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7th Annual Conference | Elevator Grant Blogs | Oct. 2009

Ten community colleges from across the country were awarded a total of $70,000 in the Elevator Grant competition funded by the Coleman Foundation at the National Association for Community Colleges Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Conference on October 12, 2009.

This grant program employs investments in four categories of work to introduce or expand self-employment education on the college campus: such as 1) programs linking community colleges and four-year institutions to include articulation activities and collaborative programs, 2) outreach to existing businesses, student consulting projects, efforts to establish advisory and funding partners, 3) programs enabling direct student exposure to entrepreneurs in the classroom and community, and 4) faculty development for teaching entrepreneurship in non-business disciplines.

The "elevator grant” method is based on the business planning skill of describing a new business venture in a three-minute pitch that could be given to a potential investor during an elevator ride. Using similar concepts, the Coleman Foundation has conducted sessions for secondary, community college and collegiate educators to demonstrate the impact of well placed small grants and to promote the value of self-employment. At the NACCE January conference, grants totaling $65,700 were awarded to ten community colleges.

Applicants from schools across the country submitted a short proposal describing their program and its expected outcomes. Sixteen finalists gave a three-minute, in-person "pitch” to foundation representatives on October 12, 2009 at the NACCE Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Immediate deliberation by the foundation’s board and staff ensured "on the spot” funding with grant checks presented at the last session of the conference.

Colleges receiving grants from the Coleman Foundation were:

(Click on link to view blog)

Bunker Hill Community College, MA
Central Arizona College, AZ
Central Community College, NE
Gateway Community and Technical College, KY
Lakeland Community College, OH
Lansing Community College, MI
Lehigh Carbon Community College, PA
Minnesota State Community and Technical College, MN
Santa Barbara City College, CA
Southwestern Illinois College, IL

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