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Wake Technical Community College - PFEP College of Excellence

Monday, June 25, 2018   (1 Comments)
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We recently announced the winners of our 2018 Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge (PFEP) College of Excellence Award Winners. Today we want to highlight how Wake Technical Community College (NC) is doing a fantastic job leveraging community college and community assets to spur innovation and job creation. We asked nominator Katie Gailes, Director, Entrepreneur Initiatives at Wake Technical Community College, to share her thoughts.

Tell us how your college has demonstrated excellence in this area.

Wake Tech designs and delivers courses and programs that fill gaps in the local entrepreneurship fabric. The Small Business Center provides free, confidential, 1-on-1 business counseling to any citizen in Wake County who wants to start or already has a small business. It also offers free, targeted seminars on topics that including bookkeeping, marketing, state and federal tax requirements, and more to business owners. Wake Tech Entrepreneurship Initiatives is a cross-campus function that provides fee-based and sponsored, intensive courses and programs. Many of the funded programs are in the Wake Tech/Wells Fargo Center for Entrepreneurship, a partnership between Wake Tech and Wells Fargo Bank. The three major programs are:

  1. StartUp@WakeTech is designed to make entrepreneurship information available to every student at Wake Tech through guest lectures or hand-on practicums that connect students with local entrepreneurs.   
  2. The fully funded Veterans Entrepreneurship Advantage (VEA) eight week business and startup planning course serves veterans, active duty military, and military spouses, including dinner before each class session.
  3. LaunchMyCity a Rotary International endorsed, four-part, community-based entrepreneurship program is based on a model created in 2017 to serve entrepreneurs in the historically African American community in Raleigh. Seven of the 12 municipalities in Wake County now have active LaunchMyCity program. Wake Tech is the training partner in this program and collaborates with over 40 other community groups to create effective and sustainable programs.  

Wake Tech also partners with targeted organizations like the NC Military Business Center, the PinkPreneurs, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, the NC National Guard, local Chambers of Commerce, and the HQ Raleigh and Loading Dock Raleigh co-working spaces

How do you measure and document success?

Wake Tech Small Business Center offers over 130 free seminars attended by over 2,400 people per year. More than 325 individual entrepreneurs receive over 750 hours of counseling, collectively. A comprehensive client relationship management system tracks all client interactions and impacts. In the last fiscal year the Small Business Center clients started 19 businesses, created 195 jobs and retained 83 jobs as a result of the support received. Center For Entrepreneurship Business Planning & Startup classes and programs have served over 700 current and aspiring entrepreneurs since its formation in 2008. The  Veterans Entrepreneurship Advantage (VEA)has served over 60 military professions since it started in 2015. And LaunchMyCity has served 80 people since January of 2017.    

Interested in connecting with Katie? Email her at


Trish Truitt says...
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2018
To find out more about these Wake Tech initiatives check out Katie Gailes Member-Lead Webinar from September 2017 entitled Member Webinar: How To Launch Your City: How To Launch Your City. Katie and her co-presenter (Matthew Kane) give details and ideas on how to take their "partnership recipe" and apply it to your communities unique resources. Katie's enthusiasm is contagious and it really is one of my favorite webinars.

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