There’s a new center in town and it’s making history to support Black Entrepreneurship. Historically black colleges Spelman and Morehouse, along with the Black Economic Alliance (BEA) Foundation announced they were partnering to establish the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE) on Monday, Feb. 22.
According to a press release, the CBE will be “the first-ever academic center of its kind to produce, train, and support a new generation of Black entrepreneurial talent.”
The CBE will be located on both Spelman and Morehouse’s campuses in effort to bridge the gap between emerging Black entrepreneurs and critical resources. It “seeks to eliminate the access barrier between Black entrepreneurs, professional investors, and business builders by leveraging education, mentorship, access to capital, and opportunity.”
Leaders of all of the partnering institutions expressed their excitement at opening the center.
“The Black Economic Alliance is proud to partner with Spelman and Morehouse to bring this unique initiative to fruition, and we appreciate the anchor funding from Bank of America enabling us to launch the program. Together, we will grow a strong pipeline of Black innovators and create a robust ecosystem of entrepreneurial excellence in Atlanta and beyond,” BEA director David Clunie said.
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“Bank of America’s gift to Spelman and Morehouse enables our institutions to create a dynamic academic experience for aspiring Black entrepreneurs. Our students will learn to build strong businesses and create wealth for their families and their communities, all while obtaining a first-rate liberal arts education,” Spelamn President Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell added. “We’ll hire top tier faculty, support our students financially, continue to grow co-curricular programs that offer real world experience, and offer courses online for those adults who are already in the workplace. We appreciate Bank of America for its investment institutions that affirm identity, history and culture in developing the next generation of Black entrepreneurs.”
“Morehouse’s priority is empowering leaders to impact society, including entrepreneurs of color who produce new business models, create new industries, and disrupt the status quo as innovators, inventors, and paradigm shifters,” said Dr. David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College. “The Center for Entrepreneurship adds important capacity to support our work with minority-owned businesses and current or future entrepreneurs who are gaining access to capital, creating jobs, leveraging technology, and developing the products and services that enhance the standard of living for us all. We are proud to partner with Bank of America to educate and strengthen the entrepreneurs who will lead change.”
The CBE has received $10 million in seed funding from Bank of America for its work to develop a corresponding academic curriculum, recruit faculty and begin co-curricular programming. It is slated to begin official operations in Fall 2021.