Springfield, MA, October 05, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Sam’s Club®, one of the nation’s leading retailers, and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship have joined together to provide financial support for NACCE and for members of its Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. The Sam’s Club sponsorship is part of the retailer’s commitment to supporting community based programs that empower small businesses. The sponsorship will include a “Shared Vision for Small Business” competition that will result in $40,000 in grants to community colleges that show excellence in their entrepreneurship programs. The new relationship between the two organizations will be launched at the 10th Annual NACCE Conference, being held in Chicago, IL, October 7-10.
“Sam’s Club is committed to supporting small business owners and the next generation of entrepreneurs with tools for success that will empower them to build economic well-being for their families and communities, and to create new jobs,” said Catherine Corley, Vice President Member Services at Sam’s Club and Community Involvement Council Member. “Across the nation, many community colleges are taking a leadership role in fostering entrepreneurship and NACCE is supporting them in that role. We are pleased to join with NACCE in its commitment to increase the capacity of these institutions to deliver relevant and effective programming that leads to successful, sustainable business ventures.”
Now in its 10th year, NACCE is the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges. NACCE includes nearly 300 colleges in the U.S. and abroad, representing over 1,400 entrepreneurship education professionals who expose approximately 465,000 students to the possibility of putting their newly acquired skills and knowledge to work in their own business, if not immediately then at some point in the future.
“Everyone at NACCE is very excited about our work with Sam’s Club,” said Heather Van Sickle, NACCE executive director. “As our organization moves into our second decade, our nation’s capacity to foster entrepreneurship and support small businesses has never been more critical. We thank the Sam’s Club for stepping up to the plate on behalf of our member colleges and the aspiring entrepreneurs they serve.”
A major focus of the new Sam’s Club/NACCE sponsorship will be NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. Over 180 community college presidents, including NACCE members and nonmembers, have joined the Forum, which was launched in late 2011. These educational leaders have agreed to fulfill 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.
Grants totaling $40,000 will be awarded to Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum members via a Sam’s Club/NACCE “Shared Vision for Small Business” Competition. Applicants that show they have the elements in place to do an outstanding job in supporting small businesses will be eligible for grants designed to allow them to scale-up their successful entrepreneurship projects. Additionally, applicants will be expected to demonstrate specifically how they support recent graduates, low-income, minority, women, and/or veteran populations. To foster the growth of best practices, information on the entrepreneurship programs at the winning colleges will be made available to other community colleges across the country through the NACCE website.
Sam’s Club will have a major presence at the upcoming NACCE Conference. This will include sponsorship for the Student Business Showcase, where students pitch their ideas to attendees and attendees “vote” using Monopoly money which business idea they would fund. Representatives from Sam’s Club and NACCE will present cash awards to the top three students.
About the Sam’s Club Giving Program
The Sam’s Club Giving Program supports community-based programs that empower young people, families and small businesses to make smart choices that lead to healthy and bright futures. In 2011, Sam’s Club and the Sam’s Club Giving Program made cash and in-kind contributions of more than $101 million, which included donating more than 38 million meals. Visit SamsClub.com/giving for more information.
The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates 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 White House-led Startup America Partnership. For more information, visit http://www.nacce.com. Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook.