Exploring entrepreneurial ecosystems across the pond

As Carolina students quickly learn after setting foot on campus in Chapel Hill, entrepreneurship isn’t just something you learn about in class. It’s something that you go and do. With scholarship support from the Innovate Carolina Dreamers-Who-Do Program and the UNC Campus Y, more students had the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship not only outside of Chapel Hill, but outside the country.

In the summer of 2017, a team of UNC students were granted the chance to explore leaders, innovation, communities and social capital as they traveled throughout the European world. During this two-week trip, students visited Prague, Vienna and Dresden, while gaining exclusive access to Impact HUBs and innovation centers in these diverse cities. The cities were chosen due to their rich histories, culture climates and vibrant entrepreneurial settings. By the conclusion of the trip, these students were able to answer the following questions:

• How do communities innovate?

• How do you mobilize a community?

• What are the most effective leadership styles for community innovation?

• How does culture affect innovation?

• How do innovators utilize the Social Change Model?


Reflections from Hub Crawl Scholars

Diamonde Henderson (BSBA '19)

“Participating in the Impact HUB Crawl was the most impactful experiences of my life up to this point. I grew as an individual, as an entrepreneur, and as a citizen.

Before journeying to Eastern Europe, I’d been neglecting promises to myself to effect change… [but while at] Impact HUB Praha mapping out my passions and my method of execution, I experienced my moment of obligation.

I’ve kept the promise I made to myself long ago and followed through on the new promises I made to my growth. I’ve also started an e-commerce business with one of the members of our group and am currently allocating a portion of our profits towards The Keloid Research Foundation.”


Dezbee McDaniel (BA '18)

“I really appreciated this trip because I learned so much about international innovation and just how different things are in different places.

Also, the cohort of people that I was with was such a group of spectacular and driven people. Interacting with and getting to know them was inspirational in itself and has actually pushed me to start a mentoring program at my high school, which is 100 percent economically disadvantaged.

I would not have been able to take advantage of this opportunity without the financial assistance I was granted. So I am very grateful that it was made accessible and motivated me so much.”

Hub Crawl Quotables

“I value… the deeper understanding of what it means to be a global citizen. This sense of a shared stake in the welfare of humanity is what will drive me to be a better global citizen…”

Kelley on the program experience

“My moment of obligation came upon realizing how my educational pathway welcomed opportunities  that others in my own neighborhood will perhaps never access.  Now it is because of my education that I can increase my capacity to uplift and empower my community.”

Karla on economic inequality in Dallas

I was pretty well educated on the [the issues and their] impacts to our state prior to this class, but I had not been educated on the legitimate frameworks needed to construct possible answers…”

Eugenia on hog waste in North Carolina

“[After this program] I have noticed a different way of thinking about this issue as a whole. Now, the problem has become much more holistic in my mind; it is part of a complex ecosystem of Chapel Hill.”

Madison on lack of access to healthy food