Doherty Center receives Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers award

The Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship won the 2021 Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines honor for its Marketplace Under the Oaks initiative.

The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) recognized the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the 2021 Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines award during the GCEC annual conference, held Oct. 15-16 in Baltimore.

Female standing behind a table giving thumbs up sign
Marketplace Under the Oaks pop-up events on campus showcase student-led businesses.

The competitive award honors a university center dedicated to creating, advancing and enabling entrepreneurship education opportunities to multiple audiences and units across campus.

The GCEC recognized the Doherty Center for its Marketplace Under the Oaks initiative, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to encouraging entrepreneurship throughout Elon’s campus. Over the past year, the center collaborated with several key partners, including Elon’s Maker Hub, School of Communications, American Institute of Graphic Arts chapter, Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, Beta Alpha Psi chapter, Student Life, Elon Law’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Clinic, Elon Dining’s Harvest Table, Alamance Farmers Market and the Town of Elon, to showcase student-made creations and provide student entrepreneurs with free services such as promotional materials and business counseling. Products like jewelry, artwork and clothing from student-led businesses can be found on display in Clohan Hall’s Fountain Market, as well as at pop-up events on campus throughout the year.

“The primary goal of Marketplace Under the Oaks is to meet each student where we find them in terms of their entrepreneurial interests and take them from where they are to where they need to be, moving them along the entrepreneurial spectrum,” Alyssa Martina, director of the Doherty Center, says. She explains the Doherty Center launched the initiative to teach students from all disciplines how to unleash their creativity and bring their ideas to fruition through entrepreneurship and experiential learning.

Cabinet with items like photos on shelves.
Student-made creations are on display in Clohan Hall’s Fountain Market.

“Marketplace Under the Oaks is targeting a segment of the student population who are often overlooked at other institutions because they don’t fit into the high tech/high growth mold that many entrepreneurship programs pursue,” Martina says. “Our program welcomes all students, regardless of major, regardless of their ‘technology’ skills or expertise. We are an inclusionary network of creatives, visionaries, artists and foodies, and everything in between. Our mission is to support every single one of our creative students every step of the way.”

A committee of judges, led by past winners and GCEC members, evaluated award nominees on creativity of multidisciplinary approach, measured impact across campus, and diversity of partners and stakeholders.