CCBC awarded $1M from Ratcliffe Foundation to expand Center for Business Innovation

Jul 23, 2019 | by Hope H. Davis | 443.840.5053 (office) | 410.971.5560 (cell)

Baltimore County, Md. – Community College of Baltimore County was recently awarded a $1,077,395 grant from The Phillip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation to expand its Center for Business Innovation. The goal is to increase the success, sustain the involvement and build a strong network of support for CCBC students and alumni aspiring to become small business owners. 

The Center for Business Innovation is dedicated to serving CCBC students and alumni who are interested in learning how to turn their ideas for new products, services, business and organizations into sustainable entities. Entrepreneurial-minded students and alumni are mentored by School of Business, Education, Justice & Law faculty and local business owners.

The grant provides instructional support to develop new courses and workshops to strengthen the business acumen for those interested in starting a new business as well as administrative support to follow participants and track their successes. The funding also increases the amount of start-up capital available to those competing in the annual Business Plan Competition. A total of $62,500 is available to support the competition with the first-place winner receiving $20,000 to support his or her business endeavor. 

“The increased funding doubles the amount we are able to award to the next Business Plan Competition winner, and that’s pretty amazing,” said Dennis Sullivan, Executive Director, Center for Business Innovation. "Acquiring startup capital is often one of an entrepreneur’s biggest challenges. This grant from the Ratcliffe Foundation will definitely give some lucky entrepreneurs – armed with a solid business plan – the opportunity to see their ideas develop into actual businesses.”In addition to instructional, administrative and financial support for the competition, the Ratcliffe Foundation also provides scholarships for additional coursework, mentoring and networking opportunities for students. Ultimately, it provides a full complement of wrap-around support for those interested in starting a new businesses," Sullivan added. 

“With the support of the Ratcliffe Foundation, our Center for Business Innovation has experienced tremendous growth in programming and outreach,” said CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “Budding entrepreneurs can gain valuable experience in best business practices, be coached by experts in the field and gain marketing assistance for minimal to no cost. It’s a tremendous resource for anyone interested in starting their own business.”

Currently, the Center for Business Innovation is already offering a Small Business Ownership Certificate for only $99. This 12-session covers a broad range of subjects critical to sustaining a new business. The sessions run Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6–9 p.m., August 20–Sept. 6. To register, call 443-840-4700.


About the Community College of Baltimore County (

Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, more than 63,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction and transportation. CCBC is nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies, among the nation’s top associate degree producers, and designated as a Military Times Best College 2018.

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.