Glendale Community College student-entrepreneurs receive seed funding for business.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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Kaitlyn Benincosa and Fahad Shakir, from Glendale Community College, have each been awarded $2.500 from the Everyday Entrepreneurship Venture Fund. Kaitlyn and Fahad received the $2,500 seed funding for their business concepts. The two student-entrepreneurs will also receive ongoing mentoring and advising from the Maricopa Small Business Development Center as well as Glendale Community College faculty and staff.

Kaitlyn is opening Belle Botanical & Creations, a business that creates permanent flowers and floral arrangements for weddings and events. Fahad is expanding an existing business, Falafel Avenue, a mobile vegan food concept.

Everyday Entrepreneurship Venture Fund (EEVF) is a program created by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) to help community college students start and scale their businesses. NACCE is fostering community investment through this program by matching local donations up to $20,000. 

Glendale Community College, along with 4 other colleges in the Maricopa Community College District participate in the EEVF program and support student-entrepreneurs by providing workshops, classes, advising and sponsoring pitch competitions.

Several Glendale Community College business faculty members have been instrumental in making this opportunity available for students. Dr. Gabriela Cojanu recruits and pre-selects students for the program and Brent Kleinman helps secure donations, including a $2,500 donation from the Encanto Palmcroft Benefits for the spring 2021 program. Gabriela and Brent also served as judges along with business faculty from other Maricopa colleges. 

The EEVF program will continue in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, making it possible for additional student-entrepreneurs to participate and have the opportunity to receive funding. 

For more information about EEVF, the Innovation Challenge program, as well as small business and entrepreneurship classes, contact Dr. Gabriela Cojanu at

Glendale Community College provides 41 Associates degrees, 61 certificate programs, and a range of non-degree offerings, all available to students in traditional, online and hybrid formats.  Founded in 1965 to serve the northwestern part of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, the college is part of the Maricopa County Community Colleges District, has two campuses and enrolls approximately 26,000 students annually, and employs approximately 1,000 resident faculty, staff, and administrators with an operational budget of $83 million.