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ABSTRACT. Medgar Evers College, a Brooklyn based, City University of New York (CUNY) College, is located in the midst of one of the largest concentrations of African Americans in the country. Brooklyn itself is experiencing a re-birth, a fiscal renaissance that has been accompanied by-gentrification. While greater Brooklyn is experiencing economic growth, Central Brooklyn, specifically Crown Heights still have pockets of poverty as the result of prior economic decline. Medgar Evers College itself is no stranger to entrepreneurship and economic development initiatives. There have been several institutionally led initiatives related to economic development, however they were not sustained. And, whenever project funding ended the initiatives also ended. There has been progress in entrepreneurship development however; indeed, the College’s entrepreneurship club won awards and accolades in competition just a few short years ago. Nevertheless last year the club was void of leadership and any co-curricular activities. College in a few short years Colleges in the CUNY system have become nationally ranked in both graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. One program developed by CUNY to increase undergraduate student participation in entrepreneurship is the SmartPitch competition. President Rudolph Crew, a graduate of Babson College, launched an initiative for Medgar Evers College to participate in the SmartPitch competition. In January 2015, Medgar Evers College partnered with Fullbridge to establish an entrepreneurship “boot camp” on the campus. Since the inception of the partnership with the Fullbridge program the College has organized its own Mock Shark Tank and Mock Project Runway competitions as well as participating in the New York State Pitch and SmartPitch Competitions. Recently the College was awarded funds by the Carnegie Foundation to support an entrepreneurship center which represents a significant step in the development of a permanent entrepreneurship development curriculum at the College. The College also applied to CUNY and several corporate sponsors for funds for infrastructure and equipment related to the center College As a result of President Crew’s and Provost Augustine Okereke’s support, the Entrepreneurship & Experiential Learning Training Lab opened August 31st and is now home to the first cohort of Fullbridge trained students. It is expected that the new initiatives in entrepreneurship will be sustained and will help to improve Central Brooklyn’s socioeconomic outlook and support its greater participation in the growth and development taking place throughout Brooklyn. pp. 1–20

Keywords: entrepreneurship education; economic development; college–business partnerships

IRIS BILLY
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EMMANUEL EGBE
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JOANN ROLLE
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EDWIN KNOX
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WALLACE FORD
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BECKY KARSH
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City University of New York

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