“Entrepreneurship Gap Year” also known as “Venture Year”

Gap Year Immersion Program from StudVent Academy


Many students, from incoming undergraduates (“Rising Freshman or Freshers”) through to PhD’s (Doctoral Students) are considering taking a Gap Year (GY) or Voluntary Leave of Absence (VLA) during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Between 12 and 20 percent of college (undergraduate) students say that they will take a Gap Year, along with 16 percent of rising freshman click here.  This number will increase many universities do not open their physical campuses this Autumn and instead opt for the online learning. Preliminary research shows that as many as 25% of undergraduate and graduate-level students are considering a VLA for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Chronicle of Higher Education is tracking the plans of universities. Click here to view.

Along with undergraduates, some masters and doctoral students will likewise consider a Gap Year or Voluntary Leave of Absence for a Year, especially those based abroad that will find it difficult to return to the countries in which their universities are based because of travel restrictions. We also expect to see MBA students either taking deferrals, or gap years during their MBA program years, including Executive MBA’s who might have been furloughed. Embarking on a experiential learning experience is something that some Gap Year students might decide to do. Developing skills as an entrepreneur and becoming more digitally enabled along the way is something that can benefit a person throughout his or her life, and is a healthy compliment to formal education.


Student Ventures has partnered with GeeLearn, an online learning design and development company, to deliver the “Venture Year”, Entrepreneurship Gap Year Program.


What is a Gap Year? 

According to the Gap Year Association;

“”A semester or year of experiential learning, typically taken after high school and prior to career or post-secondary education, in order to deepen one’s practical, professional, and personal awareness.”

No two gap years are alike: Intentionality, deliberately expanding one’s comfort zones, having a cross-cultural experience, and reflecting on your experiences are critical components to a quality gap year””

 A gap year may be taken before starting college or university, during college or university, or just after graduating from college or university. Furthermore, it can be taken as an undergraduate as well as a graduate / postgraduate, professional (MBA/Law) student, or the year following this education.

What is a Voluntary Leave of Absence

“A separation of the student from the university as requested by the student” is how Cornell University defines the VLA.  Not uncommon, students often take a semester or year to get educational-related work experience, or for other reasons.  Usually a VLA is for a year, although it can be as short as a semester.


Here at Student Ventures, the use of the term “Gap Year” also covers the VLA.

StudVent believes that in addition to the reason of burnout and “getting to know oneself better”, another reason to take a Gap Year is to gain entrepreneurial skills and learn about how to start a company or organization.  Many universities do still not offer experiential learning opportunities in entrepreneurship, let alone courses or training in entrepreneurship for much, if any, of their undergraduate or post graduate populations.

An aligned reason to learning entrepreneurship in a Gap Year is related to the potential for actually starting one’s own business and driving income from it, thus contributing to educational-related expenses associated with the undergraduate or graduate-level study that the student is undertaking. Many businesses started by students have been grown slowly during studies and into sizeable businesses later as the student-entrepreneurs have stuck with them after graduation and into “real life”. We have seen many examples of this over our 30+ years of experience in student entrepreneurship at the higher education level.

Yet another reason for a “Venture Year” could be the founding of an actual social enterprise, perhaps a B Corporation, or a non-profit (NGO) organization. Furthermore, MBA and Graduate Students may want to raise Search Fund and target potential acquisitions and investors during the year.

The point of the “Venture Year” is experiential learning with tangible outcomes that will benefit the student through his or her life.

The “Venture Year” is part immersion gap year, part startup accelerator.

Student Ventures is offering Entrepreneurship Gap Year or “Venture Year” programs of different lengths and levels. Our Venture Years are 100% virtual immersion programs, and do not require in-person attendance. We mix skill development in technology, digital media, entrepreneurship, marketing, and business networking to deliver a robust program where students will start real new businesses. Our interactive program is characterized by a cohort model and is available to learners anywhere in the world. Its led by a university entrepreneurship and business professor who is an academic entrepreneur and a former venture capitalist in Silicon Valley.


Please fill out the form below to Apply for the Student Venture Gap Year Program…


Recent Articles on Gap Years:

Business Insider May 2020 https://www.businessinsider.com/gap-year-high-school-college-everything-to-know-pandemic-2020-5

CBC “Gap Year Gaining Popularity thanks to Covid-19”  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/gap-year-covid-online-classes-1.5568217


Recommended Books: 

The Gap Year Advantage (2005) https://www.amazon.com/Gap-Year-Advantage-Helping-Benefit-College-ebook/dp/B008N06DEQ

Gap to Great: A Parent’s Guide to Gap Years (2012)  https://www.amazon.com/Gap-Great-Parents-Guide-Year/dp/0994412908/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1589738703&sr=8-11


If you are interested in a Gap Year but not ready to Apply because you have questions, click here.