Feb. 26, 2019 – AURORA, Colo. – The entrepreneurial spirit is alive at the Community College of Aurora.
Jugbeh Doe-Smith, who recently completed CCA’s new Entrepreneurship program and currently works as an accountant in the college’s Fiscal Affairs department, was recently named the winner of the statewide Leading Edge Best Creative Business Plan competition. Doe-Smith received the prestigious award at the Leading Edge graduation ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion on Feb. 21.
Born and raised in Liberia, Doe-Smith immigrated to Aurora in search of a new life, leaving behind many of her friends and family. She earned an associate’s degree from CCA in 2013 and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado Denver four years later.
During her schooling, Doe-Smith often visited her homeland and it was during one of these trips that she felt compelled to make a difference. She found children in the marketplaces selling crafts, trinkets and household staples in an effort to earn some extra money for their families. Doe-Smith knew dozens of women who were industrious, hardworking, creative and willing but needed a helping hand to create better lives for themselves in Liberia. This experience, paired with her love for fashion, helped give rise to her business idea.
Doe-Smith purchases handmade clothing and other textiles from these Liberian craftswomen at fair prices, then imports and sells the goods in the U.S. at market prices to generate a profit. She went into CCA’s Entrepreneurship program with a number of business ideas but settled on this one because she wanted to make a difference in the world.
“Jugbeh is charismatic, bold and thoughtful, and the Entrepreneurship program here at CCA is so much better for having her as an alumna,” said Neil Pollard, a business instructor at CCA. “I can't think of a person more deserving of this recognition and I hope that the awareness that comes to her business as a result helps her to continue to serve her home country.”
The Entrepreneurship program at CCA is designed to give students the business knowledge, skills and resources needed to plan and start their own business. While going through the two-semester program, students receive step-by-step business guidance from professors and local entrepreneurs, spend time generating revenue for their business in the college’s on-site business incubator and receive seed and acceleration funding if needed. The program launched in 2017. That year, five new businesses were started as part of the program and those businesses generated $145,000 in revenue.
“This is a great program because you learn by doing,” Doe-Smith said. “Students go through the program in cohorts, so there’s friendly competition and tons of shared knowledge among the aspiring entrepreneurs.”
To learn more about the program, visit the CCA Entrepreneurship program page.
About the Community College of Aurora (CCA)
The Community College of Aurora (CCA) provides high-quality instruction and student support services to Aurora and Denver, Colorado. The college offers courses on two campuses, online and through its high school concurrent-enrollment program, helping students prepare for employment or transfer to a four-year institution. For more information, visit www.ccaurora.edu.