Ten community colleges from across the country were awarded a total of $70,000 in the Elevator Grant competition funded by the Coleman Foundation at the National Association for Community Colleges Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Conference on October 12, 2009.
This grant program employs investments in four categories of work to introduce or expand self-employment education on the college campus: 1) programs linking community colleges and four-year institutions to include articulation activities and collaborative programs, 2) outreach to existing businesses, student consulting projects, efforts to establish advisory and funding partners, 3) programs enabling direct student exposure to entrepreneurs in the classroom and community, and 4) faculty development for teaching entrepreneurship in non-business disciplines.
The “elevator grant” method is based on the business planning skill of describing a new business venture in a three-minute pitch that could be given to a potential investor during an elevator ride. Using similar concepts, the Coleman Foundation has conducted sessions for secondary, community college and collegiate educators to demonstrate the impact of well placed small grants and to promote the value of self-employment. At the NACCE January conference, grants totaling $65,700 were awarded to ten community colleges.
Applicants from schools across the country submitted a short proposal describing their program and its expected outcomes. Sixteen finalists gave a three-minute, in-person “pitch” to foundation representatives on October 12, 2009 at the NACCE Conference in
Colleges receiving grants were:
Central Arizona College, AZ - $7,500 to start an Entrepreneurship Cadre of Instructors and Division Chairs in Occupational Programs in order to imbed entrepreneurship across certificate and degree programs. This Cadre will learn new methodologies, utilize local professionals and encourage business development.
Lakeland Community College, OH - $7,500 to launch Lakeland's new Entrepreneurship Center with a regional half-day small business symposium and the development and implementation of a Lakeland Entrepreneurship Academy.
Santa Barbara City College,
Central Community College,
Gateway Community and
Southwestern Illinois College,
Bunker Hill Community College,
Lehigh Carbon Community College,
Lansing Community College, MI - $7,500 to support the “Own a Business, Own Your Future: So You Want to be an Entrepreneur” program which exposes 200 high school students ages 16-18 to entrepreneurship through field trips and workshops designed to provide tools to write and present a business plan for competition. A subsequent award celebration for participants and those who launch businesses will follow.