Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program

Have you heard?

The Kauffman Foundation
agrees to match the number of student licenses purchased when you pilot the
Ice House Entrepreneurship Program at your school.

You have an exciting opportunity to have
the Kauffman Foundation assist your college by underwriting entrepreneurship education at your school.

It works this way:

When you agree to pilot the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program at your college and purchase up to 25 student licenses prior to March 30, 2012, (and complete the Ice House Entrepreneurship Facilitator Training,) the Kauffman Foundation will match your investment.

That means you'll be able to enroll
twice the number of participants that you actually purchase in the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program!

Find out more details now!

Friday, February 3, 2012

If You Had 3 Minutes to Tell A Story...

What story could you tell about your alumni and entrepreneurship?

That's the challenge NACCE and the Coleman Foundation are presenting to community colleges. We're asking colleges to create 3-minute videos showcasing how best to engage alumni.

We're launching a competition called,
"3-Minutes To Win It"!

We want to SEE your ideas in the form of video on:
•    How your college reaching out to alumni entrepreneurs
•    How your college could improve how it engages alumni entrepreneurs
•    How your alumni entrepreneurs are making a difference.
•    How your practices increase entrepreneurship engagement at your college
•    How your ideas or practices create buzz and broader exposure for your college

If our judges like what they see, you'll win cash to help you expand your alumni efforts at your college!

Participants will have until March 30, 2012 to upload their videos. Winners will be announced the first week of May.

The awards are:
1st place: $10,000
2nd place:  $6,000
3rd place:  $4,000
4th place:  $3,000
5th place:  $2,000

If you're up for a challenge and ready to enter this exciting new competition, let me know your video is coming in. More details to come soon!

You've Got 3 Minutes to Win It!

Helping you create IMPACT,
Heather Van Sickle
NACCE Executive Director

Friday, January 27, 2012

What Does President Barack Obama's Speech Mean to NACCE Members?

President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union Speech this week. It was upbeat, optimistic, and hopeful. But what does it mean to you, the community college educator? In particular, what does it mean to our collective efforts in community college entrepreneurship?

There's no doubt that Barack Obama is an advocate for community colleges. He did something that no other president has done before: convened a summit for community college leaders. He also wants to pump money into community colleges as part of his ambitious job creation plans.

During the State of the Union, Jackie Bray, a graduate of Central Piedmont Community College of North Carolina (a NACCE Member) sat in the First Lady's box. Ms. Bray is employed at Siemens and found her employment through an education and skills-development partnership between the college and the electronics and electrical engineering giant.

President Obama believes more of this can be accomplished nationally with greater community college funding from Washington.

But, our focus is on promoting economic vitality through entrepreneurship. So, I want to know how our members interpret the President's speech, and more important, how you'll use his outlook and comments to grow entrepreneurship at your schools.

What do YOU think?
  • What message does the President's State of the Union speech send to Congress and the nation about economic opportunity?    
  • Do you use the news and details of political discourse in Washington, D.C. in your classrooms- specifically as it relates to teaching entrepreneurship?        
  • If you could send a message to President Barack Obama and Congress about your views and needs in terms of promoting economic vitality through entrepreneurship what would you say?   

As you know, NACCE is a key partner in the White House's initiative called Startup America. It's an initiative aimed at creating greater numbers of new businesses. That means the President is counting on us to share the ideas, concerns, and recommendations of our members.

One of the benefits of NACCE membership is our growing influence in the most profound issue of our time: the revival of our nation's economy.

Please take a moment and let me know your thoughts. Every discussion of this magnitude in Washington, D.C. has implications for what we do.

What does Obama's State of the Union speech mean to you?

What does it mean to community college entrepreneurship?

Heather Van Sickle

Executive Director


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wanted: Educators with Soul

By AndrĂ© Taylor 
Entrepreneur and Author

There's a school of thought in the world of entrepreneurship. I don't think it's a point of view typically held by educators, but I've certainly heard it espoused by many entrepreneurs. The thought is, "You can't teach someone to be an entrepreneur.”

There's a reason many entrepreneurs feel this way. I think it's because we know successful entrepreneurs have "it” in their soul. I'm convinced educators in entrepreneurship will only be successful if they can make small business education a soulful experience for themselves and their students.

The sentiment; "You can't teach it” is related to the familiar question, "Are they born or made?” We all know that something takes over in the mind, body, and spirit of entrepreneurs, and connecting with that "something” is what entrepreneurship is all about. It takes a special kind of person to bond with and stir the soul of an aspiring entrepreneur.

I first noticed this as a college freshman as the 1970s came to a close. I registered at my community college for the one small business course offered. As we approached the first day of classes I was thrilled. I had always wanted to build a successful business.

Throughout my teenage years I worked for a successful entrepreneur and relentlessly devoured books about starting and running a successful business. I wanted to know more about how I could make this a career choice and lifestyle. But once the course began, I immediately noticed differences in the way entrepreneurship was taught in school versus on the street.

Following Malik's Example

I worked for a young entrepreneur named Malik, who founded a restaurant business. He was not college educated but was equally street smart and well-read. He was a self-made man who had escaped the mean streets of a rough section of Buffalo, NY, and built a small restaurant group with four locations through his enormous drive and charisma.

I would watch how he handled people and situations. Occasionally we would talk one-on-one, and he would give me a quick course in entrepreneurship. He'd show me how to lower the natural sales resistance of a customer, how to inspire the staff to work harder, and how to quickly make the cash register ring when we needed to by charming everyone in sight. He'd talk about the power of serving a well put together meal–how it should look, smell, and be presented. It was a study in improvisation with Malik's well-honed artistry and creativity at its core.

The restaurant I worked at was in Harlem, just a few blocks from the world-famous Apollo Theater, where legendary soul performers like James Brown and Aretha Franklin routinely took the stage, but what I saw Malik do every day was just as soulful as the masterful acts that appeared at the Apollo each night.

It was a different story, however, at my community college small business class.

In class we immediately launched into a theoretical discussion of what a business is: legal structures, and what should go into a business plan. Next we discussed break even points and accounting methods. Although this was quite practical and somewhat necessary it bored me to tears. Each day I felt more and more removed from what I knew a business was really about. What I really wanted to do was visit a real business, meet more Maliks, and see real-life entrepreneurs solve the dozens of problems that crop up each day.

The focus of my college class was far too administrative; documents, spreadsheets, structures, licenses, certifications…yawn!

My fellow students didn't know the difference. Many were exploring entrepreneurship in-depth for the first time and silently became convinced during the course that running a business wasn't for them. Little did they know how exciting the world of entrepreneurship could be. They didn't have a Malik in their life.

I ultimately "nailed” the course, scoring an excellent grade but my performance in the class meant nothing to me. That's because neither the professor nor the class were connected to the soul of entrepreneurship.

The reason many entrepreneurs feel you can't teach entrepreneurship is because they know a great company doesn't come about without soul. Successful entrepreneurs and companies are not the result of merely studying "practical” matters. Anyone can master that. Great entrepreneurs are always seeking to make themselves, their staff, and their customers feel special by creating extraordinary products, experiences, and results. It's a "moving” experience.

Can you teach entrepreneurship? Sure you can. But to do so, you must have soul.

André Taylor is an entrepreneur, consultant, and author of the book, You Can Still Win! He's chief executive of Taylor Insight, a New York-based leadership development firm, serving entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies. He's a regular contributor to ABC News Money Matters, and a community college graduate. More at

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Does a successful business start with passion or a great idea?

Posted By Cheryl D. Gracie

Leslie looked over the latest bank statements for her business. Although she had managed to pay expenses, she had done so by exhausting the last of her savings. People just weren’t buying. Yes, it was great to be in business doing something she loved. But it would be nice to pay the bills and have something left over to live on. Yes, she loved her work. But, her passion wasn’t making any money for her business.

People buy goods and services to satisfy their own needs. They could care less about the passion a small business owner may have for their work. Leslie may feel her art is the best thing to hit the market, but it won’t sell unless customers find it useful to them. In fact, that need may not have anything to do with art. They may simply be looking for something to hide a hole in a living room wall. Unless there are sales, a business is doomed. So, while passion might motivate the small business owner to put in long hours and work for free, it is wasted time and effort unless people buy what the small business is selling.

Success as an entrepreneur depends on recognizing opportunity and having the knowledge and skill to start and grow a business that capitalizes on that opportunity. Many people, especially in today’s economy, start a business out of a desire to make a living. People have been laid off. Jobs are scarce or, in some areas, non-existent. And, some people just don’t like working for someone else. These people are motivated to start and grow a business as a means of financial survival. It has nothing to do with passion. And, these people often succeed without having passion for their work. They had knowledge and experience to recognize a great idea and the skill to start and grow of business based on that idea.

Yes, passion is nice to have. But, it isn’t necessary. A successful business starts with a great idea that is then developed and implemented using the talent and experience of its owners.
What do you think? What role does passion play in helping an entrepreneur become successful? Is being passionate about growing a business enough or do you have to also be passionate about the idea your business is being built on?