Professor spreads entrepreneurial fever
NAME: Carter Crockett
NOTABLE FOR: Teaching and encouraging entrepreneurship
By Taylor Bradford
In 2009, Carter Crockett not only left corporate and acadaemic America, but America entirely. He left to pursue a new and inspiring interest in entrepreneurship in Kigali, Rwanda. While there, Crockett co-founded Karisimbi Business Partners, a socially motivated consulting firm that offered management advice to Rwandan companies.
Though challenging, Crockett describes his time in Rwanda as one of the most influential and transformative years for his family andfor himself.
“Every day we got up excited by the opportunity to play some small role in this tiny country that had just gone through genocide and their ability to try to become the ones to watch in Africa for developing the fastest and getting the most people out of poverty. That exercise was inspiring in a way that made up for the exhaustion,” Crockett said in an interview.
As the founding director of Gordon College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Crockett has been able to draw upon experiences such as his time in Rwanda to create a space where students feel welcome and comfortable pursuing new and innovative ideas.
During the three years he has worked at Gordon, Crockett has helped students explore their passions by offering a variety of opportunities on and off
campus to bolster their creative ingenuity.
Programs include: The Social Venture Challenge, North Shore Open Coffee, Innovation and Social Enterprise Minor, Praxis Academy, Entrepreneurial Mentorship Program, International Seminar: Rwanda, Elevate, Women In Leadership Research Initiative and the Forrester Venture Fellows.
He said he hopes the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership can be a tool for any student from any department as he or she transitions into life after college.
“It is kind of a new and refreshing perspective that I hope that now that we have a center here, every Gordon student can take on a little bit,” said Crockett.
He also encourages students to not be afraid of failure. The world outside of college, or what Crockett calls “the big bad scary real world,” is full of uncertainties. But that should not stop anyone from pursuing something he or she is passionate about.
Crockett says, “You should try, struggle, fail and succeed in this setting as many times as you can to develop those muscles, so that when the big bad world really hits you are more prepared.”
Michelle Buettner ‘19, a Forrester Venture Fellow and budding entrepreneur, described Crockett’s impact during her college experience, saying, “Carter has
shown me what starting a business really looks like.
“He’s shown me the behind the scenes work that people rarely get to see. He has done so much for me in my journey and has helped me developed my ideas of what I would like to do for the future.”