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Center for Commercial and Social Entrepreneurship

Founded in 2013, the Lenoir-Rhyne University Center for Commercial and Social Entrepreneurship (CCSE) looks to be the premier source for quality entrepreneurship education in higher education. The CCSE is complimented by two majors housed in the Snipes School of Business, Commercial and Social Entrepreneurship respectively. The CCSE provides opportunities for students to partner with professionals, and serves as a resource for organizations in all phases of development. Our experienced team does this by leveraging on-campus, corporate, community, and private relationships. The pillars of our program focus on creating an entrepreneurial culture, practical education, social responsibility, business development, and networking.

The program is rooted in the American ideal of free enterprise. The CCSE surrounds students, faculty, staff, and community members in an ecosystem of cross-disciplinary education, counseling, and funding. We do this with the sole intent of building companies and creating local and regional economic growth. Our incubator, housed on the Hickory campus, will raise as many as six companies annually. Companies will include for-profit, as well as, non-profit social enterprises.

The CCSE is directed by Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dr. Ralph Griffith. His vision is to build a continuum of support for businesses. This continuum is extensive: it begins as harmlessly as an idea written on napkin, progresses through feasibility analysis and business model creation, builds momentum through formal education and networking, the idea is immortalized in a business plan, incubated until the business is ready for the free market, surrounded with opportunities for funding, and lastly enters the market as a lean organization with an adept understanding of their target market and the gap they are filling in the marketplace.

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