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NACCE Names 2015 Impact Award Winners

Wednesday, October 14, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Springfield, MA, October 14, 2015 --( Two Educators Honored for Work in Entrepreneurship Education and Technical Assistance

The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, partnered with Intuit to honor two educators with Impact Awards at its 13th Annual Conference October 11-14 in Houston. NACCE Impact Awards honor faculty and staff members who have shown excellence in providing entrepreneurial education and technical assistance.

Rahnuma Ahsan, assistant professor at Miami Dade College, received the Excellence in Teaching Entrepreneurship Award, and Jeff Saville, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, a division of the Maricopa Corporate College in Phoenix, Arizona, received the Excellence in Providing Technical Assistance and Training to Entrepreneurs and Existing Businesses Award. Both recipients received free registration for NACCE2015 and a $1,500 travel stipend.

Ahsan is being honored for her work as an award-winning entrepreneurship educator, a grant-winning writer and an exceptional team player on campus. As an educator, Ahsan played a vital role in the implementation of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at the college. As its first lead faculty, she spearheaded the curriculum implementation process that resulted in a 100 percent graduation rate. She designed a Social Entrepreneurship course for the Associate in Science Degree Program for Entrepreneurship. Ahsan receives continuous praise and accolades from the participating business owners, Babson College and Goldman Sachs for her diligence, dedication and ability to deliver results.

Ahsan recently received the 2015 Minority Business Case Development Grant from the University of Washington and as part of the grant, wrote a case on a minority-owned business. She led the textbook review process for the undergraduate program in business, and the overall textbook price was reduced by 39 percent, while improving the standard of the books selected. She also collaborated with Institute of Civic Engagement and Democracy (iCED) and created a service learning project that yielded 1861.75 hours of student community service.

Jeff Saville was honored for his work in support of the clients enrolled in the CEI business incubation program and the broader community of startups and entrepreneurs throughout the region. As the center’s executive director, Saville enabled CEI clients: to increase the number of new jobs 150 percent; increase their revenue to $25 million (a 150 percent increase); and earn $5.5 million to date in capital investment and additional grant/award funding. By developing strategic partnerships, he has grown the services available to entrepreneurs, including the discounted services to Hub Spot and Amazon Web Services. He has also made funding available through the Canadian angel investment group, VA Angels, as well as rapid prototyping in the Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies (PADT) StartUpLabs at CEI.

Igniting entrepreneurship across the region, Saville has launched or grown several programs in the ecosystem. CEI’s student incubator, Fahrenheit Labs, accepted its first (three) student-led companies from the Maricopa Community Colleges in 2014. Saville actively recruited and guided these entrepreneurs through the selection process, and these companies are now receiving weekly business development assistance. He helped shape the high school entrepreneurship program, based on CEI’s annual Ready Set Launch high school week at partner incubator Seed Spot, which they launched in 2014 and recently developed into an entire entrepreneurial curriculum at Tesseract School in Phoenix. He has also cultivated an internship program with key leaders from Arizona State University to offer qualified professional assistance to CEI clients and real-world technology start-up experience for students.

See the press release here.

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