“There are only two kinds of people you can work for, someone else and for yourself, and we forget to teach people how they can create their own business and work for themselves.”Dr. Cathy Ashmore
A Bit of History…
The Consortium was formed in 1980 at the Ohio State University in answer to the US Secretary of Education (Terrell Bell) whose policy was for all vocational education programs to include entrepreneurship competencies for their students. The newly formed US Department of Education conducted a 2-year project to introduce entrepreneurship across the nation from 1980-1982. Following that project the National Center for Research in Vocational Education (NCRVE) assumed leadership in carrying on the initiative and formed the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education.
Ten state departments of education took leadership as the first members of the Consortium, a project of NCRVE at the Ohio State University. They included Ohio, Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Michigan . Their role was to bring entrepreneurship to the career and technical education teachers in their states and to encourage other states to join as well. Gradually in the 1980’s interest in entrepreneurship education exploded and many other related organizations came on board, expanding the Consortium’s scope to all levels of education and disciplines.
The concept of entrepreneurship education as a lifelong learning process has been a major core value of the Consortium as it grew from ten states to over 100 member organizations today. Member organizations come from local, state, and national leadership groups who believe that entrepreneurship education is critical to the future of today’s youth. One of our guiding core values comes from our mentor at OSU, Al Shapero, who assured us of the value of the Consortium because:
– “Entrepreneurs are not ‘born’ . . . rather they ‘become’ through the experiences of their lives”
Thus our purpose became to bring “entrepreneurship experiences” to young people everywhere through their schools and community programs. It no longer was enough to hope they had some experiences…in their homes or communities…that encouraged the entrepreneurial spirit and taught the skills important for success. And we grew to understand that entrepreneurship provides a viable answer to many issues related to opportunities for women and minorities, disaffected youth, rural economic development, global competition, unemployment, invention and innovation, financial literacy, and application of core subjects.
Focus on Teachers
Early in our development we recognized that most teachers have not been prepared to teach entrepreneurship in the schools, either by training or experience. Thus we have dedicated the work of the Consortium to helping our teachers.
The Consortium is managed by an executive director and staff of consultants from all over the US….a virtual corporation. The headquarters is in Columbus, OH. In 1998 the Consortium chose to leave its original home at the Ohio State University and became a self-sufficient non-profit corporation, registered in Ohio.
The annual meeting of the Consortium is held each year a day prior to the annual Entrepreneurship Education FORUM. At this meeting the officers of the organization are elected to the Executive Committee. This Committee establishes policy for the organization and oversees the implementation of the annual Plan of Work by the Executive Director and staff.
The work of the Consortium focuses on activities that support the programs of our member organizations and growing the field of entrepreneurship education as a lifelong learning process. Over the years we have held an annual professional development conference (The Entrepreneurship Education FORUM), located in different cities across the nation to facilitate attendance from all states. This is the premier opportunity for teachers to share their program ideas and build contacts with education leaders from all over the US.
National Entrepreneurship Week
In 2006 we initiated National Entrepreneurship Week which was confirmed by Congress in House Resolution #699. The Consortium hosts this annual event in the last week in February in connection with Career and Technical Education Month. Since its inception it has been growing geometrically each year providing a wealth of networking. Our goal is to publicize the great contributions of American entrepreneurs and the variety of programs now available in every state to provide entrepreneurial “experiences”, preparing the entrepreneurs of the future.
This Consortium website is organized to be a free resource and a “sharing place” … collecting, organizing and promoting information from all the member organizations as well as others throughout the nation. As we work to address the questions “WHY” – “WHAT” – “WHERE” – “HOW” – “WHO”, we encourage all of you….our networks of educators and entrepreneurship leaders … to tell us about the work you are doing to empower our young people and keep America first in entrepreneurship. We promise to enable others to follow your model as we all provide the synergy necessary to make our impact in the new Global Economy.