Center for Black Entrepreneurship

Overview

The Black Economic Alliance Foundation, Spelman College, and Morehouse College have partnered to develop the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE), the first-ever academic center of its kind to produce, train, and support a new class of Black entrepreneurial talent.

The CBE seeks to eliminate the access barrier between Black entrepreneurs, professional investors, and business builders by leveraging education, mentorship, access to capital, and opportunity. By building on an existing culture of strong entrepreneurship programs at both Spelman and Morehouse, the CBE will help expand the ecosystem, grow the pipeline of Black innovation, and bridge the divide between the business and tech communities and the next generation of Black entrepreneurs.

BEA Foundation Webinar
Discussing the Center for
Black Entrepreneurship

David Clunie

The Center for Black Entrepreneurship will help close the opportunity gaps among industry, the investment community and Black entrepreneurs. The CBE will harness the multiplier effect of education, exposure, mentorship, access to capital and opportunity.

David Clunie, Executive Director, Black Economic Alliance

The launch of the CBE is powered by $10 million in anchor funding from Bank of America, which will support the development of an academic curriculum, faculty recruitment, co-curricular programming, and an online certificate program. BEA, Spelman, and Morehouse are actively engaging with additional business and philanthropic partners who will support the program financially and substantively.

About The Center for
Black Entrepreneurship

The CBE builds on the long history of innovative programming at Spelman and Morehouse, two of the highest ranking historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States. In addition to the students of Spelman and Morehouse, CBE curriculum will be available to students from Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse School of Medicine; and online portable certificate programs will be available to students from any school and even non-student entrepreneurs. The CBE will be located on the campuses of Spelman College and Morehouse College in Southwest Atlanta. Spelman will house its CBE site in its new academic facility, the Center for Innovation & the Arts, and Morehouse will house its CBE site within a new facility on campus.

KIPP Foundation Chief People Officer Valerie Hamilton

In order to support Black entrepreneurship, we need to support Black educational institutions centers of excellence. The Center for Black Entrepreneurship will provide a pathway for budding Black entrepreneurs to learn how to build and launch businesses and secure capital from a diverse range of sources.

Tony Coles, Co-Chair of the Black Economic Alliance; CEO of Cerevel Therapeutics

KIPP Foundation Chief People Officer Valerie Hamilton

Access to a solid network is just as important as access to capital. The Center for Black Entrepreneurship will be a dynamic academic center that fosters and develops the next generation of Black entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Charles Phillips, Co-Chair of the Black Economic Alliance; Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Recognize; Former CEO of Infor

The CBE curriculum aims to
teach students how to

Create a business

Launch a start-up

Evolve and translate a business concept

Acquire an existing business and/or reposition a business

Scale promising innovations into commercially viable products or services

Connect with potential investors, including venture capital and other sources of funding

KIPP Foundation Chief People Officer Valerie Hamilton

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. 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.

Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman College

KIPP Foundation Chief People Officer Valerie Hamilton

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.

Dr. David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College

In addition to a traditional academic curriculum, the CBE will include online courses to make parts of the curriculum accessible to a global audience to offer upskilling training to a broader adult audience. The CBE will also provide certifications in project management, data science, coding, and cybersecurity to empower Black entrepreneurs with the technological tools they need to succeed.

The CBE will also explore partnerships with Atlanta-based higher education programs, the broader HBCU community and schools that have prominent national models such as Babson College and Stanford University to provide co-curricular programming. As part of its holistic programming, the CBE will invite successful entrepreneurs and leaders from venture capital, private equity and other industries as guest lecturers and mentors, helping to create a stronger ecosystem among the investment community, emerging Black talent, and some of the most successful entrepreneurs in America.

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