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Robert G. Edmonds, Cornelia McCarthy, Nina Timonina

Keystone Business Administration Institute: A Case Study in Failed Entrepreneurship

This descriptive case study reflects an entrepreneurial business that the author was a partner in for several years. Keystone Business Administration Institute (Keystone) endeavored to provide online educational programs that encompassed a wide variety of college and graduate level type business courses for continuing credit. Its market consisted of small and midsized for-profit and non-profit organizations. The Keystone concept was innovative and novel and the firm was a pioneer in the growth of online business education. Faced with limited capitalization and few employees from the outset the firm struggled to market its services beyond a small number of clients. Increased competition from higher educational institutions such a Kaplan and the University of Phoenix which discovered increased revenue sources in online, distant education, eventually proved fatal to the struggling Keystone organization. After some six years, Keystone ceased operations and became just another example of a failed entrepreneurial venture