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WNC Business

New agreement supports future entrepreneurs

Jan 30, 2024 08:42PM ● By WNC Business

HENDERSONVILLE – Entrepreneurship graduates of Blue Ridge Community College now have a certain pathway to earn a four-year business degree at Mars Hill University. The new agreement was signed by Blue Ridge’s president, Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, and MHU’s president, Tony Floyd, J.D., on January 29.

The new articulation agreement encourages graduates of Blue Ridge’s two-year Associate of Applied Science in Entrepreneurship program to continue their studies through MHU’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Leadership. Blue Ridge graduates can now transfer 55 credits toward the four-year program offered through MHU’s Department of Business Administration and Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The agreement joins the ongoing Promise Program between the two institutions, guaranteeing eligible Blue Ridge graduates admission to MHU. 

“In higher education, we ultimately strengthen minds, families, communities and the workforce,” said Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, president of Blue Ridge Community College. “Together with our esteemed colleagues at Mars Hill University, we are committed to creating a dynamic educational environment that will provide aspiring business leaders with the knowledge and experience needed for success.”

“Mars Hill’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership programs enable our students to get a jump-start on achieving tangible results in pursuing their entrepreneurial ambitions,” said Mars Hill University President Tony Floyd. “We’re excited to welcome Blue Ridge graduates into this unique program as they continue their education toward obtaining their bachelor’s degrees and toward realizing their own entrepreneurial goals.” 

The signing event was attended by officials and faculty of both institutions, taking place in Blue Ridge’s Patton Building.

“The entrepreneurship community in Western North Carolina is thriving and full of collaboration,” said James Heinl, assistant professor of business and executive director of MHU’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “This articulation agreement with Blue Ridge Community College is a perfect example of that rich community. We look forward to welcoming Blue Ridge students to MHU to continue their entrepreneurship education and supporting them as they launch their own businesses in WNC.”

Blue Ridge’s two-year Entrepreneurship curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and the skills necessary for success and growth as self-employed business owners. Students develop skills around decision-making, innovation, creativity, finances, marketing, economics, and technology. The program is popular among first-generation college students as well as those seeking a career change. Prospective students can learn more about Blue Ridge’s business programs, including Entrepreneurship, online at

At MHU, the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership offers a dynamic and innovative experience to help students develop the mindset, skills, and strategies needed to think like an entrepreneur. With experiential learning at the core of the program design, students gain extensive exposure to business partners and tackle real-world problems. Information about Mars Hill University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is located at

“This new partnership with Mars Hill University creates an excellent education pathway for future business leaders in Western North Carolina,” added Ben Kish, business administration faculty at Blue Ridge. “In addition to working for yourself, studies in entrepreneurship prepare students to work in smaller companies, organizations that serve small businesses and large companies seeking innovative thinkers. ”

About Blue Ridge Community College:

Blue Ridge Community College is a two-year, post-secondary institution that elevates the educational experience to prepare students for 21st-century success in the workplace or at four-year colleges and universities. Providing real-life, affordable, and accessible education, the College offers more than 200 degrees, diplomas, and certificates; more than 200 online courses; and fast-tracked job training.

About Mars Hill University

Mars Hill University is a premier private, liberal arts institution offering over 30 baccalaureate degrees, as well as master's degrees in criminal justice, elementary education, teaching, and management. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, the campus is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Source: Blue Ridge Community College