Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Stanford's Gift to the World: Alumni's Vast Economic Impact

An aerial view of the Stanford Graduate School of Business
An aerial view of the Stanford Graduate School of BusinessPhotograph by Proehl Studios/Corbi

Stanford University’s graduates are well known for their legendary entrepreneurial success. But up till now, it has been hard to measure just how large an economic footprint these alumni have left behind. A new study out of Stanford University released last month shows that it is vaster than perhaps anyone imagined, with 39,900 active for-profit companies that can trace their beginnings back to Stanford. In addition to founding businesses, Stanford graduates have also created some 30,000 nonprofit organizations.

In fact, there are so many businesses with Stanford roots that if they formed an independent country, their combined revenues of $2.7 trillion annually would make it the 10th largest economy in the world, generating an estimated 5.4 million jobs since the 1930s, according to the study, which was conducted by Charles Eesley, an assistant professor in management science and engineering at Stanford’s School of Engineering, and William Miller, an emeritus professor of public and private management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.