The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is the nation’s leading organization focusing on promoting entrepreneurship on community college campuses. Dr. Thomas G. Coley, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College, Northwest and North Central Regions, announced that President of the Gary campus, Dr. Marlon R. Mitchell, agreed to sign the NACCE’s “Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge.” By making this pledge, community college presidents across the country are promising to take five actions to increase their focus on entrepreneurship and to recognize its impact on the economic wellbeing of the communities they serve.
NACCE President and CEO Rebecca Corbin believes that the pledge is a way for community colleges to promote entrepreneurship and create more economic opportunities. The five steps that pledged community college presidents must commit to include are as follows:
• To develop transparency between community colleges and community assets
• To create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship
• To increase current entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges
• To engage in industry cluster development
• To create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship
“The five action steps were developed based on NACCE’s observations of what was working best on member campuses,” Corbin said. “After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions. One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship.”
While the US economy continues to lag in many regions, more than 200 community colleges throughout the country have signed NACCE’s entrepreneurship pledge, therefore beginning the process of committing to playing a more significant role in stimulating economic development. Promoting entrepreneurship will stir economic development, which serves to inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.
The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana is committed to discovering and promoting innovation throughout the region. To learn more about what local innovators are doing, visit www.NWISOI.org.