Community Colleges Play an Important Role in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem


The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization dedicated to creating a community college culture that fosters economic vitality through entrepreneurship.

Founded in 2002 at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Massachusetts, NACCE held their first annual conference in 2003 and has held a national conference each year since, as well as many smaller seminars and events.

NACCE believes that applying the entrepreneurial method of “acting like an entrepreneur” is the pathway for advancing economic growth and prosperity for individuals, communities, and the nation.

The work that NACCE is doing through community colleges across the nation is built upon their strategic goals of:

  • Thought Leadership
  • Resource Provider
  • Recognition and Celebration

In March of 2017, NACCE held a regional two-day symposium co-sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in nearby Knoxville, TN. The event, titled “Leveraging Assets in Your Local Community to Promote Economic Development” was hosted at Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC). Our friends at Teknovation wrote a series of articles on the event, which you can read here, here, and here.

The seminar evolved from a partnership between NACCE and the ARC to “promote the efforts of community colleges in a three-state region and to ensure college efforts become a priority and a solution and lend their leadership in opening the door wider for entrepreneurship in Appalachia.” You can read more about this partnership program here.

Recently, Dr. Rebecca A. Corbin, President and CEO of NACCE, co-authored an article for Entrepreneur, along with Amy Shulz, titled “Community Colleges and the Creation of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems.”

Dr. Rebecca A. Corbin NACCE President & CEO

In the article, Corbin and Shulz highlight the fact that there are 1,462 community colleges in America, “which are accessible to every town and city in the nation.”

The article goes on to say that, “Entrepreneurial ecosystems create a community culture that embraces, instills, and inspires entrepreneurship,” which is something we at AccelNow, as well as other regional resources and advocates, take very seriously.

Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to significantly impact the local and national economy by creating jobs and generating revenue. “Healthy ecosystems allow talent, information, and resources to flow quickly to entrepreneurs as they need it.

With the help of community colleges, entrepreneurial ecosystems can thrive all across America.”

To learn more about NACCE, visit them online at www.nacce.com, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube.

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