Forty years can change the course of history, make an impact on people’s lives, and create value for the future. Our Founder, Dr. Cathy Ashmore, was a visionary who believed every student should learn how to start a business and that entrepreneurial educators and the entrepreneurial mindset are critical components of the education system. Dr. Ashmore founded the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education in 1980, now known as EntreEd — the National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, with her motto, “Connect, Learn, Inspire.” It is these words that have guided EntreEd to be a leader in the field of entrepreneurship education, and will continue to be a catalyst for change for all students in grades K-12.
Among Dr. Ashmore’s countless achievements was her creation of the National Entrepreneurship Content Standards and her advocacy at the national and state educational political arena to encourage the growth and development of entrepreneurship in the classroom. She was the compass that guided groups across the nation to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems, and form communities of supporters so that young persons could make an impact in the small business economy.
Dr. Ashmore’s legacy reached globally, as she worked in Poland alongside Lech Walesa to teach former union members to be entrepreneurs after the fall of communism. She worked with marginalized youth in South Africa during the time that Nelson Mandela was establishing a new nation, as well as with advocacy groups in Hungary and Romania. She helped change the lives of students everywhere! In 2004, she was instrumental in working with the US Congress to establish National Entrepreneurship Week, which continues to be celebrated annually during the third week of February.
In her career, Dr. Ashmore was widely celebrated and honored by countless organizations including the Coleman Foundation, her Alma Mater – The Ohio State University, the United States Association of Small Business Enterprise Lifetime Achievement Award, and many more. For inspiration, watch her keynote address at the 2011 Future for Entrepreneurship Education Summit at the University of Central Florida.
EntreEd Board Treasurer, Horace Robertson, notes that “Cathy’s mantra was ‘The entrepreneurs of tomorrow are in our schools today.” We honor Dr. Ashmore — her vision, intellect and leadership, and as an organization, continue to share her passion and belief in providing every student with the opportunity to create their future.
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