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The Citizen Entrepreneur Explorer Program aims to teach students about entrepreneurship while helping them engage with their local communities. Community outreach is an aspect of the program that is heavily emphasized so students can understand the impact and dynamics of local businesses. Students are encouraged to think critically about what it means to run a business. We strive to guide students to conduct research that is relevant, purposeful, and bold! Research projects are specifically tailored based on each student's interests and bring to light the communities that they live in. 


Our Mission

We allow students to build cultural competencies while engaging in research on entrepreneurial ecosystems through small businesses in their local communities. Hosted at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY), this capstone course proposes research-as-education methodologies and project-based learning while enabling business students to explore their own communities in the spirit of entrepreneurship.


“We’re excited to learn from the research collaborations that are investigating this nexus, as well as to a more inclusive research pipeline that will continue to push us forward. As we all struggle with the very serious effects of COVID-19, we need research that informs our way forward, not to go back to how things were, but to achieve a more resilient and inclusive economic system that serves all of us in the future.”

— Sameeksha Desai, director of Knowledge Creation and Research at the Kauffman Foundation

Our Values

Research emphasizes the connection between the long-term decline in entrepreneurship and its effect on productivity and growth. Therefore, it is important to contribute to an economic model that saturates entrepreneurship into the economy, removing socio-economic barriers from budding businesses.


The decline in entrepreneurship in recent years is a concern for all of us, impacting our city’s economic growth and productivity. This project is a critical undertaking by the Business Management department in improving our understanding of this trend while also providing our students with invaluable research opportunities.”

— BMCC Provost Erwin Wong


SNapshot of our work

Central research questions include: Which local entrepreneurs are the most successful in 15 communities where poverty is the highest in New York City? How can this research be presented in the most engaging way back to the communities? How does student entrepreneurial self-efficacy change through this research process? How does empathy change through the Citizens Entrepreneur Explorers initiative?


“Because we are such a diverse population in the United States, the goal is to help fill that pipeline with a diverse group of scholars such as the population we have at BMCC. We want to cultivate them to be early scholars of entrepreneurship.”

— Shane Snipes

Meet Our Team

Shane Snipes

Professor Shane Snipes

Principal Investigator

Dr. Roderick (Shane) Snipes is a mindfulness and entrepreneurship researcher.  He has taught business and technology courses since 1996. 

Professor Snipes worked in nonprofit organizations for a half dozen years. He was the creator of six innovation labs for HP, Microsoft and Best Buy. He holds a Ph.D. in Sustainability Education with a focus on mindfulness and entrepreneurship education from Prescott College. An active member of the NYC startup community, Professor Snipes is currently the deputy chair of the Business Management Department and coordinator of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Degree Program.

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Tristan Rodriguez

Research Assistant

Tristan received his Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from Northern Illinois University. He is currently studying for his MFA in Film and Television Writing at Stony Brook University. He is passionate about inclusive story-telling and hopes to create his own TV show and film. He greatly enjoys the mentoring process and loves working with students on accomplishing their goals and creating new ones. 


Jessica Pitts

Research Assistant

Jessica received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Brooklyn College. She is interested in developmental psychology and plans on attending a graduate program in the Fall of 2021. She has a passion for student-led research and hopes to guide students within the Citizen Entrepreneur Explorer Program to conduct meaningful research about the businesses in their communities.