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CCC&TI SBC Receives Award for Camp Enterprise Program

Published: 11/20/2023

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Small Business Center was recently named a recipient of the “Excellence in Innovation Award in Services/Collaboration” at the state-wide Small Business Center Annual Professional Development Conference in Concord, NC. CCC&TI’s SBC received the award in recognition for Camp Enterprise, a three-day immersive learning experience for high school students that helps students learn more about entrepreneurship, leadership and business ethics.

The intent of the annual award is to recognize Small Business Center Directors and staff who show innovation related to counseling, new services, partnership and collaborations. CCC&TI’s Camp Enterprise program was developed through collaboration with Impact Rotary Club of the Foothills, CCC&TI Small Business Center, the Town of Hudson and Caldwell County Schools. The three-day bootcamp experience is designed to encourage and inspire students to think like entrepreneurs and provide a solid foundational knowledge of ethical business practices to help guide them along the path to success.

During the three-day program, students work on their leadership skills, hear several keynote addresses from successful business leaders in the community, learn more about developing and writing successful business plans, how to pitch a business concept, networking, how to talk with financial advisors, and other essential skills for building success as a small business owner.

CCC&TI’s SBC Director Carmela Tomlinson says the program has not only been a success, but it’s also inspired students to think outside of the box and consider what their potential success might look like through the lens of entrepreneurship. “Students walk away after three days with excitement about their future, potential of growing their own business and a boost of confidence that has the potential to change lives,” said Tomlinson. “The IMPACT we are making teaching students these skills in invaluable. And the best part is that the students themselves have told us that Camp Enterprise is nothing short of life changing.”

Town of Hudson Commissioner, Impact Rotarian and CCC&TI Trustee Ann Smith was also instrumental in bringing the program to fruition and stressed the importance and wide-spread impact of community partnerships that can help students find a unique path to future success. “All of us working together to plan this camp has had a positive impact on the students but has also impacted our lives and gives us hope for the future,” she said. “We fully expect to see many of these students operating their own businesses in the coming years. They know they can count on us for continued support long after the camp ends and we look forward to seeing our students’ successes in the future.”

Patrick Longano, one of the founders of the camp and past President of Impact Rotary Club of the Foothills stated, “The program is now in the planning stages for its third year and will once again offer the opportunity to high school students on March 19-21, 2024, through CCC&TI’s Small Business Center and Impact Rotary Club of the Foothills.”

Serving both Caldwell and Watauga counties, CCC&TI’s Small Business Center is part of a statewide network of 58 Small Business Centers that support the development of new businesses and the growth of existing businesses by being a community-based provider of training, counseling, and resource information. Its services are free of charge and are offered both online and in-person at the HUB Station, 143 Cedar Valley Rd., Hudson.

For more information about CCC&TI’s Small Business Center, 2024 Camp Enterprise or other SBC resources, visit https://www.cccti.edu/SmallBusiness or call 828-726-3065.

Karen Isbell Camp Enterprise team

Pictured are 2023 Camp Enterprise participants with Coach Karen Isbell: Zoey Walker, Eric Meza, Caleb Weiner, Meea Westerfield, Peyton Horton, and Breeann Worley.

Katie Tocci Camp Enterprise team

Pictured are 2023 Camp Enterprise participants with Coach Katie Tocci: Ava Aldrich, Martin Engelbrecht, Carley Watson, Mavis Coffey, and Holden Lawing

Caryn Gibson Camp Enterprise team

Pictured are 2023 Camp Enterprise participants with Coach Caryn Gibson: Jacob Hayes, Makenzie Sherrill, Ivania Cruz, Nola Ervin-Brown, and Kendall Triplett.

Jeff Church Camp Enterprise team

Pictured are 2023 Camp Enterprise participants with Coach Dr. Jeff Church: Amilya Dean, Emma Hillis, Katherine Rivera-Fuentes, Victor Discua and Miguel Garcia.