The National Center for Entrepreneurship to Be Established at Howard University

The PNC Foundation, the charitable arm of the PNC Financial Services Group, is funding the establishment of the National Center for Entrepreneurship at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The center aims to build resources and support for Black business owners across the country. It will support expanded opportunities for Black entrepreneurship with enhanced educational, leadership, and capacity-building resources and programs nationwide.

The center will be located on Howard University’s campus, but will also include programming at four regional HBCUs, which will coordinate programs, research, and other community outreach efforts at partner HBCUs across the country. The center will utilize a regional structure with Howard University, Morgan State University, Clark Atlanta University, and Texas Southern University, each leading one of four regions to allow for effective coordination of programs and activities across all HBCUs. A major focus for the center and its regional HBCU partners will be to expand access to entrepreneurship opportunities by engaging students, business owners, and communities of color in growing their enterprises, with a goal of increasing employment and wealth for students attending HBCU.

Another goal of the center will be to help build Black small business capacity by leveraging partnerships with local chambers of commerce and other institutions to provide mentorship and networking opportunities. The center will also partner with Black businesses to improve credit, increase access to capital, provide undergraduate and graduate students hands-on experience in working with Black businesses and entrepreneurs, provide access to technologies that can increase the success of Black businesses, provide access to universities’ procurement process, and assist in applying for loans and access to capital.

“Many HBCUs are already engaged in activities designed to enhance Black entrepreneurship within the university and within their immediate communities,” said Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University. “The Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship will leverage those efforts in a more focused and collaborative way to serve as a national resource hub for HBCUs to enhance entrepreneurship education and empower young Black entrepreneurs. The center will be an effective champion of interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial development within the African-American community.”

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