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6th Annual Conference Elevator Grant Winners

At 2009 NACCE Conference, 13 Community Colleges Awarded $85,700 in Elevator Grants to Support Entrepreneurship Programs

Winners Will Blog Throughout 2009 on Progress on Programs Funded by The Coleman Foundation and the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Charitable Foundation

Springfield, MA – Jan. 21, 2009 – Thirteen community colleges from across the country were awarded a total of $85,700 in the third annual Elevator Grant competition funded by the Coleman Foundation and the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation at the National Association for Community Colleges Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Conference on January 6, 2009, in Anaheim, CA.

This grant program employs investments in three categories of work to introduce or expand self-employment education on campus: faculty development, community outreach, and linkage activities between K-16. The "elevator grant” method is based on 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 similar concepts, the Coleman and Hughes foundations have conducted sessions for secondary, community college and collegiate educators to demonstrate the impact of well-placed small grants and to promote the value of self-employment. At the 2008 NACCE conference $108,100 was awarded to 19 schools.

Applicants from community colleges across the nation submitted a short proposal describing their program and its expected outcomes. Twenty-four finalists gave a three-minute, in-person "pitch” to foundation representatives at the NACCE Conference. Immediate deliberation by the foundations’ board and staff ensured "on the spot” funding, with grant checks presented the following day.

New Learning Tool

In a new initiative this year, the winning grant proposals will be posted on this site and during the year, each grant recipient will post a monthly blog about the progress being made on the program covered by the grant. "We think this will be a wonderful learning tool for all of our members,” said NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle. "The blogs will be interactive so people will be able to post comments or ask questions. No doubt members will get ideas for new programs and perhaps come up with proposals of their own for next year’s Elevator Grant competition.”


Colleges receiving grants from the Coleman Foundation were:

Columbia College, CA - Read blog update here.

Community College of Beaver County, PA - $6,500 to support development of low-income middle school students with a community college entrepreneurship program using National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) curriculum and to host a youth entrepreneurship camp. >Read blog update here

Harry S. Truman College, IL - $7,500 to develop a family childcare entrepreneurship program to help create businesses to address the childcare shortage in the community. Read blog update here.

Iowa Western Community College, IA - $7,500 to establish an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program. The entrepreneur will interact with faculty, students and community members, act as a mentor for aspiring entrepreneurs, assume in-classroom assignments, offer coaching to community entrepreneurs, and participate in training workshops and seminars. Read blog update here

James Sprunt Community College, NC - $4,200 to develop a training program including workshops, counseling, community eCommerce Web site, entrepreneur participation, and business incubator to help entrepreneurs develop specialty food businesses. Read blog update here

Laramie County Community College, WY - $7,500 to support creation of a cross-campus entrepreneurship advisory committee to achieve integrated entrepreneurship education through partnerships across the campus. Read blog update here

Mid-Plains Community College, NE - $5,000 to develop entrepreneurship workshops in rural community based on a model with innovative combinations of learning tools, technology, and partnerships. Read blog update here

Northeast Higher Education District, MN - $5,000 to support the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour program across five community college campuses intended to create a forum for students to learn the possibilities offered through entrepreneurship. Read blog update here

Pima County Community College District, AZ - $7,500 to support development of entrepreneurship outreach program and expand service offerings for self-employment, training and business advising to veterans, military in transition, and National Guard members. Also, to expand and strengthen outreach program to increase knowledge and use of entrepreneurial assistance programs available to veterans. Read blog update here

Snow College, UT - $7,500 to support an entrepreneurial lecture series program to deliver inspiration and education from guest lecturers designed to encourage interdisciplinary entrepreneurial education, outreach to community entrepreneurs and business owners, and develop K-16 linkages. Read blog update here

Colleges receiving grants from the Hughes Foundation were:

Bunker Hill Community College, MA - $7,500 to support program development of the Community Center for Entrepreneurship designed to promote opportunities and supports for students, alumni and the community, through creation of entrepreneurial studies, partnerships with local business groups, and a resource center to mentor new entrepreneurs. Read blog update here

Colorado Mountain College, CO - $5,000 to implement a pilot business incubator and provide mini-grants for high school and community college students to launch a business or develop a product prototype. Read blog update here

Miami Dade College, FL - $7,500 to develop collateral marketing materials focusing on awareness of the Entrepreneurship Certificate program and Associate in Science in Marketing Management with a concentration in entrepreneurship while also increasing communication with high school administration, faculty and staff. Read blog update here


About The Coleman Foundation

The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grantmaker focusing primarily on supporting Midwest non-profit organizations. Foundation resources support cancer care, treatment and research, developmental disability services, and education–with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship. In 1981, the Foundation began to question why individuals are encouraged to "get a job” rather than to "create” one. Since that time, the Foundation has committed over $44 million to improve the quality of entrepreneurship education, promote the option of self-employment, and help create a new generation of business owners.

About The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation

The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation is a private, charitable family foundation engaged in philanthropic activities primarily to promote and support entrepreneurship awareness and education.

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