ATLANTA – Spelman College and Morehouse College will host the new Center for Black Entrepreneurship, the sibling colleges announced on Monday.
Thanks to a two-year Bank of America grant of $ 10 million, the schools will launch the first academic program of its kind to train and develop a generation of African American business owners and business leaders on the grounds of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs ). In collaboration with the Black Economic Alliance, the two colleges and Bank of America aim to remove barriers to opportunity and build a pipeline to entrepreneurship through education, mentoring and access to capital.
The Center for Black Entrepreneurship teaches students how to set up a business, set up a startup, develop and translate a business concept, acquire or reposition an existing company, convert promising innovations into economically viable products, and connect with venture capital institutions.
The program will also offer certifications in areas such as cybersecurity, coding, project management and data science, and offer a global curriculum through virtual learning platforms.
Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College, said the scholarship will improve both schools’ already exemplary educational opportunities.
Mary Schmidt Campbell, President of Spelman College
“Bank of America’s gift to Spelman and Morehouse enables our institutions to create a dynamic academic experience for aspiring black entrepreneurs,” said Schmidt Campbell. “Our students will learn to build strong businesses and create wealth for their families and communities while receiving world-class education in the liberal arts.”
In addition to transforming the educational environment, the program gives both colleges – encouraging their students to get involved in their communities – an opportunity to build businesses that can build the neighborhoods that students serve in school and after graduation want.
David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College, said the Center for Black Entrepreneurship “adds critical capacity to support our work with minority-owned companies and current or future entrepreneurs who have access to capital, create jobs, use and technology Developing products and services that improve the standard of living for all of us. “
The CBE, which will be located on the all-female college campus, will incorporate some of the pre-existing curricula and pro-business programs such as Spelpreneur and the Innovation Lab that are part of Spelman’s Department of Commerce. Many students visit the all-male Morehouse next to Spelman for its prestigious business program, hoping to incorporate what they have learned into their own startup companies.
“Many of our academics come to us with an entrepreneurial mindset or have experience of the business,” Monique Dozier, vice president of institutional advancement, said in a statement. “Morehouse has a nationally recognized business program that has introduced students into careers at Fortune 500 companies, but we do not major in Entrepreneurship. This post allows us to expand our offerings to meet the needs of students who are Businesses and jobs want to create in communities of color and achieve personal wealth. “
The funding for the development of the CBE is part of Bank of America’s $ 1 billion four-year commitment to promoting economic opportunity and racial equality. This initiative includes a contribution to support entrepreneurship, professional and professional development, education, health care and housing.
Bank of America recently announced that it is investing $ 150 million in 40 private funds targeting minority entrepreneurs to fill the persistent gap in access to growth capital for minority-led companies, including the in Atlanta-based Fearless Fund is owned by.
Spelman graduate Cynthia Bowman, who is responsible for Talent Acquisition and Inclusion Talent Acquisition for Bank of America, knows firsthand how the two HBCUs have helped both the students who graduate and the respective communities in which students have studied and joined after graduation.
“This collective partnership will help remove existing barriers by providing unique opportunities for black entrepreneurs that will ultimately fuel innovation and economic mobility for blacks within the next generation,” she said.