How to Create Momentum
Momentum, defined by Merriam Webster, "is the strength or
force that something has when it is moving.”
So, obviously, the trick is, how do you get something moving in order to
create the momentum in the first place?
Step One: Identify Stakeholders
When Hillsborough Community College first
set out on our journey to re-examine our academic certificate in
Entrepreneurship, we thought it would be wise to get input from folks in our
business community. A simple "LinkedIn”
search yielded some great results! Who
would have thought that a keyword search of "Tampa” "Entrepreneur” would give
us so many people to contact! We sent
emails, scheduled lunch meetings, and asked everyone we met who they felt would
be interested in the development of the program in entrepreneurship. We knew, that to create momentum, both in
the college and in the community, we had to find people who had a passion for
our mission and ENGAGE them.
Step Two: Do your Research
It’s a bit easier to gain momentum if there is research to
get an understanding of what is needed and to "prove” that your idea has
merit. At our college, numbers talk and
students count in the decision making process.
Knowing this, we conducted a survey to all of our students asking
pointed questions about entrepreneurship.
This data helped us get the attention of our administration, fellow
faculty, and was very helpful when we talked with local government officials!
Step Three: Image is EVERYTHING!
So we had the community involved, we had the administration
and faculty involved, now the trick was to get students involved, and more
importantly, interested! So, we put
together a series of events involving our community partners. We had speakers visit the campus to talk
about various topics, planned and executed a day long Symposium for Veterans,
and had "Shark Tank” types of events.
Just because we had these wonderful events didn’t mean that students
would actually come. We know that
students today only will go to an event if they get, a) food, and b) credit! So, we did both. Some faculty assigned the speaker events as
part of the class, others as extra credit, and the Student-led Business
Leadership Club sponsored food. And it
worked. We filled our 150-seat
auditorium. Having that many students in
one place on a FRIDAY at 10:00 a.m. got the attention of other faculty as well
as our administration. It was also great
for our community partners—they saw interested students and then wanted to do
even more for us.
Heavens know that success breeds success. We tried to set ourselves up by involving the
community, doing our research and creating an image of interest. Today, our events are drawing close to 200
students, and we have community members contacting US for meetings! Now
Beth relocated to Tampa, Florida from Wilmington,
Delaware in 1999 after receiving her undergraduate degree in Marketing and her
Masters Degree in Business Administration from Goldey-Beacom College. Her
professional experience includes serving as a Marketing Coordinator for
Delmarva Power and Light Company, Special Programs Manager for a start up
telephone company called "Conectiv Communications" and the Public
Relations Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware. After moving to Florida, she began work as a
part-time instructor and International Education Marketing Specialist for Hillsborough
Community College. In 2005, she was
asked to serve the 16 county region (Southwest Florida) as Special Assistant to
Governor Jeb Bush. After leaving the
Governor’s office in 2007 she began consulting for small to medium businesses
and non-profits in the areas of organizational behavior and marketing. In the Fall of 2008, Beth began teaching
full-time at Hillsborough Community College in the Business Administration