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Central Washington University

Herbert B. Jones Foundation Awards CWU Historic Grant for Entrepreneurship Program

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Herbert B. Jones Foundation has awarded the Central Washington University Foundation the largest grant of its kind in university history—$460,000 for the College of Business to establish a new major in Entrepreneurship and expand a recently-created minor in that field.

The Herbert B. Jones Foundation, which is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, has shown strong support to CWU and the College of Business over the past decade. This new funding will have a significant impact on the university and the College of Business and provide opportunities to students from across the disciplines to pursue innovative ideas for new business development.

“CWU is a strong institution in our state and provides an excellent learning environment,” according to Michael Bauer, president of the Herbert B. Jones Foundation. “CWU provides a diversity of academic experiences and recognizes the need for students have a full experience (classroom and additional venues) to more effectively and efficiently participate in their current and future economic activities and ventures. Entrepreneurism will provide a strong focus for their experience.”

By growing and expanding Central’s Entrepreneurship major and minor, students can gain even more experience in this field and also meet the high demand for cross-disciplinary knowledge, Bauer added.

The Herbert B. Jones Foundation was established by entrepreneur Herbert B. Jones in 1990, with the misson to provide support of new business programs managed by post-secondary educational entities in the State of Washington.

“Any grant requires that important programs align with our mission [a belief that entrepreneurism and small businesses are the backbone for the strength of our economic system),” Bauer said. “Most importantly, it truly requires the effective understanding and leadership of the classroom experience provided by Professor Bill Provaznik and College of Business Dean Kathryn Martell; and the coordination and support of the CWU Foundation and University Advancement, led by Scott Wade, vice president of University Advancement and executive director for CWU Foundation. The grant is provided to the impressive team at CWU.”

Wade said the foundation and the university were extremely honored to receive the grant, which will be dispersed over the next three years and will strongly impact the CWU College of Business programs. He added that students with entrepreneurial intent will be able to focus on developing skills, perspectives, and relationships that make a successful entrepreneur.

Martell noted that by fall, approximately two dozen Washington businesses will be in operation as a direct result of CWU’s entrepreneurship program.

“CWU’s program, with its focus on business creation, is one of only a handful in the US that provide undergraduates with this experience,” she said. “The grant from the Herbert B. Jones Foundation provides us with the financial foundation we need to solidify the program and expand it to students outside of the business school. We are so grateful for their partnership and support.”

The Herbert B. Jones Foundation has been a critical partner with the CWU Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship since its inception, according to Provaznick, who is an associate professor in the CWU Business department. He said the grant will help keep the uniqueness in the college’s approach toward transitioning students into being entrepreneurs, and continue to make it the most productive in the Pacific Northwest.

“We are proud of our success in making business ownership a reality for students who’s backgrounds typically lack the availability of entrepreneurship as a career. With this grant, we will be able to reach more students and provide them opportunity and mentorship they need to launch their own businesses,” he said.

Media Contact: Scott Wade, VP of University Advancement, (509) 963-1494.

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