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Atlanta nonprofit 'The Black Burdell' is changing the face of entrepreneurship with a one-of-a-kind scholarship

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Based in the Mecca of African-American-owned tech firms and the city that boasts the second highest percentage of African-American-owned businesses, The Black Burdell aims to nurture the many seeds of black-owned businesses. Founded by three African American Entrepreneurs from the Georgia Institute of Technology – Brandon Miller, Darren Sanders and Henderson Johnson II are utilizing their recently founded nonprofit to promote, support and cultivate black student entrepreneurs. In short, the nonprofit is a vehicle for young entrepreneurs to access to knowledge, resources and networks in an effort to efficiently build strong black businesses in our communities with the engine being their 'Cultivating Entrepreneurs Scholarship.'
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Photo: The Black Burdell “We were faced with a unique opportunity, as a Georgia Tech student I realized how passionate my peers were about their side-hustles – myself included. I would constantly read books, magazines and anything I could get my hands on to better my personal businesses, but so many of these resources featured businessmen that looked nothing like me,” Miller states about why The Black Burdell was founded, “That’s where Darren, Henderson and I came together; there was no reason why we couldn’t promote the genius that is our peers and the excellence that is their businesses. We wanted to build a supportive community where we all could help each other, similarly to Black Wall Street in the 1920s,” Miller added. When asked, “What is the hardest thing about being a college student and entrepreneur,” JD Noble of Savannah College of Art and Design - Atlanta responded, “Money and time. Both school and your business require a lot of each; you can’t run a successful business if you don’t have financial backing.” Noble also added, “There’s a ton of money that goes into getting a degree, you have to find time to stay on top of everything and ensure you’re getting ahead.” [caption id="attachment_38797" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
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Founders (left to right) Miller and Sanders in The Black Burdell's EntREPreneur t-shirts. Photo: The Black Burdell[/caption] Because of the dependence of time and money, on February 15th, The Black Burdell launched their Cultivating Entrepreneurs Scholarship to combat the financial burden of higher education and to reward those with an entrepreneurial spirit. Usually with education awards, there is only one winner.But not in this case. With the focus being on the creation of a business plan and pitch, every applicant is one step closer to creating a brand-new business or elevating an existing one – everyone wins. The scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students at the Georgia Institute of Technology or Georgia State University who are current or aspiring entrepreneurs. Applicants must submit a business plan, a video of their business pitch, have a 2.75 GPA and be of black, African, or African-American decent. Applications close on March 25, 2016. Visit theblackburdell.com/scholarship for more information.
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Student participants of The Black Burdells "Art of Business Planning" workshop sponsored by The Dragon Group. Photo: The Black Burdell Not confined by a scholarship, The Black Burdell, Inc. focuses on creating a community of minority student entrepreneurs through various events, workshops and online resources. “One of the toughest aspects of being a student entrepreneur is knowing what you don’t know,” Johnson (who also happens to be Mr. Georgia Tech) says, “we aim to crowdsource the knowledge of fellow entrepreneurs and not only teach current and aspiring entrepreneurs how to turn their passion into a paycheck, but to also be a support system for one another.” Georgia Tech entrepreneur, Michole Washington, credits The Black Burdell on influencing her to start her company, Afrimetic. “The Black Burdell’s workshops and resources were without a doubt an influential part of making my company… The support and motivation was needed and The Black Burdell stepped onto Tech’s campus right on time!” Washington added, “Afrimetic was just a blemish until The Black Burdell told me I could change the face of entrepreneurship.” For more information on The Black Burdell, Inc. or their Cultivating Entrepreneurs Scholarship, contact The Black Burdell via email at hello@theblackburdell.com [caption id="attachment_38799" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
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​Founders (from left to right) Johnson, Miller, and Sanders. Photo: The Black Burdell[/caption]
Brandon Miller is a 20-something-year-old, Chipotle-eating, 5K-running, barely-sleeping IT consultant and serial entrepreneur. I'd tell you where to find him but he's always on the move.
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