Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities

CEC Program Background & Implementation History:

The “CEC” program was developed by the MSU Extension – Economic Development Area of Expertise Team in 2007.  The initial purpose was to help the Michigan economy by educating local community members as to the value of entrepreneurship in their communities and help them create an environment conducive to entrepreneurship growth. 

Originally the “CEC” stood for “Creating Entrepreneurial Communities”.  However after several years, communities throughout Michigan became very aware of the value of entrepreneurs for their local economy and embraced entrepreneurship programming learned through the CEC program offerings.  So much so, that in 2012, seeing the added value of sharing ideas and best practices we changed the “CEC” to “Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities”. The CEC program was implemented by the MSU Extension Economic Development Area of Expertise Team; however when MSU Extension re-organized their delivery system state-wide, the programming is now guided by the Greening Michigan Institute/Entrepreneurship Work Group/Building Community Capacity Work Team. (CEC Team for short!)

There are various program resources throughout the year, however our major emphasis is the state-wide CEC Conference.  Held annually in October, the conference moves around the state and is packed with great keynote speakers, breakout sessions and active communities engaged in supporting entrepreneurs.

Nationally, our MSU CEC Team is engaged with other states.  Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota have all sent representatives to the Michigan Conference and each state is implementing their own version of the CEC program.  Our MSU team has also traveled to Nebraska to participate in their state-wide CEC conference.

Internationally we have had delegates and presenters from Canada as well as the USA.

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