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Governor Ron DeSantis Awards $1.9 Million to Expand Entrepreneurship Education and Training

Tallahassee, Fla. (September 23, 2022) — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis awarded $1.9 million to support entrepreneurship education and training programs at 8 state colleges and 17 school districts across the state. This funding will help students learn about how to run a small business and connect them with available opportunities in their area. The awards will create and support programs at colleges, high schools and middle schools. View the list of institutions receiving funding for 2022-23, here. To view the video, click here.

Florida’s education system is now the number one in the world for entrepreneurship education and training, with more than 20,000 students earning an industry certification in Entrepreneurship and Small Business (ESB), mostly since 2020. Florida actually represents about half of all ESB certificates earned in the United States, since the ESB certificate was first launched in 2017.

The ESB certification is a rigorous professional exam that validates the foundational-level concepts and knowledge involved in being an entrepreneur and a small business owner. Florida, by itself, has now even surpassed the world leader, China, in ESB certificates earned by students.

“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida has led the way in ensuring our students have adequate skills-based training through Career and Technical Education programs,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. “These programs are rigorous, in-demand, and allow students the opportunity to dive into a career quickly and without debt.”

These awards are through the Perkins V Entrepreneurship Education and Training Grant (EET), which is designed to help grow entrepreneurship-related initiatives across the state’s career and technical education (CTE) programs.Since 2020, $5.5 million has been awarded to 45 individual institutions. Florida’s Perkins V State Plan has committed to creating a robust entrepreneurial statewide ecosystem through its CTE programs. The plan recognizes how self-employment and the ability to create value contributes to Florida’s economic security. For this reason, the plan attempts to help all CTE stakeholders understand how to better support interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial ways of thinking and acting across all career pathways.

The EET grant funds a variety of initiatives, such as teacher professional development and certification programs in entrepreneurship education, development of student idea-accelerator programs, or start-up boot camps for budding entrepreneurs. The grant also helps underwrite the costs associated with integrating entrepreneurship education and training into all of Florida’s CTE programs of study. The grant aims to help school districts and colleges expand community and business partnerships to better connect.