Hillman Entrepreneurs Program

To say that the Hillman Entrepreneurship Program was significantly impactful on my life is an understatement. The program truly changed my life.

Wade Cassamajor ‘08

Allison Hismeth '16, Hillman Scholar and Smith School Graduate

David Hillman with Allison HismethAllison Hismeth began at the University of Maryland as a Hillman scholar, and and went on to graduate from the Smith School of Business. She is now a salesforce analyst with Bluewolf, an IBM company.

Allison is featured on the Smith School website in, Allison Hismeth '16 Looks Back on Her Smith Journey .

Our Mission

Our program's mission is to support, develop, and graduate ethical leaders who want to energize and give back to their local communities in their business pursuits.

Hillman alumna April Chaires
             (front left) with President Obama
Hillman alumna April Chaires (front left) with President Obama at Martha's Table in Washington, DC.

Our Founder

To me, an entrepreneur is a person who thinks out-of-the-box, questions the status quo, and tries to find new and better ways to do things. We want to give people confidence to fail, to try, to walk differently than anybody else.

People will be successful if they set high goals and aim to achieve them. It will make the world a better place.


David Hillman
Chairman and CEO, Southern Management Corp.

Our Impact

For some the gap is wide. Minority, first-generation and low-income students in particular face enormous challenges to successfully complete their education and launch viable careers. Helping these students reach their educational goals and become leaders in their communities is what the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program is all about.

Using all of the resources available to them through the Program—from internships and mentorships to team-building and one-on-one advising, as well as a strong foundation in the concepts and skills of entrepreneurship, our students are excelling.

About the Hillman Entrepreneurs

The Hillman Entrepreneurs Program offers a new model in education. Students who might not otherwise be able to afford a college education are now starting their college career at either Prince George’s Community College or Montgomery College and transferring to the University of Maryland to complete their degree in any major. They receive up to 2/3 tuition in scholarship funds. They also receive deep mentoring from full-time mentors at each institution. Students participate in community and team-building activities while taking classes in entrepreneurship and leadership.

The program supports students who might not otherwise be able to afford a college education, by offering community college students scholarships that help cover the costs of tuition and books and then supporting them in a seamless transfer to UM in pursuit of their bachelor’s degree.