Donald Kuratko (photo courtesy of Indiana University)

An Indiana University Kelley School of Business professor has received the highest honor presented by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Donald Kuratko, better known as Dr. K, is also executive director of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and was awarded the Max S. Wortman/USASBE Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship.

The award is given to an entrepreneurship educator who embodies entrepreneurial activity. IU says the award was presented to Kuratko during the association’s annual conference.

“Don Kuratko’s energy and passion for entrepreneurship education, commitment to fielding an excellent team of faculty, and acumen at building dynamic and forward-thinking entrepreneurship programs are all important factors in his receiving the Max S. Wortman Award. But also exceptional about Don is his generosity of time and expertise with upcoming educators in the field,” said Julianne Shields, president of the USASBE. “His impact is even greater by coaching and mentoring professionals throughout the field.”

The USASBE is an inclusive community of educators, researchers and entrepreneurs working to advance entrepreneurship education through teaching, scholarship, and practice.

“To receive this award is very special because of my friendship with Max. It’s not just a name on an award, but it is an honor that reflects his values and what he stood for,” Kuratko said. Anyone who receives this award gets attached to him in some way. His legacy will live on through each recipient of this honor and I feel I have contributed to his legacy. I also appreciate that it represents a body of achievements over a lifetime of work. It means the world to me.”

Kuratko began work at IU’s Kelley School of Business in 2004.

“We pride ourselves as being the No. 1 business school in the world for entrepreneurship research,” Kuratko said. “With the center and everything, we took a little different approach. So many schools take the approach of a center being an outreach center, or doing things with the community, but we went in a different direction to become an academic center, focused on the research and the curriculum for our students.

Kuratko is the author of more than 200 articles and 30 books on various aspects of entrepreneurship. He has also been a longtime contributor to Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick as host of the “Innovators with Dr. K” segment.