Cornell University Students Pitching In to Help Black Small Businesses

Arianna Kohilakis, a junior in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, established Empower, a new student-led initiative that connects Black-owned businesses with undergraduate student volunteers who offer their time and talent to support business operations or projects.

Participating businesses who request assistance are matched with student volunteers within 48 hours. Empower provides a platform for student volunteers to support the Black business community by completing tasks and projects related to social media account management website design and development photography and graphic design. Students have also worked on strategic assignments including branding business development and accounting

Since many of Kohilakis’ peers were without summer internships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Empower created an opportunity for volunteers to make a difference in supporting the Black community while obtaining valuable business experience

“From helping to plan coding boot camps specifically for Black youth in underprivileged areas to formulating the launch strategy for makeup subscription boxes that cater to individual skin tones and beauty needs Cornellians’ skillsets are being used to drive a movement,” Kohilakis said.

Since Empower launched in early June it has matched more than 125 Cornell undergraduate students to projects with Black-owned businesses.

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Tuajuanda Jordan to Retire From the Presidency of St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Dr. Jordan has led St. Mary's College of Maryland for the past 10 years. She has previously held faculty and leadership positions with Xavier University of Louisiana, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Lewis & Clark College.

The White House Releases Report on “The Economics of HBCUs”

The report found that although HBCUs account for less than 3 percent of all higher education institutions in the United States, they have 8 percent of all Black undergraduate student enrollments and produce 13 percent of all bachelor's degrees earned by Black students.

Ronald S. Rochon Named President of California State University, Fullerton

Dr. Rochon has been serving as president of the University of Southern Indiana, where he has worked for the past 14 years. Prior to his promotion to president in 2018, he served as the university's provost for eight years.

Survey Finds Over a Third of Black College Students Have Experienced Bias on Campus

A new survey from educational consulting firm EAB, has found 34 percent of Black college freshman have experienced racial bias on campus. Additionally, 36 percent of all participants stated they had witness some form of racial discrimination during their first year of college.

Featured Jobs