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Most Recent Activities

  • An Entrepreneurial Model. A group from Sogn Og Fjordane University College in Norway visited campus March 5 and 6 to learn more about our entrepreneurship program and outreach. After a tour of our professional crafts program, the group attended an information session presented by Sharron Donnahoe, Robert Blanton, and David Forester about the focus on entrepreneurship across our campus and in the county.
  • Business Etiquette. Students in Meredith Carpenter's BUS 270 (Professional Development) and Jodi Wijewickrama's MED 130 (Medical Office Administration I) classes attended a luncheon event at The Gateway Club to practice business etiquette skills.
  • Business Start-Up. Sharron Donnahoe, SBC Director, and Russ Seagle, Senior Loan Officer with the Sequoyah Fund, are co-chairs for a business start-up funding opportunity for community college students in the seven western counties. Promotional materials and a campaign to engage students as “job makers” will roll out in the fall of ’09.
  • Entrepreneur Camp. Haywood Early College students participated in an entrepreneurship camp conducted by HCC Business and Entrepreneurship department and REAL. The HCC Foundation provided a mini-grant for the camp.

Promoting Entrepreneurship

  • An Entrepreneurial Community. In 2008, Haywood County was named a certified Entrepreneurial Community, making it the first of its kind in both the region and the state. This distinction is particularly important to Haywood Community College. With two members on the leadership team, Laura Leatherwood and Sharron Donnahoe, the college is reinforcing the importance of entrepreneurship.

    Gaining certification as an Entrepreneurial Community took teamwork and dedication among the leadership team. Laura and Sharron joined forces with other local leaders CeCe Hipps, Tony Johnson, and Mark Clasby to lead the way for this county designation.

    The purpose of the Certified Entrepreneurial Community is to build and support a rich culture of resources for entrepreneurs in the county. All members have collaborated resources to nurture entrepreneurs and pave the way for them to open their businesses and thrive in our county.

    With the designation, the county will participate in a marketing campaign to promote its status in the United States as well as to other nations. With our home county receiving this recognition, HCC’s entrepreneurial initiatives can also reach many more people and encourage success among our residents.
  • Small Business Center Recognized. Mountain BizWorks awarded the HCC Small Business Center an award for supporting small business success in Western North Carolina. The college was recognized because of the successful collaboration of the college and Mountain BizWorks to host an information session for area financial institutions. The session was a way for the institutions to learn about the new Financial Services program at the college, as well as the services offered to business clients through the SBC.
  • New Entrepreneurship Program. HCC led the way in the North Carolina Community College System with the development of a new associate degree major in Entrepreneurship. In fall 2008, HCC became the first community college to offer the Entrepreneurship degree program.

    The Entrepreneurship curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and growth as self-employed business owners. Serving the seven westernmost counties in the state, classes are available online as well as in the classroom. Students may pursue an AAS, diploma, or certificate.
  • A parnership that benefits HCC students. An articulation agreement was signed by leaders of HCC and Western Carolina University. The agreement enables a student enrolled in the entrepreneurship associate degree program at HCC to transfer seamlessly to WCU and complete a bachelor’s degree in entepreneurship two years later.

    “This partnership will make the critical study of entrepreneurship more accessible to students who are the future business leaders and innovators of our region,” said WCU Chancellor John W. Bardo. “At a time when so many traditional manufacturing jobs have moved overseas, small business and entrepreneurship offer hope for our continued economic competitiveness across this state.”

    “Small business owners play a key role in the economic welfare of our region,” said HCC President Rose Johnson. “The development of the new associate degree in entrepreneurship at Haywood Community College recognizes this role and encourages business development.”
  • Resource Library. The Small Business Center’s resource library expanded this year with an acquisition of over 300 new books. The new books are a gift from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, the Fund for Haywood County. The resource center is located on the main campus in the library and contains over 500 small buisness books available for loan to the business community. A ribbon cutting ceremony and an Open House were held to celebrate the opening of the center in its new location.
  • REAL. Through NC REAL, the college gives budding entrepreneurs the skills to succeed. The Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning (REAL) class is based on experiential learning exploring the key issues necessary to successfully start and operate a profitable business. Students study many aspects of business start-up including developing a business plan.

    “As a result of the REAL course, I learned a substantial amount of information… but moreover, I made many outstanding business contacts who have become some of our best customers!” said Diana Laursen, owner of Hazelwood Soap Company.

    Over 40 curriculum students were enrolled in REAL this year.