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Friday, November 18, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Chunyk
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Springfield, MA – November 16, 2011 - Eleven community colleges from across the nation came away from the 9th Annual Conference of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship with a total of $84,000 in Elevator Grants provided by the Coleman Foundation, a long-time supporter of NACCE and its members. This year’s Elevator Grant competitors submitted proposals for an Entrepreneurship Engagement Plan through which they will identify practicing entrepreneurs in their local community and engage them in educational programs. The Coleman Foundation has provided more than $425,000 in grants to NACCE members over the past seven years.

Elevator grants are small grants targeted to specific projects. Targeting specific projects, and not general operating support or capital, encourages new initiatives and allows the funding impact to be more easily identified. Each winning school received a base grant of $5,000. Five of the winners each received an additional $2,500 for proposals that involved finding ways to actively engage alumni with their entrepreneurship programs. Also, all the community colleges will receive an additional $1,500 for use in producing a 3-5 minute video that captures the activities and outcome of their Entrepreneurship Engagement Plans.

"This year’s elevator grant program highlights activities that are part of NACCE’s newly launched Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum, an initiative outlining five actions community college presidents should take to advance self-employment and entrepreneurship education,” said NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle. "One of the commitments is to increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges; that commitment aligns with one of the Coleman Foundation’s Bull’s-Eye Entrepreneurship Concepts — that successful practitioners, including local and alumni entrepreneurs, must be part of a student’s learning experience.”

Here’s a run-down on the projects of the winning schools, including their total grant amounts:

West Shore Community College, Scottville, MI: $9,000 to launch an entrepreneurship program, WSCC will seek local practicing entrepreneurs and related service providers, build relationships and an advisory committee, and partner in implementing a regional entrepreneurial support program and a community launch event. Project manager: Julie Van Dyke

Tacoma Community College, Tacoma, WA: $6,500 to support engaging local entrepreneurs and resources in the redesign of TCC's Entrepreneurship certificate and degree program.The Entrepreneurship concentration is being redesigned around a capstone class leading to a business plan competition. Project director: Annalee Rothenberg

Feather River College, Quincy, CA: $7,500 to support a youth entrepreneurship business plan competition and entrepreneurial workshops, speakers and networking events. The college is focusing on strengthening the entrepreneurial pathway and has added the NFTE curriculum to their program. FRC plans to engage the entrepreneurial community with workshops, speakers, and networking opportunities. Project director: Amy Schulz

Cayuga Community College, Auburn, NY: $5,000 to support the Entrepreneurial road trip and boot camp. Cayuga will organize three tours and presentations for student and community entrepreneurs of 10 local businesses followed by a seminar and panel discussions on planning, organizing, financing, marketing and operating a small business.A mentoring program will complement the planned activities. Project director: Thomas Paczkowski

NorthWest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville, AR: $6,500 to support activities to strengthen existing entrepreneurs and create a network for new entrepreneurs. Project director: George Tanner

North Central State College Foundation, Mansfield, OH: $6,500 to connect local entrepreneurs with students in targeted industries; identify unique needs of urban, women and minority entrepreneurs; and establish a micro-loan program. Project director: Lynn Jones

Northwest Community College, Powell, WY: $6,500 to support an interactive project between practicing entrepreneurs and students that will offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to work with students to identify issues, build projects and arrive at solutions. Project director: Janet Kraft

Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, IA: $9,000 to support the college’s Regional Economic Advancement Center's efforts to develop an entrepreneur mentoring program for their service area.The goal is to connect entrepreneurs with high school students as positive role models while presenting alternate career choices. Program director: Ashley Moyer

Community College of Beaver County, Monaca, PA: $9,000 to support a one-to-one mentoring program and venture capital fair for youth entrepreneurs. This initiative engages practicing entrepreneurs to expand CCBC's successful youth SummerBiz Camp to include a year-long mentoring program, a business incubator, and a Venture Capital Fair where students will present their business plans to potential investors, community members, and panel of judges. Project director: John Goberish

Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington, Bloomington, IN: $9,000 to support development of a video library featuring local entrepreneurs to be used by students, staff and faculty. This grant also supports engagement of the Advisory Board to conduct a capital formation strategy through an internship program. Project director: Steven E. Bryant

Edison Community College, Piqua, OH: $6,500 to support a weekend boot camp for entrepreneurs and small business owners. The program features successful entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, and college faculty and connects practicing and aspiring entrepreneurs to resources and services at the college. Project director: Shirley Moore

About The Coleman Foundation

The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking foundation established in Illinois in 1951. The Foundation supports educational institutions offering entrepreneurship education across the country, organizations providing cancer care, treatment and support, and agencies providing services for individuals with developmental disabilities only in the Chicago Metropolitan area, its primary geographical focus.For more information, visit

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