PRESS RELEASE: New Entrepreneurship Program, “Entrepreneurship: Communities of Color” (ECC), at North Hennepin Community College (NHCC)


featuring a pre-launch panel of successful local entrepreneurs

BROOKLYN PARK – To be a successful entrepreneur, more is required than just a good idea. In response to a growing diverse student population and the current economic climate, North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) will launch a new Entrepreneurship program that will specialize on minority-owned businesses and focus in on the removal of cultural barriers to entrepreneur success. It is coined, “Entrepreneurship: Communities of Color” (ECC).

ECC is 13-week certificate program that will begin on October 7th. To kick-off the new program, NHCC will host a pre-launch event – “Advancing Innovation/Building New Entrepreneurs” – on Monday, September 13th from 4-6 p.m. at the Brooklyn Park campus. The pre-launch event will provide more information about the ECC program and will feature a diverse panel of successful local entrepreneurs. The panelists include: Susan Rani, Rani Engineering; Prince Wallace, Independent Packing Services; Ravi Norman, Thor Construction; Enrique Garcia, Cafeteria La Loma; and Cecilia Stanton, Cecilia Stanton Consulting. This pre-launch event is free and open to the community.

The ECC program is designed for prospective or existing entrepreneurs who want to learn more about sustaining and/or growing their businesses. Coursework will cover a broad range of basic topics such as business writing, financing, marketing, and technology. In addition, the program offers connections to business development assistance, as well as multiple support services through program partners.

“We didn’t want to offer an entrepreneurship program that participants can receive anywhere else,” said Nerita Hughes, ECC Program Chair. “The ECC program addresses the basic and practical skills that many entrepreneurs lack and emphasizes the use of technology and business communication. What’s more is NHCC has community partnerships throughout the metro area that participants can connect with.”

Some of the program partners are: Small Business Administration (SBA), Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON), Northwest Area Human Services Council, City of Brooklyn Park, and Dunwoody College.

To learn more about the EEC program, attend the pre-launch event on September 13th, visit, or contact program co-chairs Nerita Hughes at 763-488-0272/ or Latisha Gray at

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North Hennepin Community College, located at the intersection of 85th Avenue North and West Broadway in Brooklyn Park, has been a leading provider of higher education in the northwest metropolitan area of the Twin Cities since 1966. The college offers associate degrees in liberal arts and career programs to prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions or for immediate entry into rewarding careers. NHCC currently serves more than 16,000 students with credit and non-credit offerings and is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

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