Hundreds of Central Coast Students and Educators Participate in Global Entrepreneurship Summit

March 31, 2017
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More than 200 students, teachers, career counselors, and administrators from regional high schools met at the Hotel Corque in Solvang on March 17 for the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by the Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and the South Central Center for International Trade Development under the Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy framework of the State Chancellor’s Office.

The event promoted global awareness among student entrepreneurs and addressed implications for entrepreneurs in the new era. Participating schools included: Carpinteria High School; Central Coast New Tech High School; Channel Islands High School; Lompoc High School; Orcutt Academy High School; Santa Maria High School; San Luis Obispo Classical Academy; San Luis Obispo High School; and Templeton High School.

“It is an opportunity to open students’ eyes to the possibilities and to show them that they can take their ideas out into the world,” said Tina Bennett, a science teacher at Santa Maria High School.

Ray Bowman, global trade expert and Executive Director of the Ventura County Small Business Development Center, was the keynote speaker. Gayla Jurevich, Business & Entrepreneurship Center Director at Cuesta College, and Julie Samson, Executive Director of the SBCC Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Regional Director for the South Coast Center for International Trade Development were hosts.

“Our current business era requires entrepreneurs to be globally competent so they can recognize challenges before them and leverage the trends and opportunities,” said Samson. “It is heartening to see so many students, educators and administrators motivated to learn how entrepreneurs go global from industry leaders.”

The Summit, an initiative of the California Community Colleges’ Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework featured a panel of former SBCC and Cuesta College students who went global from the get-go. They discussed challenges and opportunities with being global entrepreneurs and answered questions from the students about their experiences with starting and growing a business.

“The amazing thing about entrepreneurship is that it can be applied to whatever you’re interested in,” panelist Rashelle Smith, SBCC alum and founder of Umbii, told the audience. “I wish I had known this was an option earlier on.”

Students attending had the chance to weigh in with their feelings about whether their education is on track with helping them start their own business.

Some expressed that they did not think enough computer science and technology was being taught in school. Others said they wish they had more advisors and educators with business experience, and some said student organizations were filling educational gaps in global competence and business education.

“Being here has helped show some of the ways that we can integrate entrepreneurship and green technologies into the curriculum we already have,” said Sheila Devine, an environmental teacher at Santa Maria High School. “I think we can help generate a lot of interest in entrepreneurship with our kids.”

Students at the Summit were encouraged to participate in the Scheinfeld Center’s upcoming business plan and pitch competition on April 28 – the 7th Annual New Venture Challenge. Registration is open to Santa Barbara County high school and college students.

For more information about the SBCC Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, including how to register for the April 28 New Venture Challenge, visit or contact Julie Samson at

About the California State Chancellor’s Office, Economic and Workforce Development Division: The 2017 Global Competence Summit is an initiative of the California Community Colleges’ Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework which invests in California’s economic growth and global competitiveness through industry-specific partnerships, education, training and services that contribute to a highly skilled and productive workforce. Visit to learn more.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation. It is composed of 72 districts and 113 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills courses in English and math, and prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.

About the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation: The SBCC Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation is a hub for entrepreneurial development within the South Central Coast community and is a resource for model programs for other California community college districts. The Scheinfeld Center trains global entrepreneurs using a comprehensive approach to academics, hands-on experience, and support. Participants can build their business in the classroom and shore up gaps in their entrepreneurial skillset through the Scheinfeld Center’s distinctive combination of coursework, business plan and pitch competitions, industry internships, no-cost business consulting, mentoring, networking, and post-start-up support through the Small Business Development Center. To learn more, visit or call 805.965.0581 ext. 3643.

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