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Coleman Entrepreneurial College in Action

Posted By Carla Hixson, Monday, April 07, 2014

Carla Hixson, Associate Vice President for Continuing Education, Training and Innovation

Bismarck State College, North Dakota (2013 Coleman Action Grants Awardee)


Bismarck State College (BSC) has established an Office of Innovation as a way to foster a culture of innovation campus wide. These practices can be applied to creating a culturally rich entrepreneurial community as well.

In 2007, we implemented the Office of Innovation with the mission to create a culture of innovation for faculty, staff and students.  Innovation at BSC must be employee driven, so it became important to approach this new culture as an organizational change. BSC made changes that were clearly connected to our culture not only in operations, systems, and procedures but it also tied innovation to our campus strategies, values, mission, and vision.  We used three talking points to communicate that innovation was part of this cultural change on campus.

  1.  Innovation is important to BSC and to you,
  2.  Innovation is everybody’s job, and
  3.  Innovation can be learned.

This same cultural change approach can be used to incorporate entrepreneurship into your campus and community and our 2013 Coleman Action Grant project is an extension of this in that we are working to Create or Expand Internal & External Teams Dedicated to Entrepreneurship.  But before you embark on a series of activities or program you must ask yourself “is your organization ready?” On a continuum, assess whether “your organization wants to be entrepreneurial” on one end to “your organization is entrepreneurial” on the other end. In helping you assess, ask yourself, do you have operations, systems, and procedures that prevent or discourage entrepreneurial behaviors? Or do you have operations, systems, and procedures that encourage or require entrepreneurial behaviors?

If you have operations, systems, and procedures that prevent or discourage entrepreneurial behavior you can begin to change the culture within your organization along four distinct and important levels. At each level you address the ability to “impact” the organization’s capability to change culturally. The higher the levels number the more impact the activities will have on the organization. That said, the lower the number the easier it is to implement within the organization with relatively minimal time commitment.

Here’s our advice and some potential activities to consider at each level:

Level One: Environment

·         Developing goals and measurements specific to operations, policies and procedures that reinforce desired changes.

·         Establish a physical environment that reinforces the changes.

Examples include: leadership commitment to entrepreneurship announcement, a “kick off” event and a campus wide project.


Level Two: Work Structure

·         Establish an organizational structure that will reinforce operational changes.

·         Eliminate rules and policies that hinder performance of new methods and procedures.

·         Create new rules and policies that reinforce entrepreneurship activities

Examples include: an operationally “flat” campus, employee empowerment training, implementation of LEAN office, establish a process to bring ideas forward beyond traditional budgeting process.


Level Three: Interpersonal Behaviors

Activities to consider:

·         Replace current training with training that reinforces desired behaviors.

·         Develop goals and measurements that reinforce the desired behaviors and provide rewards.

·         Publicly recognize and reward employees who change.

·         Develop new rewards and recognition that reinforce the desired ways of operating.

·         Establish ceremonies and events that reinforce new ways of doing things, such as awards ceremonies and recognition events for teams and employees who achieve goals or successfully implement changes.

Examples include: training, a certification program, incorporating expected behaviors into job descriptions and performance reviews, entrepreneurship ceremony with individual and team recognition and awards.

Level Four: Values & Norms

Activities to consider:

·         Develop new customs and norms that reinforce the new ways.

·         Incorporate communication that reinforces the new customs and norms.

·         Use multiple channels of communication to deliver consistent messages before, during and after changes are made.

Examples include: An annual dashboard report, individual employees recognizing others for entrepreneurship activities, regular updates to administration and through internal campus communications, and establishment of an external advisory group.


Through our journey in campus-wide entrepreneurship, we’ve learned that change within an organization takes time. Activities at each level provide a way for individuals to see entrepreneurial success in the short run and into the future. By applying these same principles to entrepreneurship, it can become an integral part of any culture.

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Posted By Randy Schouten MBA, Monday, March 10, 2014

Shared Space Incubator

Within the Miller Business Resource Center (MBRC) at Salt Lake Community College is a business incubator/accelerator called the Miller Business Innovation Center (MBIC). It is a challenge to operate the incubator at a breakeven point, given its physical size (15,000 sf). Its small size also limits the number of potential companies that can be impacted, as well. The MBIC can accommodate approximately 20 to 27 companies, leaving some space for company growth. There are currently 22 resident companies within the incubator, and one resident company has assigned permanent office space.

In an effort to increase the number of companies impacted and to increase revenue, a shared space/virtual incubator program was implemented about fifteen months ago. Companies have access to shared space (24/7) and other services (training rooms, conference room, internet access, counseling/mentoring, mail forwarding, etc.). Fees are very reasonable: $20 to $55 per month depending upon the services used. The response to the shared space program has exceeded expectations with 32 individuals/companies signing up for the program. It is anticipated the program can accommodate approximately 50 companies/individuals given the amount of shared space allocated. Some companies have "graduated" to the resident program.

Some lessons learned from the new program include:

  • Limited space supports a significant number of companies 
  • Low price/low risk is extremely desirable to true start ups
  • Shared space clients will feed into the resident program
  • Introducing the program created a lot of positive buzz in the entrepreneurial community
  • Accept only true startups with growth potential (no service providers, e.g., insurance, consultants, etc.)

The end result – company impacts have increased significantly and revenue has improved, which are two of our goals as part of the Shared Vision project.

Posted 3/5/2014

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Keeping Entrepreneurship at the Center of Workforce Development

Posted By Heather Van Sickle, Tuesday, March 04, 2014

At the end of January, the NACCE Leadership Team traveled to (normally) sunny Florida to attend AACC’s Workforce Development Institute. While there may still be some who argue that workforce development is a separate conversation from entrepreneurship education, I disagree – as would many of the other cutting-edge organizations and movements dedicated to spurring job creation and innovation through entrepreneurship, such as the Kauffman Foundation, the Maker Movement, , and WalMart/Sam’s Club. I talked briefly about this while I was onsite at WDI. Click here to watch the video.

One of those examples is with the “Slingshot Network” of colleges. NACCE has been working closely with AACC and the Kauffman Foundation for over a year with a select group of colleges called the Slingshot Network. The concept of the “slingshot effect” is to convene and support the brightest and most effective colleges together, led by the Kauffman Foundation with guidance from AACC and NACCE for a series of “collision” activities to launch their individual campuses on more creative and faster trajectories than they could achieve alone. In doing so, these Slingshot colleges will create optimal models for other campuses in the NACCE member community to chart their own course.

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Coleman Entrepreneurial College in Action

Posted By Bruce McHenry, Monday, March 03, 2014

Engage, Engage, Engage!

Currently, South Mountain Community College is participating in the Entrepreneurial College in Action Community of Practice with NACCE, The Coleman Foundation, and ten other colleges funded through the grant competition. Our project focuses on the first action step of NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge: Create or expand internal teams dedicated to entrepreneurship. To do this, we used Coleman funding to create an Entrepreneurship Advisory Council, which has developed a process to manage and provide venture funds to students to start micro-ventures after completing two prerequisite courses.

As South Mountain continues the path of the entrepreneurial college, I am continually reminded of the need and opportunity for engagement and looking for new “talent” and fresh ideas for your internal and external teams.  Actually ‘reminded’ is a bit too mild.  More like whack-on-the-side-of-the-head/right-cross-to-the-jaw.  Ow!

To paraphrase the old cliché; there is no ‘I’ in entrepreneur.  We are required, requested and presented with occasions for teamwork, collaboration, co-working, and engagement at all levels. Three engagements I continually see as important and valuable can be seen as concentric circles within the campus and surrounding community:

Engage the Community – yes, engaging the local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and those who want to be is both obvious and exciting. However, I try to look further and deeper.  Phoenix, AZ, where South Mountain College is located, is very fortunate to have many others to engage in the entrepreneurial workspace: state and municipal government agencies involved in workforce development and economic gardening; SBDC, SBA, and others offering services, many free or low cost; incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces seem to be growing and opening weekly; and sister colleges and universities are competing and collaborating to push out both pedagogy and practical assistance.

Engage the College – as academic entrepreneurs, we follow the same path as any entrepreneur; try, fail, learn, grow, and fail again.  Acceptance of failure and the learning that comes from it is sometimes not easy but necessary.  I’m amazed and excited to engage with supportive colleagues across the entire campus who share their learning of trying and failing: from philosophy to counseling, student services to facilities.  Yes, even the facilities folks are in the game and I’m glad!  After all, who makes your campus work and look awesome? Engage to thank them and listen, you will likely be astounded by the lessons they bring forth.

Engage the Students – the last because the most important.  The reason we exist. The heart and soul. The butts in the seat who pay tuition. Those we want to inspire and are inspired by. I’m so glad for the many opportunities to engage our students.  The stories, the passion, the uncertainty, and the determination make it always worthwhile. I’m excited every time a student engages me to talk about their business or business idea.

Engagement is like a scavenger hunt; you never quite know what will turn up but always fun!  When you are inclusive, you will gain best ideas and entrepreneurial thinking from often overlooked places.  Having a diverse set of stakeholders at the table and driving conversations about your entrepreneurial programming helps ensure relevancy of your activities and resources to your community. Additionally, when you have all of the players in your community identified, you can start to leverage each other’s resources, bringing even more to the table than what you start with. Whom have you engaged today and what treasure have you found?

NACCE/Coleman ECIA Community of Practice

Bruce McHenry

Business Faculty

Director, Community Entrepreneurship Center

South Mountain Community College



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#INNA14 - Creating an OER Course to Enhance Student Learnings

Posted By Karen-Michelle Mirko, Monday, March 03, 2014

Happy to be at The League for Innovation.  Just a few of my notes. Wish I could type faster. Please add your notes to the comments section below.


Creating an OER Course to Enhance Student Learnings

Kipp Snow @KippSnow and Brandi Ulrich @BrandiUlrich

Anne Arundel Community College

Open Educational Resources = OER

Why use it?

  • ·         Textbook costs increasing
  • ·         Curriculum Changes daily
  • ·         Improve student success in learning


OER used in Face to face class

  • Increased student learning
  • Systemic process in the instruction design


EOR Used for Flipped Classroom in Face to Face

Helped instructors to assess student learning


Did a Pre-Survey before class started

Used Survey Monkey at beginning and end of course

Student preferences:

  • Read text -  1 out of 26
  • Watch video – 5 out of 26
  • Combo – 20 out of 26


What do you think about not having a textbook?

Positive comments from students– text books are expensive, easier, interested in concept

Negative comments from students– rather have book, harder to take notes, hassle to use technology


Used a range of OERs

What was the process of collecting resources? {Love comments on how to do this...}


  • ·         Lack of published information
  • ·         Finding Suitable material
  • ·         Formatting appearance
  • ·         Student mindset

  • Flexible - Could adapt to meet course objectives
  • Real time - Used current events
In this class, students got higher grades than they usually get using a textbook only

What worked for students?
  • Discussions in class
  • Assignments that made me think like a small business owners
How could we improve class?
  • Spend time with students on explaining concept of OER
  • Be consisent
  • Encourage reading
  • Include industry realted info
  • DO NOT ASSUME EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO INTERNET. Optimize content for phone and tablet

Challenges for OER
  • There is a lot of junk out there. How do I weed it out? 
  • How to we optimize realtionship with college library so we are using its staff and resources to recommend OERs?
  • How do you work with the curroculm committee who may "require" textbook?

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#INNA14 Applying Management and Business Theory to Community College Leadership

Posted By Karen-Michelle Mirko, Monday, March 03, 2014

Happy to be at The League for Innovation.  Just a few of my notes. Wish I could type faster. Please add your notes to the comments section below.

Presentation on selected theories to apply to community college leadership

Presenter: Neil Bagadiong, M.S., D.M. Ivy Tech Community College

·         Groupthink - Janis

o   Evaluate HOW decision are made

·         Determine what are associated risk

·         INVITE different point of views and encourage DEBATE


Double-loop Learning – Argyris

  • ·         Instead of going back one step of what went wrong, go back to the beginning


Stakeholder Theory

  • ·         Any group that is impacted by college purposes – understand behaviors and background
  • ·         Should include legislators, board, big donors
  • ·         Prioritize who you meet first as a new president


Upper Echelons Theory – Hambrick

  • ·         Leadership put their own stamp on their team
  • ·         Team is a reflection of the leader
  • ·         Can lead to bad decision making – a bunch of Yes men.
  • ·         Need a team that is diverse
  • ·          

 Change Theory – Kezar & Kotter

  • ·         Convince the staff that there is a DIRE need to change


How do you handle staff who is not open to change?

  • ·         Set expectations
  • ·         Expose them to new things – send them to conferences, videos, bring in external speakers
  • ·         Remember you work in an institution – perhaps there is a better role for them

Tags:  INNA14 

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Innovation 2014 - Notes from the Opening General Session

Posted By Karen-Michelle Mirko, Monday, March 03, 2014

Happy to be at The League for Innovations.  Just a few of my notes. Wish I could type faster. Please add your notes to the comments section below.

Welcomed by Gerardo E. de los Santos, President and CEO, League for Innovation in the Community College


2014 ETS / Terry O’Banion Award Winner

Dr. Piedad Robertson, Board of Trustees, Educational Testing Services

“Leadership is a joint effort of people who think alike and try to achieve what have not been done before.”


2013 John E. Roueche and Terry O’Banion International Leadership Award Winner

Martha Kanter, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education and Senior Fellow at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University

At the heart of Community Colleges, is their mission is to help students excel.

Ten years ago, the external factors were the same - budgets cuts, flailing economy, the need to train our students for jobs that will help the economy grow.  Like then, now, there is a continued need to innovate in higher education to surmount those challenges.

We need to educate our leaders understand 2 things.

1.      1. More than half community colleges work full time and can only go to school part time. Full time school is not an option.

2.       2. We need to look at innovation in the classroom. Community colleges have been innovating for the last century.

Her ask:

1.       Bring in local and federal leaders and journalists and tell them your story – giving access to more students and different students, innovating in the classroom, tactics you have to keep college affordable. Tell them what you have done to build partnership, increase the STEM pipeline and the number of teachers in the pipeline.

Community colleges are building our nation. Democracy is at risk. Higher education needs to stretch ourselves to tie ourselves to shaping the nation to what we want to become. The national conversation is about workforce training, or how to serve the students who are not served. The Crucible Moment report on Civic Learning showed that students did not know there were 9 justices on the Supreme Court or the history of democracy. 

2.       American Democracy commitment – Made at White House Summit in 2012. Voter registration is one of the first goals.  Also need to get students to lead government.

 Access is an outcome that can be delivered to the public. 1 Million veterans returning that need to be served by Higher Ed.

How do we get this country to have the best educated workforce in the world? 4 strategies:

·         1. Access

·         2. Affordability

·         3. Quality

·         4. Completion

We need to replicate and scale what works.


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Student Profile: Dustin Cagle, Northeast Alabama Community College, National College/Postsecondary Vice President of SkillsUSA

Posted By Karen-Michelle Mirko, Friday, February 28, 2014
I was delighted to meet Dustin at WDI, after he gave remarks at a morning session. I was moved by his story of student success, and how SkillsUSA help him and many others find his career passion. He was kind enough to let me post his speech below.


SkillsUSA Opening Session Speech


          We hear a lot these days about the “Skills Gap.” We hear stories of students who are heading off to college unprepared and end up failing to complete any kind of credential or being able to transfer to a four-year school. We hear stories of young adults who lack the skills and work ethics needed to get a job and keep a job.


Well, I’m here to tell you a different story.


Good morning, my name is Dustin Cagle. I am a student at Northeast Alabama Community College, where I am a drafting design major. I also serve as the National College/Postsecondary Vice President of SkillsUSA.


At SkillsUSA, you hear stories of student success, of students making a difference in their communities, of students building and securing their own futures. You hear stories about skilled and educated students who are realizing their dreams as they advance to higher education or the world of work.


SkillsUSA helps students, like me, find our career passions. In addition, it empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.


We know that through work force development, individuals can receive training that makes them a greater asset in the work force. We also know that leadership and professional development are essential to ensuring those same individuals get a job and are successful at that job. So why not offer your students a program that focuses on the best of both?


We are a national student leadership organization serving more than 300,000 student and professional members in all 50 states and three U.S. territories. SkillsUSA complements technical skills training with instruction in the employability skills that make for a well-rounded worker. That is what sets us apart and what can give your students an edge in the workplace. When people talk about college-ready and career-ready, or 21st Century Skills, they are talking about the combination of academic skills, technical skills, and employability skills. SkillsUSA ties them all together making your students necessary and sought after by employers. A prepared, educated and motivated employee is any company’s best resource. The need for talented human capital will always be paramount to the success of any company  ̶  no matter what they produce or service they provide. Nurturing that potential is a long-term investment that pays off for America’s top companies and small businesses. Nurturing that potential is what SkillsUSA is all about and it’s why we have such great support from corporate America. More than 1,000 businesses support SkillsUSA. Companies such as Toyota, Lowe’s, Snap-on, State Farm, Bosch, Caterpillar, and many others see value in SkillsUSA students.


Employers look to community colleges  ̶  your schools  ̶  for dependable workers who are willing to learn. SkillsUSA can help you connect to local businesses and help you offer a steady supply of motivated and skilled employees.


Today’s students are facing some harsh realities. Our economic future is uncertain. Many communities are facing tough times. College costs are skyrocketing. The number of applicants for admission at two-year schools is higher than they’ve ever been, making it more competitive.


Now more than ever, we need an edge that allows us to stand out from the crowd. That edge is SkillsUSA. We enrich the student experiences on campus, improve student recruitment and retention, and further business partnerships.


I would like to share with you how SkillsUSA personally influenced my life.


Before SkillsUSA, I didn’t know what my future looked like. It was like I was lost in the dark without a flashlight. I was just going with the “high-school flow” just wanting to graduate school and be done. I had no goals set for myself and didn’t have a path to follow. I didn’t have the self-confidence to set those goals and to find a right path.


Then I found career/technical education and SkillsUSA. Career/technical education provided me with a trade I was good at, BUT SkillsUSA drove it home. SkillsUSA gave me the confidence to set goals and a sense of direction to further my education… to go to college.


So here I am now in college, and SkillsUSA is STILL molding me.


SkillsUSA has now given me a deeper sense of confidence and purpose. I have the confidence to set further goals and continue to grow as an individual. I now have the sense of purpose to influence others to further their education as well and graduate college. SkillsUSA linked me with business and industry to give me potential job opportunities. I now have job offers in places I never imagined. SkillsUSA showed me what the future workforce is in dire need of and molded me into that leader that America needs. I am now EDUCATED and SKILLED to lead America!

Tags:  WDI 

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Emerging Model Marries Technology and Hope- By: Dr. Scott Fredrickson

Posted By Barbara Cox, Monday, February 24, 2014
Dr. Scott Fredrickson is a Professor of Entrepreneurship & Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Learning Center at Saddleback College

It seems to be a repeated pattern that when the economy takes a downturn, our institutions of higher education see enrollment increases. Long-time workers find themselves in need of new skills or of updating their existing ones. Education programs that emphasize job or career preparation feel the impact and work to provide the most and the best. Following the most recent major downturn, the pattern held, and colleges were pressed to move students forward toward new or changed careers, and to do so with fewer resources to do so.

Interestingly, another phenomenon happened on the way, one not always seen in the old pattern. Attention came to focus as much or more on building businesses as on preparing jobs. We needed to create the jobs, not wait for bandages to bring back the old ones. At the same time, and with speed we’d not seen previously, emerging technologies, innovation, and the creativity of a new generation, coalesced to make the possibilities for new businesses surge forward.

One more phenomenon seems to have been taking hold, and some will tell you that this one, too, is generational. Maybe it has been an awakening, an outcome of growing awareness on unprecedented scales. Let me share a short observation with you. Several teachers of business have contributed their experience that getting students motivated to plan a business is a challenge. Some of the most engaged of students would announce their intention to become wealthy by inventing a new app, or to live "in the fast lane” by selling "really hot t-shirts!” These teachers now tell me, and I see it myself, that the current wave of students wants to do something remarkable, whether minor or great, to help the world. And they want to do it by creating a business that will do it, and make money down this path. Furthermore, they feed this motivation by learning about engineering, sustainable agriculture, energy savings and generation, health sciences, people, technologies … you name the question. These students want to enter the arena of economic growth by creating solutions to serious, deep-rooted problems and the businesses to deliver them.

Developing Sustainable Business Models

The concept that describes this business mission is social entrepreneurship, the development of   sustainable business models to solve chronic social issues. Since the inception of the term in 1980 by Bill Drayton founder of Ashoka, the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, social entrepreneurs have developed innovative solutions to many of society’s most pressing social problems. Social entrepreneurs act as change agents for society by drawing upon thinking in both the business and non-profit worlds to develop new approaches to a company’s mission and thus sustain social value. Finally, after 34 years of being perceived as "charity work,” social entrepreneurship is coming into its own.

Examples of sustainable businesses with a social conscience include:

VisionSpring – a combination of Mary Kay and LensCrafters that sells inexpensive reading glasses across India, China, and Latin America. This business employs local sales reps using the Grameen Bank micro-finance model that has proven successful across Bangladesh.
TerreCycle – produces over 250 products from 60 waste streams that would otherwise be destined for landfills.

Thermpod – manufactures a sleeping bake-like device that warms low-birth babies in hospitals and clinics in areas that have unreliable electricity and heat lamps that don’t always work.


Social entrepreneurship can also operate with an existing business structure. Intrepreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur within an existing organization. Finding the collaboration of social  good and smart business as well a meeting the needs of the community is becoming the new standard against which we judge the health and worth of a business. Business typically measures performance by accounting standards of profit and loss. Social entrepreneurs must also use these standards but take into account a positive return to society. These broad social, cultural and environmental goals are most commonly associated with nonprofit organizations. But when embraced by a business organization, can foster sustainable profits and positive community goodwill.

Triple Bottom Line

The "triple bottom line" was first coined by John Elkington in 1994. He proposed that companies should be measured with three bottom lines; profit or loss, plus social and environmental concerns.” These additional two lines would measure how socially responsible the company has been to their community and the environment.
For example, if a company made a profit, but neglected maintenance on their storage tanks that eventually burst, polluting a major river providing drinking water for a large population, and the government ends up spending taxpayer money on river clean-up, how would this company be measures?

In today’s world, a socially sustainable business must develop three measurable objectives:

1. Profitability – A business must continue to make money developing products and services the market deems worthy and protect shareholder equity.
2. Socially responsibility – A business must be aware and respond to the social and community needs of its employees, customers, other stakeholders, and markets.
3. Environmental awareness – A business must commit to sustainable environmental practices to ensure the health of the community, reduce waste, and conserve energy.

Social Entrepreneur Challenge

In 2013, the state of Michigan launched the Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneur Challenge. The goal of this public-private effort was to develop innovative solutions to help solve chronic and social issues like poverty and hunger by applying sustainable free market models.

Michigan was the first state to hold a social entrepreneur competition and was extremely pleased with over 400 participants and 150 business plans submitted. 10 winners were selected and coached to pitch their business models to potential investors. 8 of the winners are currently in the process of obtaining investments of well over $200,000 from investors and non-profits foundations.  

Orange County Social Entrepreneurship Competition  

Saddleback College will host the nation's first county-wide social entrepreneur competition May 10, 2014. Saddleback’s competition will follow the Michigan model and help entrepreneurs discover local, organic, and innovative solutions to problems like homelessness, poverty, and hunger by applying free market, sustainable business models. Finalists can potentially win over $125,000 in cash, prizes, and chatting services. In addition, finalists will have a rare opportunity to pitch their ideas to social impact investors from across the nation with a chance to get funded upwards of $100,000. The goal of the competition is to educate students and the community that profits alone are not the only measure of success and sustainability. Everyone must participate in the social revolution. Learn what Saddleback College is doing to make a difference.

How To Participate  

Social entrepreneurs who wish to participate should go online to the Saddleback College Entrepreneurship & Innovation Learning Center at:  Once individuals or teams submit their ideas, they will be able to access coaches from the Saddleback College network to help develop their projects and presentations. Online and in-person events will be offered to further assist participants in refining their submissions before the final May application deadline.

Bibliography  socialentrepreneurs/    

Tags:  Entrepreneurship  Entrepreneurship Challenge  Saddleback College  Triple Bottom Line 

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Posted By Cindy Tauscher, Monday, February 24, 2014

Conducting an Ecosystem Mapping & DACUM

Northeast State Community College is participating in the NACCE - Sam’s Club Shared Vision for Small Business 2014 Cohort. Our goal is to aid in the success of small businesses by providing training and related services appropriate to the after start-up stage. Our first two steps have been to determine what training and support services are available in the five county region that Northeast State serves and what training and services are needed by owners at this stage their business development.

In order to determine the training and support services that are available, we are developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem map. The map shows the institutions and organizations that are supporting the entrepreneurial network in the region. It literally is the glue that binds all of the entities together. The steps in creating the ecosystem begin with meeting with the entities in the area to learn what they are doing. The meetings are centered on introductions of each other and gathering a construct of information. The geographical places are put on a map. We are using Google Earth at this time. As a person selects an entity, the website pops-up so a person can learn more about the organization or agency from the website. The development of an ecosystem is an on-going process.

The second endeavor is to conduct a DACUM (Developing A CUrriculuM) to learn the training and services that are needed at this stage and going forward. A DACUM is a guided group process with experts in the field being the panelists. We had five entrepreneurs that had owned their own business for a varying amount of time. They completed the DACUM in two evenings. They identified 7 major duties and associated tasks and several skills and knowledge areas.

The next step is two-fold. The first is to take the DACUM material and develop a needs assessment. The second is to plan the first training session based on one of the duties that was revealed through the process. The resulting needs analysis can provide guidance for future entrepreneurs. It allows for training to be conducted on a timely basis, and it aids in the creation of entrepreneur cohorts.

This past week, we presented process of conducting an ecosystem mapping and DACUM at the NACCE – New River Summit in Ghent, West Virginia. Have you conducted an ecosystem mapping and DACUM in your community? If not, I’ve attached the PowerPoint of our Summit presentation so that you can begin this critical information-gathering work in your region.

Cynthia Tauscher has been with Northeast State Community College for over twenty years. Her previous career experience was in manufacturing. Prior to her becoming Coordinator of Business Related Workforce Development, her main emphasis at Northeast State was in leadership training having trained over 700 regional supervisory personnel from industry in an intensive 84 hour class. Her emphasis areas now include continuing education in entrepreneurism and health-related professions. Cindy is pursuing her DBA.

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