Conway Center Finalist for Outstanding Emerging Center Award


Universities and colleges committed to innovative entrepreneurship education were recognized for their outstanding programs at the 2018 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship (GCEC) conference in Chicago, Oct. 18-20. Now in its twenty-second year, the GCEC Conference was attended by more than 540 individuals from 250 top universities from around the globe, the most in the history of the organization.

Institutions specializing in venture creation and specialty programs, such as women entrepreneurship, were among the acknowledged. The award winners were selected through a rigorous nomination and evaluation process undergoing review by a panel of 35 academic peers. More than 100 university programs were nominated this year from the 250 GCEC member schools. Awards were presented in seven categories.

Smith's Jill Ker Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center was a finalist for the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center award. This award honors an entrepreneurship center that is 5 years old or less, and has a clearly defined target audience and purpose. According to Monica Dean, administrative director of the Conway Center, "we are so pleased to be recognized among the most outstanding new centers from around the world. Establishing a center at Smith College facilitates the engagement of our students in innovative and entrepreneurial experiences." This category was the most competitive with over thirty centers vying for top honors, demonstrating the importance many schools now place on equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset.

“Entrepreneurship has become a central and vibrant educational component at most top universities around the world. Universities play a critical role in global innovation and economic development,” said Brad Burke, executive director of the GCEC and managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Rice University. “The GCEC has been a driver of vigorous and innovative academic and experiential entrepreneurial programs. More and more institutes of higher education are recognizing that teaching entrepreneurial skills are key to the success of our students and the world’s future economy.”