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10 Community Colleges Earn $15,000 Grants at the 2014 National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Conference

The Coleman Foundation has provided $15,000 grants to each of 10 community colleges at the 2014 National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Conference, held last month in Phoenix, AZ.

Springfield, MA, November 04, 2014 --( Ten community colleges from across the country came out on top in the NACCE Entrepreneurial College in Action Grant Competition, powered by The Coleman Foundation at the annual conference of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), held last month in Phoenix, AZ. NACCE is the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges. The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grantmaker that has donated over $50 million to improve the quality of entrepreneurship education, promote the option of self-employment, and help create a new generation of business owners. The foundation has provided grants to NACCE members each year since NACCE’s 2007 conference.

The winning colleges will each receive $15,000 to employ effectuation to advance entrepreneurship in the communities they serve. Effectuation is a problem-solving methodology developed by Dr. Saras Sarasvathy at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia after her study of successful entrepreneurs. With the grants, the colleges will use effectuation principles to advance action steps of NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge (PFEP), which was established in 2011. Through PFEP, over 300 community college presidents have pledged to undertake five action steps designed to expand entrepreneurial thinking within their institutions and within the communities they serve.

According to Clark McCain, senior program officer at the Coleman Foundation, this year’s awardees will build and strengthen their programs using approaches that successful entrepreneurs use to grow their businesses. “We want to help entrepreneurship educators attack their challenges using the wisdom gleaned from successful entrepreneurs. We will be awarding additional resources to ensure that colleges that will use these approaches can do so most effectively,” said McCain. “These resources may include a package of consulting on effectuation, including onsite visits, coaching calls, and additional funds to support the efforts of a select group of grantees that submit revised plans that demonstrate strong potential for significant impact.”

Winning Colleges
Seventeen colleges entered proposals into the competition. Of these, 10 were chosen to present before a live audience at the NACCE Conference. During the pitch competition these colleges presented their concept in a two-minute presentation that was followed by a series of judges questions related to the entrepreneurial method. All 10 presenting colleges were awarded the full $15,000 grants. Here are the winning colleges and their plans for their grants:

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Moorefield, WV - EWVCTC will build on their 2013 Coleman project that established the Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (IREED). They will hire an entrepreneur in residence to conduct a variety of projects that connect local entrepreneurs, the K-12 school system, and further develop micro-accelerators in their multi-county service area.

Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, WI – FVTC will create and implement a new three-credit Entrepreneurial Mindset course to increase entrepreneurship discovery and awareness within programs to be offered during interim weeks (the week before the start of each semester). The intent is to attract students from across the college who have an interest in being self-employed and owning their own business one day.

Indian River State College, Fort Pierce, FL – IRSC will engage a multi-channel marketing and public outreach program targeted at current and potential entrepreneurs in their region that will heighten the awareness of the college’s Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurial Development Institute.

Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington, IN – Ivy Tech’s project will infuse the entrepreneurial method across their faculty at the Ivy Tech system’s campuses statewide through a summit on effectuation, focusing on the research and teachings of Dr. Saras Sarasvathy to their entire system, including business and technical program faculty and selected college staff.

Kaskaskia Community College, Centralia, IL – The three components of KCC’s Expanding Our Entrepreneurship Toolbox project will include the launch of a “JIT” Just-in-Time Resource Center, providing spot-on and timely information that includes trained mentors through the college’s Small Business Development Center. They will target their 1,270 career and technical students each semester. They will also build their alumni team and capture their stories with video and audio production tools and they will launch a college student and high school student entrepreneurship awards.

Maricopa Corporate College – Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, Phoenix, AZ – CEI will add a serial entrepreneur to its staff to leverage his/her experience and skill sets to support innovative entrepreneurs and their teams as they create and grow new and young ventures in the community. To advance this mission, the CEI entrepreneur in residence will mentor new and innovation-led, scalable startups, including those that emerge from the Maricopa County Community College District student population.

Middlesex Community College, Bedford & Lowell, MA – Middlesex will establish a cross-disciplinary internal team of faculty dedicated to broadening student understanding of and engagement in entrepreneurship; expand their entrepreneur-in-residence program to a network of entrepreneurs-in-residence; and sponsor a major entrepreneurship event each semester.

Northeast State Community College, Blountville, TN – NeSCC will develop a Center for Entrepreneurship that will function as a highly interactive, collaborative learning center for customized entrepreneurial and leadership training provided by college faculty, small business staff, and local entrepreneurs.

Patrick Henry Community College, Martinsville, VA – PHCC’s project will provide professional development on effectuation to be introduced to a voluntary group of staff and faculty taking part in the Keeping Students First taskforce as a kickoff to full-college strategic planning in fall of 2014. A select group of 8 to 10 students will also be included in the training and provide assistance in the co-creation process.

South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, AZ – SMCC will employ eight specially selected student workers who are interested in entrepreneurship to work alongside and support diverse faculty who are partnering with the Entrepreneurship program to infuse entrepreneurship into the college at a deeper level. In addition, these students will become part of the college’s internal team dedicated to entrepreneurship.

About The Coleman Foundation
The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grantmaker focusing primarily on supporting Midwest non-profit organizations. Foundation resources support cancer treatment, developmental disability services, and entrepreneurship education. 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 $50 million to improve the quality of entrepreneurship education, promote the option of self-employment, and help create a new generation of business owners. For more information, visit

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents and entrepreneurs, focused on inciting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campus. NACCE has two main goals: 1. Empower the college to approach the business of running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset, and 2. Grow the community college’s role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem.

Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, regional summits, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars, a dynamic list-serv, and training resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial leadership, entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These initiatives and resulting actions 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
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National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Jeanne Yocum

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