2017 Award Winner

Rebecca White 3x4

Rebecca J. White

Rebecca J. White is the Walter Chair of Entrepreneurship, Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Director of the John P Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Tampa. She also currently holds a Kohane Distinguished Professorship at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Duke University where her primary focus is on advancing the discipline’s understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset and dealmaker impacts in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Rebecca received an MBA and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech University. She is considered a thought leader in entrepreneurship education where her research is based at the intersection of entrepreneurial ecosystems, opportunity recognition, entrepreneurial mindset, and competency-based education in entrepreneurship.

Under her leadership, the entrepreneurship program at the University of Tampa was named the 2017 NASDAQ Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, 2016 Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Education Program by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), the 2015 Excellence in Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation Award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) and was named the 2014 Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship program. White also received the 2017 Max S Wortman, Jr. Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award and was named the Professor of the Year by the Women and Minority Group of USASBE. In 2015, she was named a Justin G. Longenecker Fellow of USASBE. White was also awarded the Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year 2010 in the Education Category, was a 2006 Athena® Award finalist, a 2005 recipient of the Freedoms Foundation Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education, and was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Supporter of Entrepreneurship in 2003. Prior to her work at the University of Tampa she built a top 25 nationally ranked entrepreneurship program at Northern Kentucky University. She was also founder and director of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Institute, an educational program for female entrepreneurs offered jointly with the New York Times. She grew up in a family business and later started several companies including RiskAware, LLC, a risk mitigation company for higher education. She was the 2012 President of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and is on the Executive Council of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.

Rebecca has more than 25 years of experience in education, training, coaching, and mentoring. Through her current consulting company, WhiteBoard Advising, she is translating her research on dealmakers and the value of social capital (access to dealmakers) into valuable tools that can help founders, business owners and top management teams build social capital and advance personal and business goals throughout the life of the business. Her model helps owners and top management teams recognize and take advantage of opportunities at each stage of the business life cycle and to adapt and develop their personal leadership styles and skills and those of the top management team, advisory boards, and directors to the business stage and the strategic goals of the company and owner(s).