Train for Entrepreneurship at Your Local Community College
We look at some of the entrepreneur programs offered by community colleges today, including an expanded program coming to the Alabama community college system.
Entrepreneurship has long been the backbone of the American economy, providing jobs and opportunities for U.S. residents across a broad spectrum of industries. To help budding entrepreneurs see their dreams of business ownership come to fruition, community colleges across the country are providing the training and education these aspiring capitalists need to succeed in their endeavors. Check out a sampling of what prospective and experienced business owners can find from their own local community colleges.
Entrepreneur Training through the California Community College System
Community college students and others in California looking for help in meeting their entrepreneur dreams can find the assistance they need through the Business and Entrepreneurship Center offered by the California Community College System. This program brings together business, industry and community leaders in the state to provide the information and budding entrepreneurs need to succeed. The center also serves as a resource for business improvements throughout the state.
The Business and Entrepreneurship Center works with a variety of partners, including non-profit, private and public organizations to build strong businesses throughout California. By strengthening local business, this center strives to improve the economic health of the state through job and wealth creation and retention. The centers include locations throughout California, including sites in Redding, Oceanside, Bakersfield, Napa, Santa Ana, Aptos, and San Luis Obispo.
Alabama Community College System Offers New Network for Entrepreneurs
Another state that is taking entrepreneur training to the next level is Alabama. The Alabama Community College System is building a network of entrepreneurs to come alongside those just entering business ownership find success in their efforts. The system is partnering directly with a number of community colleges in the state, including:
- Gadsden State Community College
- Wallace State Community College
- Bevill State Community College
According to the website for Made in Alabama, this state is one of the best small business friendliness. Prospective business owners that want to hit the starting line running may need the additional training to ensure they can compete with other small businesses here. These Alabama schools provide the education and information necessary for new business owners to succeed in their home state.
Individual Schools Offering Entrepreneurship Programs
In addition to statewide programs for entrepreneurs, individual community colleges are also providing aspiring business owners with the training they need to become successful and profitable entrepreneurs. Some of these schools include:
Brevard Community College – Brevard Community College has offered an entrepreneurship program since 2001, with the receipt of an endowment fund for a lecture series on the subject of small business ownership. Since that time, the program has grown into a two-year degree program with an option to earn an Associate degree that can transfer to a four-year degree or simply provide them with the skills needed to begin a small business. The lecture series is still a part of the program, bringing in entrepreneurs from around the country to inspire new business owners to success.
Southeast Community College- In Nebraska, those with dreams of owning their own successful business can get the information they need at Southeast Community College. This local school offers a full-service hub offering all types of resources for new and current business owners. Features of the program include business coaching, funding preparation and business incubation. Business incubation refers to assistance to new businesses, including office space, coaching, free workshops and even copy and fax services. The idea is to help upstart businesses grow into self-functioning entities that provide valuable services and employment opportunities to the local community.
Ivy Tech Community College - Indiana entrepreneurs can find the support and assistance they need through the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship. This center was established in 2010 to give students and residents of the community the resources they need to succeed in their business efforts. The center offers academic, youth and consulting programs, as well as additional opportunities to engage the community and local business population. A roundtable program offers new entrepreneurs the chance to interact one-on-one with established business leaders to gain insight and advice into the world of business ownership.
Entrepreneurship Training on the National Level
Due to the rising interest in entrepreneurship from coast to coast, a national coordination of community colleges for this purpose has also been established. The National Association for Community Colleges Entrepreneurship is a non-profit organization created to provide support to educators, community members and entrepreneurs. The organization provides support through quality programs and services, as well as serving as advocates for an entrepreneurship movement across the country.
According to the NACCE, out of the 1, 195 public, private and tribal colleges across the country, 66 percent offer at least one course in entrepreneurship, while 14 percent offer a degree program in the subject. Another 19 percent offer certification in entrepreneurship, while 20 percent boast some type of small business development center. With many two-year schools offering some type of entrepreneur training today, this national organization attempts to coordinate and support these programs to encourage economic vitality across the country.
The NACCE was originally established in 2002 and hosted its inaugural conference one year later. Currently, the organization holds national conferences every year and boasts a membership base. Community colleges that become members of the NACCE receive support in terms of a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and other resources.
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