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Columbia College McNair Center for Entrepreneurism Becomes Certified Partner with National Network

Columbia College’s McNair Center for Entrepreneurism has become a certified partner of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s national mission is to provide programs that inspire young people to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures.

Through NFTE certification, Columbia College also became a partner of Youth Entrepreneurship South Carolina, which is the designated statewide affiliate of NFTE. Headquartered in Charleston, YEScarolina provides NFTE-certified training for educators across the state and hosts gateway competitions for NFTE students.

The NFTE curriculum will be integrated into Columbia College’s longstanding and prestigious Summer Institute for high school girls. The Step Ahead day camp program will be offered June 27 – July 1, 2016 on the Columbia College campus, serving rising 10-12th graders in the Midlands area. Girl-driven teams will form startup enterprises during the week, and can go on to compete in pitch competitions at the state and national levels during the 2016-2017 academic year. Step Ahead will cultivate girls’ entrepreneurial mindsets, focusing on initiative and self-direction, risk-taking, flexibility and adaptability, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving. Applications for the program are being accepted until June 20 and financial need-based scholarships are available online or by calling 803.786.3729.

Columbia College Youth Networking Event with Guest Senator Katrina ShealyColumbia College is the only higher education institution in South Carolina certified through NFTE and YEScarolina and is the only affiliate focused exclusively on serving girls. In addition to its affiliations with NFTE and YEScarolina, Columbia College is one of two South Carolina-based affiliates of the internationally renowned Kauffman Foundation FastTrac program, though which educational programs are provided for Columbia College students and professional women across the state. Columbia College is also a current grant recipient of the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s Innovation Challenge for its programs for women entrepreneurs across the state.

Recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a best value institution and ranked among the best regional universities in the South, Columbia College is a dynamic learning and living community known for its emphasis on leadership development and service. Founded 162 years ago by the United Methodist Church as a women’s liberal arts college, Columbia College also offers evening, graduate and online programs serving both women and men. The College is home to The McNair Center for Entrepreneurism and a nationally renowned honors program led by the 2010–2011 United States Professor of the Year.

The Center for Leadership, one of five centers in the Institute for Leadership & Professional Excellence at Columbia College, prepares women of all ages to assume leadership roles within their professions and communities, to lead innovation and change, and to be effective and principled leaders in a global society. In achieving this mission, one of the largest focus areas for the Center is supporting leadership development for the next generation of women leaders, focusing on 8th-12th grade girls.

Columbia College’s Summer Institute has inspired and propelled young women leaders for 26 years. Since 1990, when the first institute was offered, more than 1,700 young women across South Carolina and beyond have participated. The series motivates and empowers middle and high school-aged young women to become effective leaders and members of their community. It provides participants with skill development in communication, conflict resolution, problem solving, goal setting, decision making, team-building, combined with tools for academic and personal success. The Summer Institute served 130 girls in 2015, providing financial-need based scholarships for more than 50% of participants through support provided by generous donors.

Columbia College Youth and STEM OpportunitiesNFTE has worked with more than 600,000 young people from low-income communities in programs across the U.S. and around the world. As of fall, 2014 NFTE operates our successful curriculum in 17 U.S. communities and 10 countries and continues to expand – sharing and spreading the transformative power of entrepreneurship. Through entrepreneurship, young people discover that what they are learning in the classroom is relevant to the real world. By teaching the entrepreneurial mindset, NFTE provides young people with tools and attitudes to overcome adversity and address future personal, economic, community and global challenges.

Youth Entrepreneurship South Carolina, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the leading organization in South Carolina dedicated to teaching youth the principles of entrepreneurship and free enterprise. Recognizing that South Carolina’s future is dependent upon a vibrant entrepreneurial economy, YEScarolina is preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s business owners and business leaders. YEScarolina has helped thousands of young people from communities statewide build business skills and fuel their entrepreneurial spirit. To date, YEScarolina has trained and certified over 825 South Carolina teachers on the subject of entrepreneurship. These educators in turn have touched and inspired tens of thousands of young South Carolinians with a thirst for entrepreneurship. YEScarolina offers entrepreneurship training to public school teachers statewide without charge.

Pictured: (L to R): Kene Turner, NFTE; Molly Crete, Yescarolina; Katherine Swartz-Hilton, Columbia College; Tony Tallent, Richland Library

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