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Resources Right Under Our Nose

Posted By Kaskaskia College- Illinois SBDC & ITC, Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Born out of natural curiosity last year, Kaskaskia College undertook a faculty and staff survey just to see who had entrepreneurial experiences in their lives. We uncovered a small but exciting number of resources right in our midst. This year, we circled back and interviewed a number of them in more detail, to better determine how and when to use their knowledge. Of course the closing question in each interview was "will you continue to help us"? Our long term goal is to have a number of mentors ready for action.

Because the ASK has been in person and conversational we are better able to judge enthusiasm and commitment... important qualities of co-creators. Further, with the personal connections made, the door is open to asking for additional help in the future. We also better understand the interests of each person and what resources they bring into co-creation. With regard to faculty, several NEW prospects emerged for a cross campus/cross college team to be formed this Fall.

 The initial survey served a really useful purpose in the identification of prospects for follow up. What we have learned throughout our effectuation journey is that the personal one-on-one talks are the most productive. Larger group settings are fine for setting the stage and for introducing the principles of effectuation, but not much more. The one-on-one ASK draws out commitments and co-creators.

Tags:  ASK  Best Practices  Co-Creators  effectuation  entrepreneurship  Kaskaskia College 

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Help Us Help You: Enrollment, Retention & Revenue

Posted By Leah Deppert, Wednesday, June 17, 2015

President's Breakfast at AACC 

On April 20th, NACCE held a Presidents' breakfast at AACC's National Conference to discuss with our members how we can help you with the following issues:



Retention and Completion

Budget and Revenue




Below are the ideas that they came up with. What would you like to add? Tell us in the comments!


NACCE can help our college increase ENROLLMENT by:

  • Making Connections: between members, institutions and thought leaders in higher education and entrepreneurship. What are the best practices nationally? How are colleges attracting international students? What member with a similar school and region is increasing enrollment?
  • Story-Telling: helping colleges to tell their campus success stories and how entrepreneurship plays a vital role.
  • Sharing and Teaching Best Practices to Increase Enrollment: educating members on how to create a start-up incubator, how to create a middle and high school summer institute, how to partner with co-working spaces, how to share a maker space, how to host a shark tank competition, how to grow your talent, connecting to industry.

NACCE can help our BUDGET & REVENUE by:

  • Providing Messaging on Entrepreneurship: create messages for grant writers on the impact of entrepreneurship on campus and as part of a larger economic development strategy.
  • Creating Leadership Training: empower & educate campus leaders on fostering an innovative culture.
  • Curate Best Practices on Financial Models: how to cut programs that are losing money, how to ask for large donations, and how to generate alternate forms of revenue, etc. 


  • Fostering the Entrepreneurial Mindset: it's a crucial component of student success!
  • Demonstrating Examples of Successful Community Partnershipsproviding resources on engaging your small business development centers, best practices in engaging industry in work-based learning.
  • Engage High Schools: Showcase best practices in aligning with high schools.

Tags:  AACC  enrollment  entrepreneurship  retention  revenue 

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What A Difference A Year Makes

Posted By Kaskaskia College- Illinois SBDC & ITC, Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Getting into the final stretch of our second Coleman Foundation & ECIA year, I would like to share some of the differences between year one and year two. On a recent commute, this summary came to mind:

Year 1 Effectuation Efforts- First I learned the principles and then I taught them

Year 2 Effectuation Efforts- I made big strides in understanding the principles and have become a much better teacher

In Year Two, we still value our checklist and pursue our goals but our mindset is different- we are much more open to the journey and the experiences encountered. As a result, our rewards are larger and our effectual sustainability is more assured.

Sara Whiffen of Insights Ignited helped me to develop professionally and I would like to share some lessons learned & things that really gave our projects better direction:

1. "The future is unknowable but it is creatable" is a concept that draws in co-creators. It enabled us to convince others that we can operate on similar footing to that of famous entrepreneurs.

2. "Begin with where you are" removes the non-productive comparisons and allows progress to get underway. Yes, there are healthy comparisons to be made... just drop the coveting & the envy thoughts.

3. Design answers to "what is in it for me- WIIFM" before every group and listener. This is how to move beyond polite listeners and to attract co-creators. Remember to always ask for involvement.

4. Every interaction is good. It is impossible to predict which ones are going to help you and how they will help... "You are part of my crazy quilt."

5. When strengthening your internal team, get to the point where you can frame discussions by saying "Now we do 'X', in an effectual world we would do ______________."

6. Don't scare entrepreneurs away with information overload. You still want them to jump in and try.

At Kaskaskia College, our president of fourteen years retires at the end of the month- the signer of our PFEP. It will be up to our Institute for Entrepreneurial Success to enthuse and inform our new President Dr. Penny Quinn about NACCE, the Coleman Foundation and our effectuation journey. We are confident about accomplishing our mission!

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  insights ignited  Kaskaskia College  PFEP 

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Can Entrepreneurship Help Student Success in Rural Colleges?

Posted By Leah Deppert, Monday, June 15, 2015

This week, our President and CEO, Rebecca Corbin, is attending the 2015 Community Colleges of Appalachia Annual Conference. The Community Colleges of Appalachia (CCA) is a voluntary association of public community colleges serving the common interests of member colleges and their communities through programs and services responsive to the unique cultural, geographic, and economic development challenges facing the region.     

Rebecca is honored to speak on the following topic: “Setting the Stage for Student Success in Rural Colleges with Entrepreneurship”. In this presentation, her guiding questions are:

  • Why is entrepreneurship important?
  • What stories offer powerful lessons? 
  • How does "grit" factor into student success?
  • How can a national organization help you?

Download her slide deck attached to this post and follow her tweets at @RebeccaCorbin7.

Download File (PDF)

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  community college  Community Colleges of Appalachia  entrepreneurship  grit  NACCE 

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NISOD2015: Community College Leaders As Entrepreneurs

Posted By Leah Deppert, Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

During May 23rd-26th, our President & CEO, Rebecca Corbin, and our Membership Coordinator, Guin Griswold, had the opportunity to travel down to Austin, Texas for NISOD2015. This conference gathered together community and technical college educators from around the world seeking best practices to improve student achievement.

Rebecca was honored to be granted the opportunity to present at this conference. Her presentation was titled, “Community College Leaders As Entrepreneurs”. She co-presented with Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, President of Clark State College, in which they discussed the following questions:

  • Why is entrepreneurship important?
  • What strategies are effective?
  • What stories offer powerful lessons?
  • How can NACCE can help you?

They asked that attendees would live-tweet their thoughts on entrepreneurship in community college and that one lucky winner would win free registration (valued at $950) for our conference, #NACCE2015! We are pleased to announce that Mario Olivera from South Texas won!

To view Rebecca & Dr. Blondin’s presentation deck, please see the attached PDF.

A special thank you to NISOD for a great conference!

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  entrepreneurship  NACCE  NISOD2015 

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Turning Oranges into Lemonade: A Lesson in the Entrepreneurial Method

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Friday, April 24, 2015
Updated: Friday, April 24, 2015

By: Sara Whiffen, Insights Ignited (Effectuation expert for the Coleman ECIA Community of Practice)


Lilly Pulitzer’s perky patterns incited a mad rush at Target stores this week. Customers were in a frenzy to acquire the bright colors and floral designs that are the hallmark of the preppy brand.  The brand evokes feelings of country clubs and lazy summer lemonade days.  But its creation is rooted in orange juice.

As the story goes, long before Lilly Pulitzer was a brand, she was a wealthy socialite.  Raised in high society New York, she married and moved to Florida where her husband owned a large orange grove. 

Wanting to help with the family business, she would often push a small cart of fresh oranges through a local park.  Dressed in her cool summer whites, she would sell fresh orange juice to passers-by.   Peeling and squeezing the oranges by hand left her with sticky fingers and stained clothing.  Conscious of her appearance, this was just not acceptable to her. 

Inspiration struck one day as she glanced at a set of curtains in her home and thought that the loud, colorful pattern of their 1960s style would surely disguise those persistent orange stains.  She went to a fabric store, purchased a similar design, and fashioned from it a simple shift dress.

Wearing this in the park while pushing her cart, she stood out among the crisp white outfits worn by others.  Her look began to attract as much attention as her fresh orange juice.  Customers began asking for not just a glass of juice, but inquiring as to where they too could purchase a similar dress.  After hearing more and more of these inquiries, she began to make some of the dresses for others.  Her popularity grew and she was able to build an entire brand line from this small start. 

The effectual lemonade principal is clear here.  Her business at the time was selling orange juice.  She did not aspire to grow a fashion brand.  But she was open to trying new things and believed in her ability to solve problems in a way that would work to her advantage.  And when life gave her lemons – or orange juice – she embraced them fully and made her own lemonade.  

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  community college  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  insights ignited  lilly pulitzer  NACCE  target 

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Reaching & Engaging Administrative Staff

Posted By Kaskaskia College- Illinois SBDC & ITC, Sunday, April 19, 2015
Updated: Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kaskaskia College is part of the Coleman ECIA Project. In a previous post, we covered Reaching & Engaging Faculty plus the ah-ha discoveries about how to present "what's-in-it-for-me?"or WIIFM. In recent weeks we have tackled the same topic for administrative staffers and non-teaching personnel. We have been concerned that support staff do not look at what they do as entrepreneurial, and question why be entrepreneurial at all? Early in the project we tried to discuss intrapreneurs and obtained modest success, or at least polite listening. In our opinion however when you want to push beyond this polite listening, you must get right back to WIIFM. We see this as key to locating active buy-in and co-creators. So, here is an outline of elements to consider when reaching and engaging administrative staff:

1. What is expected from your staff? (Know where they are coming from & what is important to them)

a. Manage & use resources effectively

b. Assure compliance with rules & regulations

c. Assist faculty in creating a positive & comprehensive learning environment

d. Provide a broad learning experience that meets diverse needs

e. Be a productive and vibrant part of the community

f. Keep track of everything

2. What challenges does staff face? (What makes their jobs challenging & stressful)

a. The pressure to be less place bound (delivery of services convenient to citizens and not necessarly to school)

b. Meet expectations for immediate service

c. Adopt/adapt to changing technology

d. Continuous improvement in efficiency

e. A feeling that everything is "all about the numbers"

f. Creating individualized learning experiences in an efficient manner

g. Coping with generational differences

h. Dealing with budget and staff cuts

Only after engaging, listening and coming to understand the staffers can effective futures be created together. We think that conversations must focus on the individuals, not just the employee. Effectuation can build self confidence and equip individuals or teams to confront challenges faced. Effectuation principles can help illuminate pathways to solutions and help to maximize resources allocated. As in all things, once you respect and understand others, productive synergies can occur.

A summer goal for Kaskaskia College is to have a cross functional, effectual group begin to do "compare & contrast" exercises: "Today we do "X" and in an effectual world we would do _________________." When we achieve this, we will know that we have made great strides with entrepreneurship.



Tags:  Coleman Foundation  community college  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  intrapreneur  Kaskaskia College  WIIFM 

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Update on Northeast State Center For Entrepreneurship

Posted By Lynn Anderson, Tuesday, April 07, 2015

We have found a temporary home for the Center For Entrepreneurship!!  The CFE will be sharing space with the Center for Teaching Excellence while we await the construction of the Emerging Technologies Complex on the campus of Northeast State.  The two groups have much in common and we will be able to work together to further the goals of both groups.  While the space is limited, we have enough room to hold meetings and small gatherings.  The Center for Teaching Excellence is houses desktop computers, laptops, iPad's and two printers that are available for use.

On April 21, 2015, Tom Crosby the President of Pal's will conduct a seminar for students, faculty and staff.  Pal's is a regional fast-food provider started by Pal Barger that is a national Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award winner.  Pal's is also the recipient of two Tennessee Excellence Awards.  The seminar will focus on how this local small business developed, implemented and maintains a world-class operation.

Additional seminars/workshops are being discussed.  It is hoped that these will not be limited to the Northeast State campus community, but will be open to the public.  We are exploring connections with local entrepreneurs to lead these gatherings.  We hope to involve other resource groups in these seminars/workshops to reach a broader user base and to make the community aware of the resources available at Northeast State.

Tags:  entrepreneurship  higher education  Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award  Northeast State Community College 

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Let's Talk Effectuation with Sara Whiffen

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Tuesday, March 31, 2015

There's More to Affordable Risk in Higher Ed. 

By: Sara Whiffen, Insights Ignited

When we talk about Affordable Risk in the context of our colleges it becomes clear that there are a set of special risks that exist in the organizational context that are unique to higher education. We asked Sara Whiffen, Effectuation consultant to the NACCE Coleman Foundation Grant Community of Practice to share her perspectives on this topic and here are her top 5 special risks.

1.   Bureaucratic risk- How much are you willing to go off plan?

2.   Cultural risk- Is there a lack of universal understanding about effectuation? Are you culturally disassociated- do you feel like the odd man out?

3.   Reputation risk- The risk of being too far out of the norm- swimming upstream.

4.   Failure risk- Being branded as the failure- it is inherent in entrepreneurship, but not so with institutions.

5.   Solopreneur risk- The idea that as the manager of an entrepreneurship program you have the sole responsibility for entrepreneurship- “lone wolf” doesn’t work it requires shared creation.

Do you see this on your campus? Can you think of other affordable risks you see in the organizational environment? Chime in on the effectuation conversation.

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  community college  economic development  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  higher education  insights ignited  NACCE 

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Let's Talk Effectuation with Sara Whiffen

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Monday, March 23, 2015
Updated: Monday, March 23, 2015


What is Affordable Loss?

By: Sara Whiffen, Insights Ignited 


We asked our Coleman ECIA Community of Practice Effectuation Expert Sara Whiffen to weigh in on a good definition of the Affordable Loss principle and how it relates to community colleges as we teach and advise prospective and current entrepreneurs. Here's what Sara had to say.

  • Affordable loss is what you are willing to lose to make the idea successful.
  • What it is not—it is not expected return. It is not a forecasted upside.
  • Most importantly, it is not a desire to lose money.

It’s not saying that you’re going to throw it away or intentionally lose money. Instead, it’s saying that if you have to lose it, it won’t bankrupt you. It’s the recognition that innovation is based on experimentation and failures that lead to successes.

Affordable loss is the safety net in response to “true” uncertainty. Making decisions in the presence of uncertainty is the essence of entrepreneurship – economists tell us this. There is known. Unknown. And Unknowable risk. Affordable loss is how you can venture into the Unknowable territory. To truly be innovative you have to go there. Affordable loss serves as your safety net in this.


It sets you up for more options in the future. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. 


Stay tuned because in Sara's next blog she will share the perspective of affordable loss as it relates to the intrapreneur within the community college.

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  effectuation  entrepreneurship  Insights Ignited  NACCE 

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