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Member News: NACCE Press Releases

AB Tech President Pledges to Promote Entrepreneurship

Friday, October 11, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeanne Yocum
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The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that President Hank Dunn, of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (AB Tech), has taken its Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge. Through the pledge, presidents of community colleges throughout the country pledge to take five action steps that will increase their focus on entrepreneurship and the impact these colleges have on the economic well being of the communities they serve. Officials from eight other North Carolina community colleges have also taken NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge.


With the economy still lagging in many regions of the United States, more than 195 community colleges throughout the country have joined the entrepreneurship forum, and by doing so, have committed to playing a greater role in stimulating economic development in the communities they serve.


"The entrepreneurship pledge is an important step that reinforces our ongoing efforts,” said A-B Tech President Hank Dunn. "We have always celebrated innovation, as evidenced by the diversity of our programs, but over the last three years, we have made great progress toward becoming a truly entrepreneurial college.


"Beginning with our strategic planning efforts in 2011-12, we have focused on creating opportunities for students, employees and members of the community to take entrepreneurial actions. Our economic development mission has expanded and we are a strategic partner in efforts to grow the entrepreneurial eco-system through sponsorship of events such as Startup Weekend and Ignite Asheville. In addition, we have created the A-B Tech Education and Entrepreneurial Development Foundation with the goal of supporting the development of innovative projects that will move the college forward.”


The North Carolina community college presidents who have joined the forum are: Garret Hinshaw, Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory; Tony Zeiss, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte; Steve Thornburg, Cleveland Community College, Shelby; Rose Johnson, Haywood Community College, Clyde; Walter Bartlett, Piedmont Community College, Roxboro; Dale McInnis, Richmond Community College, Hamlet; Pamela Hilbert, Robeson Community College, Lumberton; and Stephen Scott, Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh.


About the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge

The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge is in response to the Obama Administration’s Startup America call to action to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders.


According to NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle, the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge is a way for community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. Community college presidents who take the pledge commit to these five action steps:


• Develop transparency of community college and community assets

• Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship

• Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges

• Engage in industry cluster development

• Create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship.


 "The five action steps were developed based on NACCE’s observations of what was working best on member campuses,” said Van Sickle. "After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions,” she said. "One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship.”



The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates for community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses 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 Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook.



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