National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE)

National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE)

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) was founded in 2002 to serve as the only organization exclusively devoted to the mission of accelerating entrepreneurship at America's community and technical colleges.


As community colleges across the nation increasingly embrace economic development as central to their mission, they are well poised to deliver entrepreneurship education and student business incubation to a diverse population. The core mission of community colleges is to serve as the point of access to higher education to historically under-served populations including women, ethnic and racial minorities, persons with disabilities, and other populations. While sixty five percent of community college enrollment presently consists of under-served populations, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (2004) points out that more than half of the nation’s undergraduates are now enrolled at a community college. The NCES goes on to report that 73% of all undergraduates will have attended a community college at some point in their academic career.

Successful outcomes for entrepreneurship education are, in part, predicated upon the strength and reputation of a college's overall curriculum. This is particularly so in career and technical programs where self-employment through private practice and small business creation forms a primary opportunity for our graduates. Judith Cone, Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation states in the Kauffman Thoughtbook that "Entrepreneurship is one of the most important aspects of our economy and students understand that. They no longer believe they can take a job with a large corporation and expect that they will spend their careers in one place" (2005).

Information Exchange/Networking

Networking with like-minded individuals ranked at the top of the list of services sought by NACCE members. Much of this networking occurs via the web and email. In addition, NACCE serves as a dissemination tool for innovative practices developed by members, creating an atmosphere of sharing and enhancement of programs that aims to ultimately result in entrepreneurship education and student business incubation at all community colleges. These ideas and tools are shared with NACCE members, as well as promoted to a wider audience including media, potential funders, and others in the field.

NACCE gathers information from members to better serve their specific needs. For instance, institutions just starting on the path of entrepreneurship education are matched with institutions that have a greater depth of experience. In turn, experienced institutions speak on behalf of NACCE at conferences or events they attend.

These face-to-face links are supplemented by various electronic communications methods. There is currently a “member’s only” section accessible with username and password on the NACCE web site. Inside, members have access to web discussion boards, instructions on how to begin an entrepreneurship program, member profiles and much more. An on-line newsletter highlights both NACCE and individual member activities. Finally, syllabi and curricula outlines can be posted to enable easier access to community colleges just beginning to offer entrepreneurship education.

Annual Conference

The Fourth Annual NACCE Conference is scheduled for January 8-11, 2007, in Orlando, Florida. The conference will be at the same venue and just prior to the annual conference of the United States Association for Small Business Entrepreneurship (USASBE). This double exposure will serve both groups of conference attendees richly, as it will bring about an important sense of awareness between community colleges and four-year institutions. NACCE has arranged for its conferences to be located at the same hotel in Florida during the same week. By virtue of this back-to-back conference arrangement, they plan to successfully offer a one-week total immersion learning opportunity for community college and four-year college attendees. In addition, the Association plans to reserve Thursday, January 11, 2007 as the connecting day for overlapping sessions between both organizations.

Possibilities for 2-year/4-year exploration: Can the researchers at the four-year and graduate schools devote research time (their own projects or doctoral students) to the state of entrepreneurship education at community colleges? How do we create measurable outcomes specific to community colleges or are they the same? How can we ensure effective programming for the needs in our communities? (It seems we need to ask those in our communities wanting/needing education in this area. How do we reach them and what do we ask?). How can four-year institutions work with community colleges beyond articulation agreements? Can community college graduates aid in offering their specialized services (paralegal, website creation, applied technology) to four-year institutions?


The Council for Resource Development (CRD) is an organization made up of foundation and development officers and grant writers only at community colleges. The individuals serve at the college to identify revenue streams (private and public) to advance the programs of the college. NACCE plans on bringing the fundraising expertise and the entrepreneurship faculty together so that they may more effectively collaborate on ways to increase sustainability of their entrepreneurship program.

In addition, NACCE intends to advance entrepreneurship education internationally with the Belfast Institute, Northern Ireland and the Niels Brock's Business College, Denmark as well as the International Denmark Entrepreneurship Alliance in Denmark.

External links

* [Resources on Entrepreneurship]

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