A Calgary family has given the Haskayne School of Business a $5 M donation to launch the new Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Calgary entrepreneur Doug Hunter and his wife Diane made the donation on Thursday to support the initiative that will offer academic and research programs focused on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The program will also provide support for professional networks for students and new entrepreneurs.

"This gift from the Hunter family will greatly enrich the student experience at the University of Calgary and we want to thank them for their generous support," says Elizabeth Cannon, University of Calgary president and vice-chancellor.

Doug Hunter has spent most of his career in the private equity sector and wanted to make things easier for today’s business students.

"When we were introduced to the idea of an innovative approach to teaching entrepreneurship, Diane and I were immediately excited. We saw the opportunity to be part of a new and different approach to an old subject. This is a program that is itself entrepreneurial," says Doug Hunter. “Entrepreneurship and innovation mean more than just starting a new business. It's about attitude and mind set and being able to recognize opportunities, embrace challenges and create something of value.”

"The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will showcase an inclusive, action-biased and practical methodology for applying entrepreneurial thinking in small and large organizations. Through this generous donation, we will inspire students to develop skills in opportunity recognition and extend Calgary's famous can-do spirit," says Jim Dewald, interim dean of the Haskayne School of Business.

The Haskayne School of Business has about 3300 students enrolled in bachelors, masters, doctorate, and executive education programs.