Morgan State and Howard Universities have collaborated with the PNC Foundation to launch a new business hub and pop-up market. It encourages Black students to realize their entrepreneurial dreams by providing the resources and education needed to start and maintain their businesses successfully.
The hub culminates millions of dollars in investment and months of planning to be one of three nationwide looking to increase Black-owned businesses.
The dean of Howard University School of Business said the collaboration would long-term affect Black people in the business realm and the Black community.
According to Black Enterprise, Anthony Willburn said, “Entrepreneurship is the engine of this nation. Our students and alumni are entrepreneurs by nature and really embrace the concepts of what it means to start up and run a business.”
“Some of our students go on to become entrepreneurs themselves, while others find entrepreneurship concepts useful within corporate jobs. We’ve been trying to support their passion and interest in entrepreneurship as much as possible.”
Morgan State University’s Dr. Mary Foster told CBS News these resources could level the playing field for potential Black business owners.
“There are many rich resources already out there, so we want to not reinvent the wheel, not duplicate things,” Foster said.
The program also includes novice business owners like Cierra Jones, a West Baltimore native and Noble Gems Community Health Services owner. She recently completed Morgan State and PNC’s business hub as part of the collaboration. Jones believes the resources provided and relationships made through the hub produce invaluable experiences.
“It’s deeper than a Google search, it’s deeper than what you can find in a dictionary or encyclopedia, right, or even a newspaper,” she said.
“It’s about having access directly handed to you or having those direct relationships with the most important people that can bring you those resources and direct you to the right opportunity.”
Morgan State, alongside its HBCU partners and the PNC Foundation, will host its inaugural conference for Black entrepreneurship on June 14-16 in Washington, D.C.