In 2012, NACCE and Sam’s Club teamed up to assist community colleges in their critical role of educating future entrepreneurs in the classroom and supporting small business owners in the community. For the last decade, NACCE has been dedicated to defining and delivering essential resources and programming needed within community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and economic vitality. We’ve evolved from a small group of enthusiastic faculty and administrators to the leader in promoting innovative ideas in community college entrepreneurship. While NACCE’s efforts have focused on the community colleges and their education of entrepreneurs, Sam’s Club has focused on the needs of existing business owners. As a company founded by an entrepreneur (Sam Walton), Sam’s Club and Walmart want small businesses to be successful, to enhance existing services in order to help small business thrive and grow, and to be known as a place that adds value to your business and your life. Together, our two organizations represent two essential components of a successful small business owner: a solid educational foundation with continued business support. NACCE believes that this combination of education and continued support is critical to the long-term success of small businesses. Additionally, we have seen that:
1. Individuals are hesitant to start their own business, and
2. Established small business owners are lacking clarity
on what resources
are needed for operational survival.
It is NACCE’s belief that there is a lack of awareness on how to access affordable business training and support that has led to these two problems. During these economically fragile times, ongoing education and support systems for potential and existing entrepreneurs are essential to the survival of small businesses. Considering that community colleges are accessible, entrepreneurial in nature, and nimble enough to change with industry trends, they are a fertile ground for continuing education for small business owners.
For this reason, Sam’s Club has generously provided $40,000 to fund the NACCE-Sam’s Club Shared Vision for Small Business Competition, in which funds will be awarded to community colleges demonstrating excellence in supporting small businesses, especially for recent graduates, low-income, minority, women, and/or veteran populations. Your market for this project is existing small business owners with revenue up to one million dollars.