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Rio Salado President Smith Signs Entrepreneurship Pledge

Rio Salado President Kate Smith Signs NACCE for Presidents Entrepreneurship Pledge. Young man using Ipad to process order in a bakery Young woman video recording how she makes shoes

To help entrepreneurs invigorate economic development in Arizona and across the country, Rio Salado Interim President Kate Smith joined Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor Steven Gonzales and more than 200 community college leaders to sign the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge.

“We have a long tradition of helping entrepreneurs and their employees with up-to-date instruction that’s relevant to their industries so they can learn and grow in their businesses," said President Smith. “As we witness record-breaking unemployment and a shift in the economy during this COVID-19 pandemic, we need to help entrepreneurs rethink, retrain, and retool to keep our economy growing. We are honored to be a part of NACCE’s efforts.”

The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge resulted from a White House initiative called Startup America, which was designed to stimulate economic growth by encouraging entrepreneurship. NACCE was founded in 2002 as an affiliate of the partnership and serves as a non-profit national leader in promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges. The NACCE pledge includes five action items for leaders:

1. Develop transparency of community college and community assets
2. Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship
3. Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges
4. Engage in industry cluster development
5. Create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship

“Entrepreneurs are the backbone of America,” said President Smith. “They run our local restaurants, barbershops, insurance agencies, daycare centers and most of the businesses in our communities. They take on the risks and the challenges to innovate, create gainful employment and improve our lives so we are eager to step up our efforts to support them in this new economy.”

To learn more about NACCE and this initiative, visit

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