$125,000 IN ELEVATOR GRANTS FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMS TO BE AWARDED AT 5TH NACCE CONFERENCE
Monday, October 22, 2007
December 3 Is Deadline to Register to Vie for a Grant Springfield, MA – October 22, 2007 – A highlight of the 5th Annual National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Conference, being held January 6-9, 2008, in San Antonio, TX, will be the awarding of up to $125,000 in an elevator grant competition. Provided by The Coleman Foundation and The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Charitable Foundation, the grants will support programs that establish or grow entrepreneurship education in community college settings. The foundations anticipate awarding as many as 20 grants.
Registrations to participate in the grant competition must be received by Monday, December 3, 2007. Registration materials consist of a completed Registration Form including a two-page project description, a project budget and evidence of institutional support. Registration forms are available for downloading from the NACCE Conference section of the NACCE Web site (www.nacce.com) or can be requested by e-mailing The Coleman Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are extremely grateful to the two foundations for funding this grant program again this year,” said NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle. “Our members are very excited about having the opportunity to compete for funds that will help move their entrepreneurship programs forward. The grants also provide a high level of credibility that can be leveraged to draw support from other funding sources.”
The elevator grant method is based upon the business planning skill of describing a new business venture in a three-minute pitch that could be given to a potential investor during an elevator ride. Using these same concepts, the foundations have conducted similar sessions for secondary, community college and collegiate educators over the past six years, employing an on-the-spot grant making process to award well-placed, small grants that support entrepreneurship education.
NACCE members who received grants in the round of funding that occurred at last January’s NACCE Conference say the grants make a real difference. Jonathan Deutsch, assistant professor at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York said, “The Coleman grant enabled us to reach students in ways that we are unable to with the constraints of the classroom environment. Our entrepreneur in residence brought student businesses from idea to incubator, moved incubator businesses out into the world, and made students realize that being their own boss isn't a pipe dream or the exclusive domain of the entitled. The project created a palpable energy on campus.”
Indian River Community College in Ft. Pierce, FL, is using its Coleman grant to reach out to businesspeople in Martin and Indian River Counties. According to Associate Dean Jan Pagano, J.D. the college’s Entrepreneur Development Institute, (EDI), in partnership with several other organizations, is hosting 16 “Lunch & Learn” seminars at its various campuses. These 60-minute informative sessions are being held twice monthly and enable local business owners to attend EDI programs during lunchtime without taking critical time away from their busy work.
“We’re having up to 50 to 70 people at each seminar; people are ecstatic that they have an opportunity to learn how to grow their business,” said Pagano. “We’re bringing people on campus who have never been here before, and people love that we’re accessible. We have gotten so many e-mails and so many thank you letters from people who have said this is great. The Coleman grant made it financially feasible to do the program, and we’re very, very appreciative of that.”
The foundations support four categories of activities that introduce or expand self-employment education on campus:
• Curriculum–Selection of existing (and not development of new) entrepreneurship curricula and implementation in credit or credit-free courses.
• Outreach–Workshops on self-employment topics; student exposure to entrepreneurs; or community outreach to emerging or current business owners.
• Faculty Development–Creation and implementation of training for teaching entrepreneurship, mentoring, teaching methods or performance evaluation methods.
• Articulation–Creation of linkages between community colleges and four-year institutions and/or secondary schools. This may include entrepreneurship program articulation activities, collaborative programs and technology transfer.
Awards will be available at two levels:
1) Programs representing the initial effort by a community college to introduce self-employment education (on campus or outreach) may be awarded up to $5,000.
2) Programs building upon prior initial work to expand proven programming to greater scale. Awards of up to $7,500 are available in this category.
About the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) connects community college administrators and faculty with knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial leadership, entrepreneurship education, and student business incubation. NACCE holds an annual conference, hosts a dynamic listserv, develops Web resources such as shared entrepreneurship curricula and syllabi for faculty, creates guides in beginning and sustaining entrepreneurship and student business incubation programs, as well as, tips for grant proposals specific to entrepreneurial endeavors at community colleges. To learn more, visit http://www.nacce.com.