The Black Economic Alliance Foundation, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Bank of America announced plans to develop the Center for Black Entrepreneurship, the first-ever academic center to assemble, educate, and empower a new class of Black entrepreneurial talent.

Co-located on the Morehouse and Spelman campuses, the Center for Black Entrepreneurship is powered by $10 million in funding from Bank of America, which will support the development of an academic curriculum, faculty recruitment, co-curricular programming, and the development of new physical space.

“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 Black 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 Spelman College, the Black Economic Alliance, and Bank of America to educate and strengthen the entrepreneurs who will lead change,” Thomas said.

The CBE seeks to eliminate barriers among Black entrepreneurs, professional investors, and business builders by leveraging education, mentorship, access to capital, and opportunity. Its funding comes from Bank of America’s $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, which includes support to minority entrepreneurs, as well as a focus on education, jobs, health, and housing.

“I would like to thank Bank of America for this $5 million gift to Morehouse College,” said, Monique Dozier, vice president of the office of institutional advancement for Morehouse. “Many of our scholars come to us with an entrepreneurial mindset or having had some experience with the business. Morehouse has a nationally acclaimed business program that has launched students into careers at Fortune 500 companies, but we do not have an entrepreneurship major. This contribution will allow us to expand our offerings to meet the needs of students who want to create businesses and jobs in communities of color and achieve personal prosperity.”

Wendy Stewart, Atlanta market president for Bank of America, “Morehouse and Spelman are two of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges primarily serving the Black community and have some of the highest social mobility rates in the country. Partnering with these historic institutions will be instrumental in supporting our next generation of entrepreneurs that will ultimately create economic opportunity and generate jobs in Atlanta.”

In this Friday, April 12, 2019 photo, people enter the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta. The country's only all-male historically black college will begin admitting transgender men next year. The move marks a major shift for Morehouse College at a time when higher education institutions around the nation are adopting more welcoming policies toward LGBT students. Morehouse College leaders told The Associated Press that its board of trustees approved the policy Saturday. (AP Photo / Mike Stewart)

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