Business Education Consortium to promote the university ecosystem

The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium, which has fostered collaboration and entrepreneurship education for local college students since 2007, announced that it will become the hub of the college entrepreneurship ecosystem in Northeast Ohio.

Deborah D. Hoover, a longtime philanthropic leader, will lead the charge as EEC drives the next level of growth and impact in the region.

Over the next three years, EEC will coordinate existing programs to grow businesses, instill an entrepreneurial mindset across campuses and connect students to entrepreneurial opportunities, according to a news release. The aim is to serve the talent needs of the business community by creating a portfolio of graduates who possess well-honed entrepreneurial and innovation skills that can be implemented in new companies and existing businesses.

“Northeast Ohio has many resources to help entrepreneurs and students develop ideas and become important drivers of the local economy,” EEC Board President Colette Hart said in the statement. “These resources could have an even greater impact if brought together. The Business Education Consortium will serve as the hub that will connect the dots that make up our ecosystem, paving the way for better collaboration, alignment and strategic coordination.”

To lead this initiative, EEC has hired Deborah Hoover as its new Executive Director. Hoover will retire as president and CEO of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation at the end of this month, after a 15-year tenure. Entering her fifth year with EEC, Reka Barabas will continue her work on the leadership team as Director of Relations.

“It has been exciting and rewarding to watch students develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, help them expand their potential, and discover how to bring ideas to life,” Hoover said in the release. This opportunity to help EEC transform into the university hub of the region is a great match for my personal and professional goals as a committed ecosystem builder.”

Among the new efforts will be participation in the newly formed Cleveland Talent Alliance, as well as continuing to work with the Young Entrepreneur Institute at University School, JumpStart, Bounce Innovation Hub in Akron and MAGNET, according to the release.

The Business Education Consortium was formed in 2007 and includes 11 member institutions: Ashland University; Baldwin Wallace University; Case Western Reserve University; Cleveland State University; Hiram College; John Carroll University; Kent State University; Lake Erie University; Lorain County Community College; the University of Akron; and Mount Union University.

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