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National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Urges Community College Presidents to Commit to Moving Entrepreneurship Forward in Their Communities

Over 100 community college presidents have already joined the National Association for Community College's New Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum, which is part of NACCE's commitment to the White House-led Startup America Partnership.

Springfield, MA, December 10, 2011 --( The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has launched an effort to engage community colleges across the nation in response to President Obama’s Startup America call to action to accelerate the success of American entrepreneurs. Through its new Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum, NACCE is asking community college presidents to agree to five commitments that will increase both the focus on entrepreneurship at community colleges and the impact these colleges have on the economic well-being of the communities they serve.

“As a national organization supporting entrepreneurship development, NACCE touches the lives of students and community members across the country,” said Ron Thomas, NACCE board chair and president of Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, MN. “NACCE has an obligation to lead the way in providing assistance to entrepreneurship education programs, which are an essential part of the economic recovery at local, regional, national and global levels. Research is clear: New businesses are the key to job creation now and in the future.”

As of today’s official launch, over 100 community college presidents have agreed to become part of the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. NACCE expects to have 300 presidents in the Forum by April and 600 by the end of 2012, comprising half of all community colleges in the U.S.

According to NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle, the Presidents for EntrepreneurshipForum is part of NACCE’s response to President Obama’s call to action to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders, launched at the White House in January 2011 and working to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of America’s entrepreneurs.

The five commitments community college presidents who join the new Forum make are:

1) Develop transparency of community college and community assets, 2) create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship, 3) increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges, 4) engage in industry cluster development and 5) create buzz and broad exposure of your college’s commitment to entrepreneurship.

“The five commitments were developed based on NACCE’s observations of what was working best on member campuses,” said Van Sickle. “After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions,” she said. “The five commitments represent what we see the leading community colleges doing. One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship. So we want to put something in front of leadership that they can actually commit to. We want to create a national network of institutions sharing these commitments and see what impact that can have on communities.”

To read the commitments in full, visit Information on becoming part of the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum is also available there.

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates for community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the Startup America Partnership, an independent alliance launched at the White House in January 2011. For more information, visit Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE - National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook.

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National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Jeanne Yocum

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