Recognizing the pivotal role that new business can play in economic wealth creation as well as societal improvement, business schools have been offering courses in entrepreneurship to students at the undergraduate or MBA levels for quite some time now. But now, Babson College - the acknowledged leader in entrepreneurial education in the U.S. - has announced three new summer programs for outstanding high school students to be started in the summer of 2011.

Two of these are seven-week, residential programs for high- achieving students in their junior or senior year in high school. Students can go for either one of these. The Babson Idea Generation Program is aimed at those aspiring change agents who wish to create innovative, real-world solutions to social, economic, and environmental issues.

For others, who wish to discover how to fit a business idea into the greater world picture through lessons of corporate citizenship and business development, the Babson Entrepreneur Development Experience would be ideal. Participation in either of these would earn a student four college credits.

Apart from the above courses, the College also offers a one-week non residential course for teens entering their sophomore year in high school. Labelled Service Learning Experience, this is for young achievers who are passionate about social outreach - it gives them a chance to spend their summer helping some of the world's biggest change-makers to make an immediate difference. No college credits however are earned for this program.

The courses will involve in-class sessions classes with Babson faculty, cases, speakers, events and other resources as well as immersive segments in Boston's entrepreneurial and business sectors. The deadline for application to all of these programs is March 1, 2010.

The idea of tapping students at an early age and inculcating in them the foundations of business and entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining currency. A recent article in Entrepreneurship magazine talks about another interesting initiative in this regard - Extreme Entrepreneurship Tours or EET - which is an entrepreneurial venture itself, designed to encourage ventures among young people in high school and college. The Company was started in 2006 By Michael Simmons and his wife Sheena Lindahl. Michael himself had started his own web development company called Princeton WebSolutions when he was in high school and has also written a book, The Student Success Manifesto. EET, being currently rebranded as Extreme Entrepreneurship Education, seeks to connect students with mentors and coaches, and introduces goals and actions designed to move their plans forward.