ACTC president takes entrepreneurship pledge | ACTC

ACTC president takes entrepreneurship pledge

Feb. 21, 2019


     The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that Dr. Larry Ferguson, president of Ashland Community and Technical College, has taken its Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge. Through the pledge, presidents of community colleges throughout the country pledge to take five action steps that will increase their focus on entrepreneurship and the impact these colleges have on the economic well-being of the communities they serve.
     With the economy still lagging in many regions of the United States, more than 200 community colleges throughout the country have signed the entrepreneurship pledge, and by doing so, have committed to playing a greater role in stimulating economic development in the communities they serve.
    "ACTC is heavily engaged with fostering, growing and supporting entrepreneurial activities in northeast Kentucky,” Ferguson said. “The community utilizes the partnerships and resources of ACTC’s Workforce Solutions unit to create and sustain the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. ACTC provides space for an office and incubator and co-worker space at the Workforce Solutions Office on its Roberts Drive campus.”
     The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge is in response to the Obama Administration’s Startup America call to action to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders.
     “As part of Global Entrepreneur Week, ACTC sponsors events to bring together successful entrepreneurs with high school students,” Ferguson said. “ACTC is committed to helping college students to pursue entrepreneurial ideas through instructional activities and presentations. Just recently, ACTC made a formal commitment to support Shaping our Appalachian Region’s (SOAR) initiative to establish an innovation office in Ashland to support high tech entrepreneurs. The college also led the effort to form the Tri-State Angel Investment Group, a regional angel investment group, vital to the driving investment into high tech ventures.”
     According to NACCE President and CEO Rebecca Corbin, the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge is a way for community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. Community college presidents who take the pledge commit to these five action steps:
• Develop transparency of community college and community assets;
• Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship;
• Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges;
• Engage in industry cluster development; and
• 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,” said Corbin. “After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions,” she said. “One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship.”
     The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates for community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. For more information, visit