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Member News: NACCE Press Releases

13 Community Colleges Awarded $85,700 in Elevator Grants

Monday, January 26, 2009   (0 Comments)
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Winners Will Blog Throughout 2009 on Progress on Programs Funded
 by The Coleman Foundation and the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Charitable Foundation

Springfield, MA – Jan. 26, 2009 – Thirteen community colleges from across the country were awarded a total of $85,700 in the third annual Elevator Grant competition funded by the Coleman Foundation and the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation at the National Association for Community Colleges Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Conference on January 6, 2009, in Anaheim, CA.

This grant program employs investments in three categories of work to introduce or expand self-employment education on campus: faculty development, community outreach, and linkage activities between K-16. The "elevator grant” method is based on the business planning skill of describing a new business venture in a three-minute pitch that could be given to a potential investor during an elevator ride. Using similar concepts, the Coleman and Hughes foundations have conducted sessions for secondary, community college and collegiate educators to demonstrate the impact of well-placed small grants and to promote the value of self-employment. At the 2008 NACCE conference $108,100 was awarded to 19 schools.
Applicants from community colleges across the nation submitted a short proposal describing their program and its expected outcomes. Twenty-four finalists gave a three-minute, in-person "pitch” to foundation representatives at the NACCE Conference.  Immediate deliberation by the foundations’ board and staff ensured "on the spot” funding, with grant checks presented the following day.

New Learning Tool
In a new initiative this year, the winning grant proposals will be posted on the NACCE Web site ( and during the year, each grant recipient will post a monthly blog about the progress being made on the program covered by the grant. "We think this will be a wonderful learning tool for all of our members,” said NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle. "The blogs will be interactive so people will be able to post comments or ask questions. No doubt members will get ideas for new programs and perhaps come up with proposals of their own for next year’s Elevator Grant competition.”
Colleges receiving grants from the Coleman Foundation were:
Columbia College, CA - $7,500 to support an entrepreneur interview series called "Inside the Entrepreneur–Enlightening Lessons," a project to capture stories of local entrepreneurs and create DVDs for instructional purposes for the classroom and community outreach.

Community College of Beaver County, PA - $6,500 to support development of low-income middle school students with a community college entrepreneurship program using National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) curriculum and to host a youth entrepreneurship camp.

Harry S. Truman College, IL - $7,500 to develop a family childcare entrepreneurship program to help create businesses to address the childcare shortage in the community.

Iowa Western Community College, IA - $7,500 to establish an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program. The entrepreneur will interact with faculty, students and community members, act as a mentor for aspiring entrepreneurs, assume in-classroom assignments, offer coaching to community entrepreneurs, and participate in training workshops and seminars.

James Sprunt Community College, NC - $4,200 to develop a training program including workshops, counseling, community eCommerce Web site, entrepreneur participation, and business incubator to help entrepreneurs develop specialty food businesses.

Laramie County Community College, WY - $7,500 to support creation of a cross-campus entrepreneurship advisory committee to achieve integrated entrepreneurship education through partnerships across the campus.

Mid-Plains Community College, NE - $5,000 to develop entrepreneurship workshops in rural community based on a model with innovative combinations of learning tools, technology, and partnerships,

Northeast Higher Education District, MN - $5,000 to support the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour program across five community college campuses intended to create a forum for students to learn the possibilities offered through entrepreneurship.

Pima County Community College District, AZ - $7,500 to support development of entrepreneurship outreach program and expand service offerings for self-employment, training and business advising to veterans, military in transition, and National Guard members. Also, to expand and strengthen outreach program to increase knowledge and use of entrepreneurial assistance programs available to veterans.

Snow College, UT - $7,500 to support an entrepreneurial lecture series program to deliver inspiration and education from guest lecturers designed to encourage interdisciplinary entrepreneurial education, outreach to community entrepreneurs and business owners, and develop K-16 linkages.

Colleges receiving grants from the Hughes Foundation were:

Bunker Hill Community College, MA - $7,500 to support program development of the Community Center for Entrepreneurship designed to promote opportunities and supports for students, alumni and the community, through creation of entrepreneurial studies, partnerships with local business groups, and a resource center to mentor new entrepreneurs.

Colorado Mountain College, CO - $5,000 to implement a pilot business incubator and provide mini-grants for high school and community college students to launch a business or develop a product prototype.

Miami Dade College, FL - $7,500 to develop collateral marketing materials focusing on awareness of the Entrepreneurship Certificate program and Associate in Science in Marketing Management with a concentration in entrepreneurship while also increasing communication with high school administration, faculty and staff. 

About The Coleman Foundation
The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grantmaker focusing primarily on supporting Midwest non-profit organizations. Foundation resources support cancer care, treatment and research, developmental disability services, and education–with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship. 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 $44 million to improve the quality of entrepreneurship education, promote the option of self-employment, and help create a new generation of business owners.  

About The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation
The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation is a private, charitable family foundation engaged in philanthropic activities primarily to promote and support entrepreneurship awareness and education.

About the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) connects community college administrators and faculty with knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial thinking, entrepreneurship education, and student business incubation. NACCE holds an annual conference, hosts a dynamic list-serv, develops web resources such as shared entrepreneurship curricula and syllabi for faculty, creates guides in beginning and sustaining entrepreneurship and student business incubation programs, as well as, tips for grant proposals specific to entrepreneurial endeavors at community colleges. For more information, visit

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