The North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC) is seeking Greensboro-area college students who are interested in starting their own businesses, nonprofits or creative enterprises to participate in the Growing Entrepreneurs by Mentoring Students (GEMS) program.

Through a competitive application process, up to 20 entrepreneurial students will be selected and matched one-on-one with experienced entrepreneurs who will serve as mentors. In addition to mentoring, GEMS students join an exclusive network of experienced entrepreneurs and peers. The program includes meals and other events to encourage networking and information sharing among mentors and students. There is no cost for students to participate in the program.

Students participating in this year’s inaugural program come from a variety of fields in business, communications, mathematics, gerontology, sports science, nutrition and interior architecture. Mentors include successful business owners in real estate development, marketing, insurance, entertainment, retail, information technology, business services, fitness and more.

Here’s what a few of this year’s student participants had to say about GEMS:

“GEMS understands that I am an entrepreneur, someone whose idea-driven ‘wheels’ are constantly turning, and thus, has designed a program which allows students like me to thrive off the trait rather than be held back by it. I am learning more than in traditional classes because I am given the opportunity to discuss and delve deeper into the topics that truly interest me and get my heart racing.” – Emma Price, Elon University

“What?! A successful entrepreneur who is chosen specifically just for you, so that you can get the advice and consultation you would need to be successful in the future? There’s no other program out there like this!” – Linh-An Doan, UNCG

“The GEMS experience gave me more confidence to pursue my dreams, and also helped me gain more clarity concerning how to pursue those dreams” – David Newton, UNCG

“The GEMS program has allowed me not only to grow as a contributing member within the community, but has allowed me to gain confidence and understanding of my potential for future endeavors with the help of a successful business leader and entrepreneur.” – Sarah Lang, UNCG

Applicants for the 2013-2014 program must demonstrate entrepreneurial passion either through their academic and work experiences, programs and ventures they have helped to create and lead, and/or their career plans. To be eligible, students must currently be enrolled in any full-time program at UNCG, NC A&T, Guilford College, Greensboro College, Elon University, Bennett College, High Point University or Guilford Technical Community College. Students from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply by submitting a current resume, photograph, letter of recommendation from a faculty member, and a three-page essay describing their entrepreneurial interests and why they would like to participate in GEMS. Applications may be sent to

For more information, visit The deadline for applications is Friday, April 19, 2013.


By Mary Robinson