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You CAN expand your practical knowledge while nurturing your big ideas! The Entrepreneurial Studies Institute (ESI) offers the courses, programs, professors, mentors and resources you need to launch and grow your business. We’ll help you develop a comprehensive understanding of entrepreneurship and provide the tools to identify business opportunities, join entrepreneurial ventures or work for an established organization. ESI graduates are often in demand by growth-oriented companies wanting to incorporate entrepreneurial vision and innovation in their firms.

Who We Serve

Our students run the gamut of experience. Whether you’re straight out of high school, took a break from your education to start your business, or already have a degree: we’re here for you. Any credit or noncredit AACC student, regardless of their field of study can take advantage of the services and resources of the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute. In fact, while many of our students pursue an associate degree in Entrepreneurial Studies, more students earn a certificate in Entrepreneurship while studying to become massage therapists, personal trainers, electricians, childcare providers, restauranteurs, architects and more.

Are You Ready?

Our curriculum is founded on the concept of engaged learning, meaning it’s designed for students to be actively involved, but you should plan on taking it a step further. Prepare to be enthusiastic, collaborative, open to new ideas and willing to put yourself out there when it comes to learning. Our instructors and advisors serve as coaches who are eager to work with you. All have been executives, small business owners or entrepreneurs and know how scary and exciting it can be to start your own business. Know they will encourage you every step of the way, and if you hang in there, soak in the knowledge and try hard, you’re bound to see improvements in your public speaking, time management, negotiation skills and leadership.


Majors and Offerings

The Entrepreneurial Studies Institute offers an associate of applied science degree in entrepreneurship, and for students majoring in other fields who are looking for a value-added credential, we offer the six-course (18 credit) credit certificate or three course (9 credit) letter of recognition.

Already have a degree and interested in picking up a course or two? You’re welcome to enroll in a single credit course or choose from dozens of noncredit courses in business, entrepreneurship and technology that can help you better manage your books, write a business plan or set up your internet business.

Learn more about majoring in Entrepreneurship.


Faculty and Staff

No more theory-only instruction. Get ready to apply your learning to the real world and to your professional pursuits with useful, practical, hands-on information from faculty with experience as business executives and entrepreneurs. They not only teach, they coach and lead. Start your academic planning with an academic advisor, but if you would like to learn more about the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute or which offerings are best for you, we are here to help.

Department Chair

Carlene Cassidy
410-777-2161
cmcassidy@aacc.edu 
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Faculty

Dr. Anthony Baker
410-777-2061
aebaker@aacc.edu 
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Office Staff

Donna Sutherland, Office Manager
410-777-2390
dmsutherland1@aacc.edu 
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Resources for Students

Any credit or noncredit AACC student, regardless of their field of study can use the Hatchery, apply for scholarships and participate in the competitions.

Hatchery

Arnold campus, CRCS 326

Hundreds of students have benefited from the Hatchery’s fully equipped business library, private and work group spaces, conference room and computers loaded with software applications helpful to those starting new ventures. In addition to Microsoft Office products and the current term’s textbooks, you’ll have access to Quickbooks, Business Plan Pro and a color printer. Meet with classmates, network, work on your business plan, study or just stop by, relax and enjoy complimentary snacks with a cup of coffee or tea.

Scholarships

The Ratcliffe Foundation believes in supporting student entrepreneurs with their education regardless of the venture. Each student may earn up to the lifetime maximum of $12,000! Since its inception in 2003, they have awarded more than one million dollars in scholarships, internship awards and seed funds to several hundred students. Internship awards to cover costs not covered by scholarships are also available.

Learn more about the AACC Entrepreneurs Scholarship.

The Big Idea Competition

Each fall both credit and noncredit students compete for cash prizes for the best new big idea. The idea may be a new gadget, product or app, rethinking of an old process or a new possibility that could change the world.

Learn how to submit your big idea!

Business Pitch Competition

In AACC’s version of the ABC Network’s “Shark Tank,” credit and noncredit students who have successfully completed an AACC course in the last year compete for money to support their business venture. They present a comprehensive business plan and pitch their idea to a panel of judges. In spring 2018, nine businesses received seed funds ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 for a total of $50,000. One company received a one-year membership in the Hatchery Student Business Incubator and six new $10,000 scholarships were awarded. This competition provided over $100,000 for students!

View our 2018 Business Pitch Finalists.

Entrepreneur’s Club

Connect with other students, hear amazing speakers and participate in fun field trips to places like Under Armour, New York City, Hershey Park and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Guest lecturers speak on sales and marketing, creativity and idea generation, stress management accounting tips and legal issues. The Entrepreneurs' Club (E-Club) meets twice a month and participates in community service. Any student from any field or major can attend the meetings, join the field trips, and use the information in their business ventures. Officers are elected in December.

Helpful Resources

Questions?

We’re here to help.

Entrepreneurial Studies Institute

Carlene Cassidy, chair

410-777-2066

Send Email

Entrepreneurs Scholarship

You may qualify for a business scholarship of up to $12,000!

Learn more about the AACC Entrepreneurs Scholarship.

Apply today!