HCC wins coveted Bellwether Award for Entrepreneurial Initiatives

Mar 10, 2022


Houston Community College has won the 2022 Bellwether Award for its outstanding and innovative workforce development program: HCC’s Entrepreneurial Initiatives. The Bellwether Awards are widely regarded as one of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious recognitions for community colleges.

The Bellwether College Consortium, a group of colleges addressing the critical issues facing community colleges, made the selection from among submissions by dozens of colleges across the country.

An HCC team led by Dr. Maya Durnovo, HCC’s chief entrepreneurial initiatives officer, participated in a rigorous selection process. The team made a presentation and was judged over two rounds by peers and national experts in the field.

In their presentation, the team highlighted HCC’s mission of helping entrepreneurs start and grow businesses to bolster the local economy, create jobs and build Houston’s ecosystem by starting and growing small businesses, including minority-, veteran- and women-owned businesses.

In particular, HCC’s concerted efforts to serve underrepresented communities were described in detail. The selection panel heard about HCC’s myriad programs to serve the region, including the HCC Business Plan Competition, the HCC Small Business Success Series, the Digital Skills for Micro Entrepreneurs program, the Women Entrepreneurial Boot Camp and HCC Business Digital Academy programs offered in Spanish.

The team also described the large grants that support the small business community such as the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the Verizon Innovative Learning program for middle school children, the Open for Business Program for Women Entrepreneurs funded by Wells Fargo, Texas Workforce Commission and Capital One.

“Our goal was to demonstrate the impact of programs we developed at HCC and how they are supporting small businesses and the community,” Dr. Durnovo said. “I am so fortunate to have a highly motivated and passionate team that strives for excellence in everything they do.”

Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., PE, lauded the HCC team and emphasized how HCC is responsive to the needs of area businesses and their ever-changing workforce requirements.

“To receive this recognition is a great honor for the HCC family,” said Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., PE. “It is a perfect illustration of the huge impact HCC is making in providing high-quality workforce training that fuels our region’s rich and diverse talent pipeline.”

Learn more about the Bellwether Awards at https://bellwethercollegeconsortium.com/award-recipients.

To see more information about HCC’s entrepreneurial initiatives, visit https://www.hccs.edu/hcc-in-the-community/entrepreneurial-initiatives.

« Previous Article | Next Article »