Go to main navigation Navigation menu Skip navigation Home page Search

SSE a leader in Europe at nurturing entrepreneurial talent, new study shows

Entrepreneurs drive development and create jobs. So why is this not reflected more in business school rankings? A new ranking, based on the entrepreneurial success of business school alumni, challenges traditional rankings. And the Stockholm School of Economics places first among European business schools.

Rankings by the Financial Times and QS have long been benchmarks for academic institutions. However, their heavy emphasis on salaries favors those interested mainly in high-paying consulting jobs, but often overlook key aspects that are crucial for budding entrepreneurs. The few existing rankings that do look at entrepreneurship largely exclude institutions outside of the US. In their Master thesis, "Reassessing University and Business School Rankings: A Focus on Entrepreneurship," SSE students Jack O’Keeffe and Frederico Ramos have evaluated business schools on their ability to nurture entrepreneurial talent.

“Entrepreneurs have such a big impact on society. Not only when it comes to technological development, but also in job creation. As such, business educators should be assessed by their ability to nurture entrepreneurship. In addition, a ranking that looks at alternative metrics for success is more suited for a student who is interested in a career beyond banking or consulting,” says Jack O’Keeffe, one of the co-authors.

O’Keefe and Ramos decided to focus on business schools and not include larger universities, as universities typically have significantly larger enrollments than that of the more specialized business schools, and as such are not a like-for-like comparison. They assessed institutions based on the success and scale of their alumni's entrepreneurial ventures.

Publicly available data such as the number of founders, IPOs, total funding raised, and job creation by alumni startups from over 100 top global institutions was analyzed. The resulting Alumni Entrepreneurship Ranking (AER) shows stark differences from established rankings, offering fresh insights into the entrepreneurial impact of global business education providers.

The Stockholm School of Economics came in first place among the European business schools when it comes to the proportion of alumni founders as well alumni holding founder or partner roles across Venture Capital and Private Equity firms, beating out respected academic institutions like London Business School, HEC Paris and Bocconi.

“The goal of our ranking was to demonstrate that you get very different results depending on what metrics you look at. Europe is behind the US when it comes to highlighting entrepreneurship, and we hope to inspire a broader conversation on the role of business education in supporting innovation and economic growth," says Frederico Ramos.

O'Keeffe and Ramos hope that their thesis will contribute to the discourse on using alternative, comprehensive approaches to evaluate business schools – not just when it comes to entrepreneurship. With an increasingly diverse student body it is important that the rankings also reflect the diversity of the students’ goals after graduation, whether than entails a career in banking founding a startup that addresses a global challenge or pursuing an impactful role in politics.

Read the whole thesis: Reassessing University and Business School Rankings: A Focus on Entrepreneurship

For more information, please contact:

Jack O'Keeffe
Email: jackokf@gmail.com

Frederico Ramos
Email: ramosf12345@gmail.com

SSE Dept. of Finance