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Rio Salado College
2323 West 14th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281
Thursday, November 14, 2013

The focus of this Summit will include discussion and presentations outlining the importance of the community college in economic development as well as concrete strategies for building an entrepreneurial presence in their communities. Discussions will be based on the Virtual Incubator Network (VIN) Toolkit which was developed by a collaboration of ten community colleges from across the nation (including Rio Salado College) and funded by the Mott Foundation. All participants will receive a copy of the VIN Toolkit.

Our goal is to establish what could become an annual dialogue, similar to a Town Hall Meeting, for the expansion of entrepreneurship education and business startup activity across the State of Arizona led in greater part by the community colleges themselves. This way the ever changing needs of entrepreneurship and small business growth and development in the State of Arizona are being discussed each year. We seek to provide guidance to colleges, access to resources and provide a support network to meet the challenges faced by Arizona communities in creating a climate of entrepreneurship and small business growth and development. Critical to the success of the program will be the participation and involvement of those local communities. We propose to address the following topics:

  1. Strategies for providing business assistance and education services to entrepreneurs and local small business owners through an interdisciplinary approach at the college in both curriculum and non-credit programs;
  2. Making the strategic decisions necessary to infuse entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship across college operations, outreach and curriculum (infusion);
  3. The development and implementation of community partnerships to engage the college in the local business community as key players in economic growth;
  4. Provide a forum for support organizations such as the Arizona Statewide Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Workforce Development groups and others with a keen interest in entrepreneurship and small business growth in the state to present their programs, resources and systems, in a panel format;
  5. Develop a continuing group of advocate/ambassador colleges who can assist other colleges as they move toward these complex but critical programs in their own communities.
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