UNCP gains membership in global entrepreneurship association


The Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship at UNC Pembroke has been accepted for membership in the prestigious Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC).


Mike Menefee

The consortium recognized the Thomas Center for its outreach into the local business community and the academic programs it has established at UNCP and its School of Business.

The GCEC is a professional association of international entrepreneurship centers that is a vehicle through which its members may collaborate and communicate. It has more than 200 members including several in North Carolina, including Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and NC State University.

Dr. Mike Menefee, the Thomas Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, said the membership is a milestone for the young program.

“This is the number one organization in this field,” Dr. Menefee said. “Membership is an important recognition of UNCP’s entrepreneurship programs.

“We have solid and growing programs, and this is a stamp of approval,” he said.

With its director, Dr. Carmen Calabrese, the Thomas Center advises new and growing businesses from its offices in COMtech and stage informational symposiums. The center was established by a gift from Los Angeles real estate developer and Pembroke native Jim Thomas. 

With Dr. Menefee on board, the Thomas Center launched an entrepreneurship certificate program, a minor for all students, and concentration for business majors, all at the School of Business.

The Southern Association (SACS) recently approved students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship.

And, four courses in entrepreneurship were recently added to the curriculum offerings of the Master of Business Administration or MBA program.

“The Thomas Center recognizes the correlation between economic development and entrepreneurship, therefore, we are committed to entrepreneurship education and to entrepreneurial development,” Dr. Menefee said.

For more information about the Thomas Center, please contact 910.775.4208 or thomasfamilycenter@uncp.edu.