Entrepreneurship Plus (ePlus) at Virginia Western Community College
Join Virginia Western Community College to hear its story of how in one year it developed an Entrepreneurship Career Studies Certificate, joined NACCE, and formed partnerships with the City of Roanoke Economic Development Office, Virginia Department of Business Assistance and the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Small Business Development Center.
Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, Virginia embarked on a quest to form entrepreneurship classes and seminars for its students. A mini-grant from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) provided the catalyst for the college to develop an Entrepreneurship Plus Career Studies Certificate. This curriculum is designed for individuals who are interested in learning the fundamentals of starting and operating their own businesses. This curriculum is also designed for students who are pursuing or have completed an occupational/business related degree and would like to start their own business. As entrepreneurs are significant contributors to our community’s fiscal health, it is an economic imperative that individuals seeking to start and grow their own business are given every opportunity to succeed. Annual government statistics indicate that approximately ten percent of the United States workforce owns a business. Small businesses (fewer than 20 employees) hire the majority of workers in the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). To initiate and guide program development an Entrepreneurship Advisory Board was created. Board members included economic development representatives from the Roanoke Valley and the synergy of the group established new entrepreneurship initiatives and cross marketing with the City of Roanoke Economic Development Office, Virginia Department of Business Assistance (DBA), Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Small Business Development Center and approval of a new Management/Entrepreneurship Plus Career Studies Certificate at Virginia Western. The college will integrate credit and non-credit training in the same classroom to support small businesses who locate in the City of Roanoke Entrepreneurship District.
Dr. Chuck Terrell, Vice President Workforce Development, Virginia Western Community College, VA
Sandy Ratliff, Business Service Manager, Virginia Department of Business Assistance, VA