HCC Entrepreneurial Initiatives office receives prestigious award for innovative minorities, woman business-training programs

Dec 6, 2022

The Houston Community College’s Office of Entrepreneurial Initiatives has received the Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education Award at the national conference of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.

HCC was the only community college to be honored from among the GECE’s 250 member institutions across the globe, including universities like Stanford, Rutgers, the London Business School as well as major Texas universities.

“This is wonderful recognition of our team,” said Dr. Maya Durnovo, HCC’s Chief Entrepreneurial Officer, noting the award nomination centered on the office’s specialty program for minority and women-owned businesses. “Our team has worked tirelessly in providing initiatives for minorities and women who are starting or growing businesses to gain the knowledge needed to become self-sufficient, build wealth and attain the American Dream.”

Over the past 14 years, the HCC Office of Entrepreneurial Initiatives has won $24 million in grants and developed 10 Signature Programs to support business community organizations. The office is also known for signature programs like its annual business plan competition, which has been running since 2008. It is also home to the Minority Business Development Agency, created by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2013.

Additionally, HCC has hosted the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program since 2010, providing instruction, advising, access to capital and access to an alumni network. To date, the program has graduated 930 small businesses.

Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., PE, lauded the HCC team’s responsiveness to the needs of area businesses and their ever-changing workforce requirements.

“Every day, HCC’s our highly motivated faculty are making a huge impact in providing high-quality workforce training that fuels the Houston region’s rich and diverse talent pipeline,” Dr. Maldonado said. “For HCC to receive this honor shows that we are a leader among our peers, especially in reaching out to underrepresented and underserved communities.”

Dr. Durnovo received the award at the GCEC national conference held in Las Vegas.

The GCCE was established in 1997 to serve as a key junction for university-based entrepreneurship centers at universities and colleges globally. It is headquartered at Rice University.


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