4 Community Colleges Split $35,600 in Grants via the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship/Sam's Club "Shared Vision for Small Business" Competition

Winning colleges in the "Shared Vision for Small Business" competition are Fox Valley Technical College, Long Beach City College, North Seattle Community College, and South Mountain Community College.

Springfield, MA, February 14, 2013 --(PR.com)-- Four community colleges that have shown excellence in their entrepreneurship programs have each been awarded a total of $35,600 in grants through the “Shared Vision for Small Business” grant competition conducted by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and Sam's Club. The grants are the cornerstone of a collaboration formed last year between NACCE, the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, and Sam’s Club, one of the nation’s leading retailers.

Sam’s Club is providing financial support for NACCE and for members of its Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge (PFEP), through which over 180 community colleges presidents 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.

“NACCE is an outstanding organization leading a conversation about the needs and impact of local entrepreneurs on our national economy, and the role community colleges play in providing support and training,” said Susan Koehler, senior manager, Sam’s Club. “Congratulations to four outstanding educational institution winners. We are pleased to support their efforts to deliver relevant and effective programming that leads to successful and sustainable business ventures.”

The winning colleges, the amount of grants received, and the programs that will be supported by the grants are:

• Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, WI: $10,000 to deliver the Small Business Design, Plan and Grow Program, an experiential learning program that includes a three-day, 24-hour Business Model Generation Workshop and an eight-week, 24-hour E-seed Express Entrepreneurship Training Series, one-on-one coaching, and networking.

• Long Beach City College, Long Beach, CA: $10,000 to expand a customized training program for small business owners, augmented with one‐on‐one advising offered through the LBCC Small Business Development Center.

• North Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA: $10,000 to enhance and expand offerings through the on-campus Entrepreneur Success Center, which provides one-to-one assistance for individuals who contemplating starting a business, in the early stages of their start-up process, or experiencing a stall-out in taking their business to the next level.

• South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, AZ: $5,600 to continue the development and enhancement of the college’s Small Business & Entrepreneur Center, which is both a physical and virtual resource for entrepreneurs. A portion of the grant funds will be used to pay stipends to local entrepreneurs to advise returning veterans and students about entrepreneurship and self-employment.

“NACCE will be working closely with the grant winners to help us understand how a small, short-term investment in an existing entrepreneurship program can create greater impact in the long-term,” said Heather Van Sickle, NACCE executive director. “We want to see how these colleges, which are among the best of the best when it comes to entrepreneurship education and services, can build sustainable programs.”

An important part of the “Shared Vision for Small Business” program will involve providing information on the entrepreneurship programs at the winning colleges – including those supported by these grants – to other community colleges to foster the growth of best practices. This will be done through the NACCE website and through various educational offerings provided for NACCE members throughout the year, including its annual conference, which will be held this year in Charlotte, NC, October 13-16.

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.
National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Jeanne Yocum