I’ve just returned from Portland, Oregon, where I participated in the annual meeting of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). If you want to see how communities support entrepreneurship at the grass-roots level, the annual NACCE conference is a great place for you.
NACCE is a relatively new organization. It was started seven years ago at Massachusetts’ Springfield Technical Community College, and, at that time, it was something of a fringe movement. NACCE was full of committed true believers, but the concept of community college entrepreneurship was fairly new and unique. Today, this mission is becoming a core offering at most community colleges, and that’s a very good thing.
Even better, the community college entrepreneurship movement is growing rapidly and seems to be gaining new momentum every day. The latest evidence can be found in NACCE’s President’s for Entrepreneurship Forum, a new network of nearly 100 communtiy college presidents who have committed their institutions to this important mission. Specifically, they have signed on to five specific commitments:
- 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 Buzz and Broad Exposure of Your Commitment to Entrepreneurship.
This effort is just the latest chapter in the inspiring embrace of entrepreneurship at the community college level. If you’re local community college is not yet signed onto this pledge, please encourage your President to join the movement!!