Notre Dame College to Enhance Entrepreneurship Program with New Grant Funding

Notre Dame College is launching a three-year plan to grow its entrepreneurship program with a $15,000 grant from a foundation supporting free enterprise, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

The College currently offers an entrepreneurship minor and started an entrepreneurship club, called NDCe, this year. The Business Division plans to add an entrepreneurship major in 2016 and an enterprise development center (EDC@NDC) in 2017. These advancements hinge upon attracting additional funding.

“Students with creative minds who have learned to think critically and communicate effectively with others from all walks of life are well-prepared to be the innovation leaders of the future,” said Notre Dame President Thomas G. Kruczek. “The programs that will come from this grant will further ensure that our graduates will continue to be among the best and brightest in the field.”

The grant from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation will be used this year to develop a course in social entrepreneurship along with one in creativity, innovation and idea generation. The division also intends to add, among others, a course in entrepreneurial leadership in the next few years as more funding becomes available.

In addition to expanded course offerings, the proposal to build the entrepreneurship program on campus calls for enhanced experiential learning opportunities and further establishment of the entrepreneurship club.

“Notre Dame College is proud of the progress it has made in the area of entrepreneurship education since Tom Kruczek became president,” said William L. Leamon, MBA/MOD/MHR, assistant professor of marketing and entrepreneurship. “Our ‘2020 Vision’ is to create a culture of entrepreneurship on campus. Our partnership with The Burton D. Morgan Foundation has given us the spark we needed to pursue our growth plans.”

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation grant also will help market NDCe activities, specifically events associated with the Student Venture Fund at Notre Dame College, also known as NDC Shark Tank, a chapter of the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund, and with SEA Change, a Northeast Ohio social enterprise accelerator.

The club will host a Shark Tank pitch competition and help select the high tech startup to win $25,000 in funding at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, in the campus Performing Arts Center.

NDCe, along with the College's biology and business departments, has partnered with SEA Change and Rust Belt Riders, a sustainable waste removal company in support of community gardens to launch a revenue-generating, campus-based composting business by 2016.

 “Entrepreneurship develops imagination and creativity. In our conceptual economy, these are skills valued by employers,” said Vincent J. Palombo, DBA, assistant professor of business administration and chair of the Business Division at the College. “Development of our entrepreneurship program is ideal for our students, as entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary subject that serves all majors.”

Along with NDCe activities, experiential learning options for the College’s entrepreneurship program over the next three years could include support for startups and small businesses ranging from accounting and bookkeeping to marketing and graphic design to business model and planning support, according to Palombo.

“The development of entrepreneurial skills in students who then get engaged in relevant, business enterprises is a direct result of the liberal arts education we provide here at Notre Dame College,” Kruczek said.



For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers 22 NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Highlights of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff and small class sizes.


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