CCBC receives Ratcliffe Foundation award to help budding entrepreneurs

Apr 26, 2016

More than $560,000 awarded to help CCBC students and alums earn skills and gain support to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into businesses

Community College of Baltimore County’s Center for Business Innovation can better nurture the entrepreneurial pursuits of its students and alums thanks to an award from the Phillip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. Over a three-year period, CCBC will receive $565,311 to increase success, sustain involvement and build a strong network of support for CCBC students and alumni aspiring to become small business owners.

CCBC’s Center for Business Innovation serves students and alums who are interested in learning how to turn their ideas for new products and services into viable businesses. Through the Center, students work closely with faculty within the School of Business, Criminal Justice and Law as well as community business owners who serve as mentors.

The Ratcliffe Foundation award will allow the Center to expand training and mentoring opportunities for students, increase the number of scholarships available and increase the number of prizes and amount of start-up capital –$10,000 vs $1,000 -- awarded to the first-place winner of CCBC’s annual Business Plan Competition. An additional $18,500 will be distributed among second, third, and fourth place winners and two runner-up contestants.

A new introductory course – Realistic Preview of Opening a New Business – and a Small Business Ownership Certificate Program are also scheduled to begin to coincide with other opportunities made available through this award. Although any student can benefit, a special emphasis is being placed on students seeking skilled trades and those courses that lend themselves to launching a business, particularly in the personal and business services industry.

“The Ratcliffe Foundation award provides such an amazing opportunity for our students,” declared CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “Having a great idea for starting a business is only half the battle. Money and “know-how” can be the biggest barriers. Thanks to this award CCBC can help students gain both – greater access to mentors from our faculty and local business leaders as well as an opportunity to earn seed money through business competitions. What a valuable experience!”