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Entrepreneurship Education Scholarships

Report to the Appalachian Regional Commission from the Corporation for Enterprise Development, October 6, 1999

The Scholarships

The 16th annual Entrepreneurship Education Forum was held in Nashville, Tennessee, from October 31 through November 3, 1998. This forum organized by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education brought together many of the nation's leading practitioners in the field of entrepreneurship training and education and provided a wide range of workshops and networking opportunities. The event attracted a record 234 participants.

As part of its three-year Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) provided the funds for scholarships to enable 35 people from communities throughout the Region to attend the Nashville forum. The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CfED) managed the scholarship program on behalf of ARC. Fifteen full scholarships, at a value of $1,125 each, were available, covering the costs of registration, travel, hotel, meals, and follow-up activities. There were also 20 partial scholarships worth $575 each.

Notices about the awards were sent out to approximately 1,500 organizations, including schools, colleges, business organizations, community groups, local governments, and local development districts. Seventy applications were submitted. Criteria for selection included need, geographical spread, and capacity for promoting entrepreneurial activities in their communities.

The awards were granted subject to the recipients agreeing to four conditions: to attend all conference sessions, to attend a meeting with ARC's manager of entrepreneurial development at the conference, to convene upon their return local meetings to discuss and disseminate their ideas for furthering entrepreneurship, and to submit a report on the outcomes of their meetings and other activities by August 31, 1999.

Characteristics of the Awardees

A broad range of organizations were represented, including a variety of community-based groups (11), entrepreneurship centers and projects (5), high schools (4), community colleges (4), small business development centers (3), regional/county development agencies (3), educational resources organizations (2), chambers of commerce (2), and one local government. They were drawn from 12 states: five each from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia; four each from Ohio and West Virginia; three from Pennsylvania; two each from Georgia, Mississippi, and New York; and one each from Alabama, Maryland, and North Carolina. Twelve of the organizations were based in distressed counties.


As of October 6, 1999, 23 reports (66 percent) had been submitted. These reports were of three types: those that described the conference as a valuable catalyst for action in their communities, those that found it helpful in reinforcing current activities, and those (the smallest group) that found it of little use for their work. Thus, comments ranged from the enthusiastic:

". . . one of the best conferences I have attended." (Ohio)

". . . truly one of the best experiences I have had in recent memory." (Pennsylvania)

"Thank you so much for helping my dream become a reality. Watch us grow!" (Kentucky)

". . . I have been able to delve into the topic of entrepreneurship for youth with great energy and enthusiasm." (Pennsylvania)

"We hope to . . . continue this relationship which enables our entrepreneurial spirit to bloom and grow into the next millennium." (Mississippi)

to the disappointed:

". . . quite frankly, I did not find the conference to be very useful and have not used many of the materials in my work. . . . Sitting and listening to speakers all day just didn't help me learn how to deliver a better program." (Ohio)

Some of the more interesting activities that have taken place since the conference include:

  • College created a special entrepreneurship unit to serve welfare-to-work employment and training programs, focusing on basic entrepreneurial skills, business start-up, and entrepreneurship in the labor market. (Kentucky)

  • High school store turned over to students to run as an enterprise. (Ohio)

  • Proposals for an entrepreneurial clearinghouse at a community college. (Kentucky)

  • A distance learning consortium proposed to enhance workforce development services, technical skills, and entrepreneurship in two counties. (Virginia)

  • High school students establish a cybernet café. (Pennsylvania)

  • Awardee becomes a certified REAL instructor to transform annual Free Enterprise Conference into an entrepreneurship-based program for youth. (West Virginia)

  • 120 students sign up for youth enterprise conference in five-county area, the video of which is now being used for training and public service announcements. (Alabama)

  • Creation of the V-Commerce project to encourage students in grades 5-to 8 explore entrepreneurship in the context of electronic commerce. (Pennsylvania)

  • A multi-state aquaculture education program and an Internet marketing program for specialty agricultural producers and rural entrepreneurs. (West Virginia)

A number of awardees decided to introduce or support established entrepreneurial programs for their communities: NxLevel in Ohio and REAL in West Virginia, Ohio, and Georgia, or to become involved in existing programs: Junior Achievement in Mississippi.

There are also a number of programs under way which clearly benefited from a representative attending the Nashville conference. Some examples include:

  • Developing a training curriculum for entrepreneurs as part of a new regional incubator, and introducing a "Street MBA" for start-up businesses. (Tennessee)

  • Introducing the REAL program and youth entrepreneurship to a microenterprise conference, chamber of commerce, and a Civitan club. (Virginia)

  • Promoting entrepreneurship as part of a sustainable forestry and agriculture program. (Ohio)

  • Supporting the introduction of an ARC-funded entrepreneurial skills development program for high school teachers and students. (Georgia)

  • Creating a county strategy for entrepreneurship comprising small business roundtables, entrepreneurial development seminars, youth enterprise program, and economic education awards. (Virginia)

  • Launching a self-employment opportunity program for low-income women. (Pennsylvania)

In most cases, participants distributed materials and convened and spoke at meetings. But not all efforts were immediately well-received:

  • An entrepreneurship community meeting was arranged at a high school to which business, political, and educational interests were invited, but only eight turned up. (Ohio)

  • A workshop organized in conjunction with REAL and a technical institute for elected officials, school superintendents, and chambers of commerce was canceled when only one person registered.


For a modest outlay, ARC, through the Entrepreneurship Education Awards, was able to spark a range of interesting new initiatives and to support a number of existing programs across the Region. The negative comments of a few are significantly outweighed by the positive and often enthusiastic reports.

Entrepreneurship Education Awards

Full Scholarships

  1. Michael Canter, Bloom-Vernon Local Schools, South Webster, Ohio
  2. Phillip Danhauer, Jackson County Entrepreneurship Center, McKee, Kentucky
  3. Donnie Dowell, Lonesome Pine Office on Youth, Wise, Virginia
  4. Garry Grau, Northeast State Technical University, Blountville, Tennessee
  5. Daniel Greene, The David School, David, Kentucky
  6. Jim Halicy, Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES, Norwich, New York
  7. William Hewitt, Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee
  8. Otis Jeffries, Economic Alternatives, Holly Springs, Mississippi
  9. Marten Jenkins, Freshwater Institute, Shepherdstown, West Virginia
  10. David King, Ohio-West Virginia YMCA, St. George, West Virginia
  11. Thomas Lawrence, City of Franklin, Oil City, Pennsylvania
  12. Pamela Shay, Union College, Barbourville, Kentucky
  13. Pat Therrien, Appalachian Regional Recycling Consortium, Radford, Virginia
  14. Maxine Waller, Southeast Rural Community Assistance, Ivanhoe, Virginia
  15. Keith Wilde, Rural Action, Athens, Ohio

Partial Scholarships

  1. Catherine Albert, Center for Advanced Technologies, Altoona, Pennsylvania
  2. Devora Ascott-Transou, Kidpreneur Project, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  3. Claire Collins, County of Bath, Warm Springs, Virginia
  4. Debbie Daniels, South Floyd High School, Hi Hat, Kentucky
  5. Jerry Davis, Shoals Entrepreneurial Center, Florence, Alabama
  6. Michael Doyle, University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, Dalton, Georgia
  7. Ann Dugan, University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center, Pennsylvania
  8. Michelle Flynn, Tennessee Network for Community Economic Development, Nashville, Tennessee
  9. Patrick Geho, Smith County Chamber of Commerce, Bush Creek, Tennessee
  10. Walter Gurley, Mississippi Small Business Center, University, Mississippi
  11. Lee Hardy, Jubilee Project, Sneedville, Tennessee
  12. Deborah Loggans, Abingdon, Virginia
  13. Linda Maynard, Spring Valley High School, Kenova, West Virginia
  14. Mikal McCartney, Garrett County Community Action Committee, Oakland, Maryland
  15. Lynn Sizemore, Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone, Clay, West Virginia
  16. Heather Snedeker, Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, Athens, Ohio
  17. Larry Vanden Bosch, North Georgia Regional Development Center
  18. Merle West, Ashland Community College, Ashland, Kentucky
  19. Amber Wilson, GLCA Chamber of Commerce, South Point, Ohio
  20. Kal Wysokowski, Tompkins County Area Development, Ithaca, New York