Entrepreneurship is recognized among the best in the world.

How do these awards help EWU attract students and faculty members?

Only a small number of universities have won either of these awards. EWU is one of only two universities to have earned both. For students who either want to become entrepreneurs and build their own business, or want to bring an entrepreneurial mindset to the work they do in their careers, EWU has now been identified as one of the top-choices available. 

For faculty recruiting, this adds to the prestige of working for EWU. It also means we are a place in which faculty have the opportunity to engage with students and to make a difference on our campus and in our region.

Ultimately, what is the outcome on student success at Eastern?

The awards affirm that in the eyes of the best program and center builders in the world, we are creating great opportunities for student entrepreneurs to succeed at EWU. These awards result from things like our variety of entrepreneurship degrees and minors, including: the BAB in Entrepreneurship, the BA in Music and Technology Entrepreneurship, the BA in Entrepreneurial Communications, the BS in Entrepreneurial Analytics, and the two minors in Digital Entrepreneurship. 

Similarly, the Center for Entrepreneurship supports co-curricular opportunities for students across the university. Students have the opportunity to join the EWU $40,000 Startup Challenge, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization Club, and the Technology Commercialization Academy. 

Whether you want to be an entrepreneur and start your own business, want to be entrepreneurial and work in a fast-paced growth company, or simply want to stand out in your career by having a strong entrepreneurial mindset, we have opportunities for you.