During the 2nd quarter, the Coleman Foundation approved five grants totaling $789,083 that promote the strategies outlined in the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Impact Plan.
A $35,000 general operating support grant to the Future Founders Youth Entrepreneurship Program to continue providing the opportunity for 400-450 high school students in some of Chicago's underserved neighborhoods to learn about and experience entrepreneurship from some of the city's most successful entrepreneurs. By the end of the program, students will have: gained additional insights about entrepreneurship and what it takes to start a business; formed relationships with entrepreneurial/business coaches; garnered a new perspective about innovation, learned how to network, created and presented a business plan, and participated in a summer business camp. These experiential activities support and are supported by the classroom academic content provided by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).
Future Founders Entrepreneurship Program also received $100,000 to launch an enhancement program that provides collegiate entrepreneurs with experiential learning opportunities, immersion in a connected entrepreneurial community, and preparation to work as or for entrepreneurs. Cross-sections of college students from Chicago and Chicago-area schools gain access to hands-on experiential opportunities as well as community events and programs that enhance curriculum and make broader connections into community resources. The program aims to help students more effectively access the community, focus on pertinent elements such as mentoring and tangible experiences (internships, job shadowing, working for or launching a startup). They will provide students with applicable skills and understanding that, when combined with their education, will create young leaders who are ready for and can handle the realities of entrepreneurship.
Some of the longer term impacts include: unifying Chicago-area resources; providing students access to entrepreneurship resources and opportunities; helping students integrate into the entrepreneurial community; connecting universities to community resources and enhancing collaboration among college students from different universities.
The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) received a $100,000 grant to build training in Effectuation for community college presidents and entrepreneurship educators and to create a validated assessment tool in support of the Entrepreneurial Colleges in Action grant competition to occur at the 2014 NACCE Conference.
NACCE’s mission is to create a community college culture that fosters economic vitality through entrepreneurship. At the 2013 Conference, NACCE introduced membership to the work of Saras Sarasvathy, professor of entrepreneurship at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and the concept of Effectuation (“the entrepreneurial method”), as a rigorous framework for understanding the creation and growth of new organizations and markets. NACCE views Effectuation as a relevant and applicable approach that community colleges can use to increase entrepreneurship education and believes that exposing colleges to a set of ideas that form the logic of entrepreneurial action is a mechanism for colleges to understand and embrace their role in engaging, supporting, and creating entrepreneurs.
The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Chicago received a two year grant of $420,000 to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to recognize and create business opportunities, plan for successful futures and stay in school. NFTE partners directly with Chicago Public, Charter and a number of parochial high schools to provide a full year course that is rigorous, project-based, and experiential in nature. Students develop and are evaluated on both academic and business skills as they progress through a business plan creation process. At the end of the course, the students have a chance to compete for seed capital through a series of business plan competitions, from their classroom, to Regionals, to NFTE’s national competition.
During Year Two of the grant (2015-2016), NFTE will continue the above components, introduce its Re-envisioned Core (REC) Program and pilot the 12th edition textbook. By revitalizing the Core Program, NFTE aims to modernize classroom programs. REC is a blended learning program which will integrate entrepreneurial lessons with technology-focused hard skills to assist students with development of tech and product based businesses. NFTE will provide training and support to teachers so they have the skills and resources to teach the new REC program and curriculum.
St. Louis University received a two year grant of $134,083 to support the Coleman Professorship in Entrepreneurship and related self-employment educational programs at Saint Louis University for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 academic years.
The Coleman Professor’s responsibilities include: administering the academic Entrepreneurship Program at SLU (with responsibility for teaching, staffing, faculty development); directing the University’s Billiken Angel Network; leading the Coleman Fellows Program at SLU; and publishing. The professor is also actively engaged in several other entrepreneurship-related activities at SLU including its Center for Entrepreneurship, the Institute for Private Business (IPB – a program to help established private businesses grow), the Engineering School’s Kern Engineering Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN – a national effort to promote an entrepreneurial perspective in engineers) efforts, as well as the University’s technology transfer office and other Entrepreneurship related efforts across campus.
In keeping with the Coleman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Education Impact Plan, the proposed activities will build Core Self-Employment Skills among college and high school students, help develop and extend SLU’s educational pipeline in the community, and leverage the efforts of Coleman Fellows, Center Staff and the Entrepreneurship Teaching Team. Multiple ongoing competitions during the school year, plans to launch a Lean Startup Workshop during the summer and an active CEO club will increase Experiential/Co-curricular Activities on campus and in the community.
Faculty development will focus on adding to the experiences of its Coleman Fellows and Entrepreneurship Teaching Team by connecting them to professional organizations that will deepen their understanding, networking, and motivation for Entrepreneurship.