The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 28, 2013

College to host business growth sessions


— New River Community and Technical College is one of five community colleges across the nation chosen to host one-day training sessions this year to promote the growth of entrepreneurship education in their regions.

The events, called the NACCE Summits, are sponsored by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges.

The NACCE Summit will be held Nov. 21 at the New River’s Advanced Technology Center in Ghent.

The five colleges selected to host the summits were chosen through a competition that sought to identify colleges that could host regional events focused on:

n Promoting commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to entrepreneurship education that empowers students to think entrepreneurially

n Creating deep-rooted connections with local entrepreneurs that will result in deeper learning experiences for students, improved curricular effectiveness for faculty, engaging opportunities for small business owners, and increased institutional capacity and leadership.

Jill Holliday, instructor of entrepreneurship at New River, was instrumental in bringing the summit to Ghent. Her article, “Relating Maslow’s Hierarchy to the Entrepreneurial Psyche,” appears in the Summer/Fall issue of the NACCE’s magazine, Community College Entrepreneurship.

Holliday said the Summit at the ATC will address three strategies suggested in the 2012 Vision Shared Report, “Entrepreneurial Revolution: A Vision for Entrepreneurial Growth in West Virginia.”

“Our sessions will address ways to make West Virginia a more encouraging environment for entrepreneurial innovation, including helping the public understand why entrepreneurship is so important, increasing networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and strengthening entrepreneurs’ connections to higher education institutions,” Holliday explained.

Holliday said that according to the 2011 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, West Virginia exhibited the lowest entrepreneurial activity rate, with 150 per 100,000 people starting new businesses each month. It is for these reasons that more business development resources need to be brought into our small, rural communities.

Throughout the day, small displays will be set up showing a different creative avenue for teaching an entrepreneurial concept.

“We will look at the concept of teaching entrepreneurship beyond the traditional classroom setting. Innovators should learn in an innovative environment. We will look at ways we can help reach out to our smaller, rural communities and offer networking opportunities for the entrepreneurs living in those communities. The issues we will be examining that are targeted to the rural nature of West Virginia can be applied to the other rural areas in our country,” she concluded.

The NACCE Summits are made possible through financial support received through NACCE’s partnerships with the Coleman Foundation and Sam’s Club.

Registration for the summit is available at http://www.nacce.com.  Further details about the summit at New River will be posted on New River’s website, www.newriver.edu.