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Entrepreneurship Education Consortium Wins National Honor

Posted Jan, 22, 2010

Northeast Ohio’s Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC) was awarded the 2010 National Outstanding Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) at its national conference in Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 16.  The award recognizes innovative teaching in the field of entrepreneurship.

The EEC is an innovative, self-funding model of entrepreneurship education created as a collaborative effort among nine universities and colleges in Northeast Ohio.  The members are: Ashland University, Baldwin-Wallace College, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Hiram College, John Carroll University, Kent State University, Lake Erie College and The University of Akron.  Additional information is available at www.EECNEOHIO.ORG.

“USASBE has more than 800 members and is the world’s leading academic organization for teaching and research in the field of entrepreneurship,” said EEC President Julie Messing and director of Kent State’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation.  “This award is one of its top honors, and it is a testament to the quality, innovation and comprehensiveness of our program.”

The EEC was founded in 2007 to promote both the concept and the reality of entrepreneurship among college students of all disciplines.  Beyond imparting the necessary classroom fundamentals, it encourages student exploration of new business concepts.  Where feasible, the EEC facilitates the entrepreneurial process up to the interface for project funding which leads to the actual startup of new enterprises.

The EEC educates top students at member institutions who are most likely to become entrepreneurs and remain in the region after graduation. These students learn about entrepreneurship and choose to either create new enterprises which will create new jobs and generate wealth for the region, or become entrepreneurs within existing organizations.

The consortium has two major initiatives: Annual Entrepreneurship Immersion Week for undergraduates during the summer and a regional Business Idea Competition called EEC ideaLabs. Students compete on their individual campuses, and the winners compete in the EEC regional competition.

The EEC is partially funded by lead grants from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and is dependent on contributions from local entrepreneurs, individuals, corporations, foundations and sponsors.

For additional information, contact EEC President Julie Messing at or at 330-672-9430, President-Elect Phil Bessler at or at 440-826-2083, or Past President Dr. Jack Soper at or at 216-397-3027.

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Media Contacts:
Julie Messing,, 330-672-9430
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595