Entrepreneurial courses were first offered at UCLA in the early 1970s by Professor Hans Schollhammer. In 1987, the Entrepreneurial Studies Center was established as an interdisciplinary study center under the direction of Alfred E. Osborne, Jr. The Center currently offers over fifteen entrepreneurial elective courses, with approximately 30 sections offered annually. The Entrepreneur Association, the largest student organization in the school, is housed within the Price Center and sponsors more than 30 programs resulting in approximately 100 individual events annually. The Center organizes several management development programs for small business owners, non-profit managers, entrepreneurs, and business executives. Research is supported through academic conferences and grants to faculty.
The Center received its initial funding through a one million-dollar challenge grant provided by the Price Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Upon completion of an additional capital campaign, the Center was officially dedicated as the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and moved into Entrepreneurs Hall in 1995. In 2003, a second Price Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies challenge grant was established. The Center has funded approximately 20 named fellowships, programs, and faculty chair endowments. The Center originally had three staff positions: Director, Assistant Director, and one administrative assistant. Today, in addition to Al Osborne as the Faculty Director of the Center, Elaine Hagan serves as Executive Director, a 1991 graduate of UCLA Anderson School. Hagan's duties include overseeing the day-to-day operation of the Center as well as piloting its strategic direction and building its support base. The remaining staff is comprised of two faculty members with administrative responsibilities, a research fellow, operating and financial officers, as well as several program managers and administrative support personnel.
The Board of Advisors to the Center was organized in 1986 to assist in meeting the first million dollar challenge grant and to ensure that UCLA Anderson was able to develop and fund a coherent, integrated academic program to affirm the vital role of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial activity in the American economic system. The original 18-member board has grown into a group of approximately thirty distinguished business professionals from the Southern California area.
MBA students founded the Entrepreneur Association (EA) in 1981 in response to a strong interest in entrepreneurship. The goals of the EA are to stimulate interest in entrepreneurship, encourage the ambitions of those interested in an entrepreneurial career, strengthen the school's relationship with the business community, and to generally broaden the MBA experience. Currently, the EA is the largest student organization of its kind at UCLA Anderson with more than 80% of all current MBA students involved as members and participants. The EA offers speaker and experiential learning programs that are designed to inform and challenge those interested in an entrepreneurial career or lifestyle.
"Interest in the interdisciplinary field of entrepreneurship began to heat up in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The growth of the Center can be directly linked to MBA students who were determined to acquire the entrepreneurial skills necessary to survive and prosper in the new, evolving marketplace."
- Alfred E. Osborne, Jr., Director, Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies