Founded in July 1985 as an interdisciplinary unit of the College of Business of James Madison University, the Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship (GCFE) creates and promotes academic, scholarly and experiential activities related to entrepreneurship, innovation, and venture creation.

In fall 2018, the largest gift in JMU’s history named the JMU Center for Entrepreneurship in honor of leader and philanthropist Leslie Flanary Gilliam (’82).


Our mission is to promote, foster and perpetuate an entrepreneurial mindset within the JMU ecosystem.


The Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship promotes entrepreneurship on and off campus to empower individuals and transform lives. Housed in the College of Business, the Center supports interdisciplinary programs within colleges and multidisciplinary collaborations across campus through active participation, marketing support, academic and entrepreneurial networks, and grant funding.

Principled Leadership

We believe that entrepreneurship leads to transformational change which requires visionary leadership and ethical, fundamentally sound management practices.

Business Viability

We encourage the exploration of entrepreneurship. We believe that interdisciplinary collaboration and sound business practices are critical to creating new opportunities and viable organizations.

Collaborative Network

We value the exchange of diverse views and experiences. We seek to foster a vibrant community of JMU students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are actively engaged in building healthy enterprises and growing economies where they work and live.

Back to Top