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Chevron Corporation Invests $200,000 in JFK University's Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership

Investment Supports the Launch of a Business Accelerator for the East Bay

November 14, 2011

PLEASANT HILL, Calif.  – JFK University, an affiliate of the National University System, announced today a partnership with Chevron that provides $200,000 to the University’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership (IEL) to support the launch of a Business Accelerator that will help student entrepreneurs start their businesses, create jobs and provide our East Bay communities a business resource center. The partnership was officially launched on Friday, November 11, at the University’s Kennedy Laureate Dinner at the Blackhawk Auto Museum.

The IEL’s Business Accelerator, to be based in downtown Concord, will house start up businesses of entrepreneurs participating in the IEL Certificate program. The center also provides space for students, resources and training for students enrolled in the University’s MBA program specializing in Entrepreneurial Leadership. Resource information and workshops will also be provided for local community businesses.

Through the IEL, entrepreneurs receive hands-on instruction, one-on-one mentoring, and access to investors, advisors and strategic partnerships. The Institute is also partnering with Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest group of angel investors, and the Contra Costa Small Business Development Center to maximize the strength of this Business Accelerator, creating resources to help young and new businesses principally in the East Bay.

Chevron’s donation coupled with a grant from the City of Concord will allow IEL to develop office space which will grow to nearly 6,000 square feet by early 2012. Eleven entrepreneurs from the IEL’s certificate program will start using the Business Accelerator as their new office this year. When fully expanded, the Accelerator will be able to house nearly 30 entrepreneur businesses.

“Chevron believes that investing in California communities is as important as investing in California energy,” said Linda Padon, General Manager of Corporate Public Policy, Chevron Corporation. “We are committed to supporting the building blocks of California’s economy and competitiveness—education, career and technical training and support for small businesses,” she added.

“Support from partners like Chevron goes a long way to speeding up the work of the Institute to help new entrepreneurs better succeed in launching their businesses here, creating new jobs,” stated Dr Raul Deju, Director of the Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership, in his remarks at the Kennedy Laureate Dinner. He added “This is a true example of a public-private partnership that is effectively contributing to our local economy by fostering business development and job growth.”

About John F. Kennedy University
Founded in 1964, John F. Kennedy University, an affiliate of the National University System, was among the first institutions of higher education in California committed to lifelong learning for adults. Today, the University’s three Colleges and Continuing Education division provide innovative higher education opportunities to more than 2,000 professionals who, despite a full range of life responsibilities, are determined to advance their education and improve their future. The Continuing Education division provides professional development education to more than 2,500 individuals per year. A pioneer of education that integrates theory and practice, John F. Kennedy University and its students touch the lives of more than 30,000 people in Bay Area communities every year through their support of outreach centers and public programs. For more information, visit www.JFKU.edu.

About the National University System
The National University System was established to meet the emerging challenges and demands of education in the 21st century. The System is uniquely aligned to connect a diverse population of students to a network of innovative educational programs that are relevant to their lives, careers, and the marketplace and are delivered in a format that respects competing life priorities. Dr. Jerry C. Lee has served as the System’s Chancellor since it was founded in 2001. In addition to John F. Kennedy University, the affiliates of the National University System are National University; National University International; the Division of Pre-College Programs consisting of National University Virtual High School and National University Academy; Spectrum Pacific Learning; and WestMed College. Entities related to the System include the National University System Institute for Policy Research, National University Golf Academy, and the Center for Integrative Health. For more information, visit: www.nusystem.org.

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