College of Business Administration

Ballentine Hall, 7 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881


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Nancy Forster-Holt

  • Assistant Professor, Spachman Professor of Entrepreneurship
  • Area: Management
  • Phone: 401.874.4861
  • Email:


Nancy Forster-Holt, PhD, MBA, CMA, RFG, is Assistant Professor in the College of Business Administration. She is thrilled to join the URI faculty and the Rhode Island entrepreneurial ecosystem. Her teaching interests include entrepreneurship, lean start-up, innovation, business valuation, business plans, small business management, entrepreneurial accounting and finance, and global strategy. Her research interests include: innovation in existing businesses (‘intrepreneurship’), business owner retirement, entrepreneurial and small firm exit, acquisition strategies, and “end”repreneurship. Dr. Forster-Holt has presented her research nationally and internationally. Prior to academia, she had a career in public accounting in NY and CA, and as CFO of the second largest credit union in Maine. She is also co-owner of the 158 year old manufacturing company Shaw & Tenney, which was a finalist for the Maine Family Business of the year award in 2015 and has won grants for innovation. Dr. Forster-Holt has been a CFO, an advisor, a mentor, and a pitch coach to several startups in Maine, and she currently serves as an advisor to Surge Hydro.

Here is a sample from her 10 philosophies for intrepreneurs and entrepreneurs:

“Subway did not invent the sandwich, Subway INNOVATED the sandwich.” Innovation is not only the development of products that are new to the market, but it can also be new ways of delivering familiar products, or leveraging opportunities that did not exist when these companies began.

“Entrepreneurship is a process and a journey, not a one-time event.” Resilience is not how many times you fell but whether you got up. Ask 10 people who you admire how they got where they are today, and prepare to be fascinated by 10 stories of failure and resilience.


Innovation in existing businesses (intrepreneurship), business owner retirement, entrepreneurial and small firm exit, acquisition strategies, and the process of “end”repreneurship


Ph.D., University of Maine, Orono, 2011.

Masters of Business Administration, University of Maine, Orono, 1991.

Bachelor of Science, Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 1984


Forster-Holt, N. (2016). “The retirement of business owners.” Accepted for publication in Journal of Retirement. Used 2013 Federal Reserve Bank Survey of Consumer Finances.

Forster-Holt, N. and Harkins, J. (2014). “Resource dependence and the exits of young firms.” Entrepreneurship Research Journal. Used Kauffman Firm survey and was granted travel funds to present at Babson Research Conference.

Forster-Holt, N. and Harkins, J. (2014). “The role of the acquirer in entrepreneurial exit”. Article accepted for presentation at 2014 BCER conference and for inclusion in Babson College Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Used dataset of New England company acquisitions, built by Forster-Holt.

Forster-Holt, N. (2013). Entrepreneur as ‘end’repreneur: the intention to retire.” Small Business Institute Journal. Vol 9, No 2 (2013), October 2013. Used NFIB dataset.

Forster-Holt, N. (2010) “Entrepreneur as endrepreneur: planners, improvisers and real options” Babson College Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research: Vol. 30: Issue 4, Article 5.

USASBE 2010 Doctoral consortium– dissertation accepted, invited to participate in the pre-conference sessions.

‘Prac-ademic’ publications

My blog:  “At the intersection of business exit and retirement.”


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