Entrepreneurship Center

Entrepreneurship Center logo

Small businesses represent a high percentage of all employers and are critically important to the ongoing growth of our community and country. In 1990, the CCC Foundation received some specific donations, micro loan funds and grants to establish the Small Business Institute to encourage the formation of new, small businesses and to assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities. In 2020, the Small Business Institute (SBI) was rebranded to the Entrepreneurship Center.

The Entrepreneurship Center is an integral part of the CCC Foundation and CCC and partners with several local, state and federal development groups and organizations in providing services.

Business and Startup Coaching

CCC’s Entrepreneurship Center offers a variety of services for individuals and companies looking for technical or financial assistance in starting or growing their business. The Entrepreneurship Center offers coaching for small businesses and startups including business planning, financial packaging, and more. Coaching services are free of charge. 

Events, Workshops and Seminars

Workshops, seminars and other events are offered to educate and promote business ownership to community members and students. The rewards of being your own boss are great, but so are the challenges. If you want to own your own business, we offer entrepreneurship education to help you develop the skills needed to get started. You can learn about opportunity analysis, marketing, finance, taxes and legal issues, and even develop a business plan.

View Workshops 

Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers Program
This is a FREE summer STEM enrichment program for middle school students.

Every student deserves access to a better future. That’s why we’ve launched the Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers program– an engaging, hands-on program developed to enrich learning through design thinking, 3D printing, augmented reality, social entrepreneurship and mentorship. This program creates a more diverse pipeline for future careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields; no prior knowledge or experience is required.

The program takes place over the course of one 4-week session: June 3 - June 28, 2024 at Central Community College, Hastings Campus from 8:30am-4pm Monday through Friday.

Sign Up Now

Big Idea

Big Idea is a community business pitch competition organized by the Central Community College Entrepreneurship Center. This competition takes place each November. Ideas are submitted in advance and narrowed down to a group of finalists. Finalists then pitch
their idea in 2 minutes or less. Top ideas win access to professional resources to bring their idea to reality and cash prizes! This competition is currently open to residents in Hastings, Grand Island, and Columbus.

Big Idea Grand Island - Monday, November 4th, 2024
Big Idea Hastings - TBD
Big Idea Columbus - Thursday, November 14th, 2024

Incubator Space

The Entrepreneurship Center has a coworking and incubator space in Grand Island. The main purpose of the incubator is to provide space at an affordable rate for new small business start-ups and/or for small business owners that wish to grow and expand. The incubator serves as a launching pad for businesses until they are able to graduate to a market-rate location or outgrow the space.

Grand Island Entrepreneurship Center

Capital Loan Fund

Entrepreneurs who may require financial help with startup costs or cash infusion for growth, may apply for low-interest loan at the Entrepreneurship Center through the Capital Loan Fund. A client may receive up to $20,000 through the loan fund. Loans are reviewed and approved by a board of directors. The Capital Loan Fund is housed within the Central Community College Foundation. Contact the Entrepreneurship Center Team to learn how to apply.


For more information about the entrepreneurship center at Central Community College, contact:


Kelli Faltys
Columbus Innovation Center
1365 24th Ave, Suite 300
Columbus, NE 68601

Grand Island

Aimee Steinhardt-Duysen
CCC Entrepreneurship Center
407 W 3rd St
Grand Island, NE 68801


Entrepreneurship Certificate

A 12-semester-hour entrepreneurship certificate is included in the Business Administration program. You can complete the certificate as an area of specialization within the program or as a stand-alone certificate to develop entrepreneurial skills and develop a business plan.

12-semester-hour certificate