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National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Joins White House-Led StartUp American Partnership

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Springfield, MA – January 31, 2011 – The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) announced its participation in a White House-led public/private alliance designed to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of American entrepreneurs. The Startup America Partnership brings together the nation's most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations and other leaders along with a wide range of federal agencies to push forward to the Obama Administration's goal of accelerating high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.

NACCE is the nation's leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges. NACCE's role in the new initiative comes through its participation in a pilot program of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) that will see the launch of a Virtual Incubation Network at 10 colleges in 10 states. Funded through a one-year, $995,500 grant from The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the pilot program will be implemented by AACC in collaboration with NACCE, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and ultimately through partnerships with Small Business Development Centers, many of which are operated on community college campuses. A follow-on grant of $742,500 for a second year of the program is anticipated.

"Business incubation has long been a valuable resource for business start-ups and virtual incubation holds great potential to assist would-be entrepreneurs all across the country,” said NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle. "We are extremely grateful to work with AACC with support from the Mott Foundation that will enable us to explore how community colleges can expand educational opportunities and value-added services such as counseling for entrepreneurs and small business owners through virtual incubation.”

In last week's State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted community colleges as a strategic component of the nation's economic recovery and the creation of new jobs over the last two years. "To have the role of community colleges in increasing entrepreneurship recognized by the Obama Administration is adding new energy to the NACCE community,” said Van Sickle. "We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Administration and with all the members of the Startup America Partnership to enable more Americans to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.”

About NACCE

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates for community-based entrepreneurship.

Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup America Partnership

About the American Association of Community Colleges

The American Association of Community Colleges is a national organization located in Washington, D.C., that represents the nation's close to 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges. The colleges represent that largest and fastest-growing sector of higher education and currently enroll almost half of all U.S. undergraduates. For more information, visit http://www.aacc.nche.edu/.

About The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the U.S. and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area and Pathways Out of Poverty. Offices are located in Flint, Michigan; metropolitan Detroit; Johannesburg (South Africa); and London. The Foundation, with 2009 year-end assets of approximately $2.1 billion, made 469 grants totaling $109.3 million. For more information, visit http://www.mott.org/.

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