Howard U. Secures $ 16.8 Million for Black Business Development in HBCUs and Communities

Black businesses and efforts to boost entrepreneurial education and opportunities at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the country and their surrounding communities recently received a $ 16.8 million boost from PNC Bank. through its PNC Foundation.

PNC is providing the five-year grant to the university for the establishment of Howard University and the PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship, which will provide entrepreneurship training and research serving the more than 100 HBCUs nationwide and promote business opportunities. entrepreneurship as well as support for minority-owned businesses in their communities.

“We recognize that small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, and ensuring the success of businesses owned by blacks, … minorities, women and veterans is essential to ensure a more diverse and inclusive economy,” said Bill, President and CEO of PNC. Demchak said in a joint statement with Howard.

One of the goals of the Demchak company, he said. is to bridge some of the gaps that black entrepreneurs face in operating a small business as well as access to money so they can grow their businesses.

PNC Bank, which operates in 2,945 branches in 27 states and the District of Columbia, is one of the nation’s largest banks, with financial services such as asset management, wealth management, estate planning, loan service and information processing.

While the main center will be located at Howard University in Washington, the program will include three other regional centers at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta and Texas Southern University in Houston, according to the release.

Each center will lead the efforts of entrepreneurs for the businesses and entrepreneurial programs of the HBCUs in their region.

According to Richard Bynum, PNC’s director of corporate responsibility.

“In addition to improving entrepreneurship training, the center will be an important resource not only for HBCU institutions, but also for the community as a whole in terms of innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, commercialization of technology and regional technological and economic development, ”Bynum said.

Howard President Wayne AI Frederick said the Howard Center will be an effective champion of interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial development within the African American community.

Howard University and the PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship will leverage these efforts in a more focused and collaborative way to serve as a national resource center for HBCUs to enhance entrepreneurship education and empower young black entrepreneurs, ”Frederick said.

Some educational programs, including those focused on leadership development, money management, technology and entrepreneurship, will be offered at the Howard Center as well as through virtual platforms with partner HBCUs, he said.

Among its other goals, the Howard Center wishes to help build the capacity of small black businesses by leveraging partnerships with local chambers of commerce and other institutions to provide mentoring and networking opportunities, he said. .

The center will also partner with black businesses to improve credit, increase access to capital, provide undergraduate and graduate students hands-on experience working with black businesses and entrepreneurs, provide access to technology that can increase the success of black businesses, provide access to university procurement processes and help apply for loans and access capital, the statement said.

The grant is part of PNC’s $ 88 billion community benefits plan announced in April. It will provide loans, investments and other financial support to benefit low and moderate income people and communities, people and communities of color, and other underserved people and communities over a four-year period.

The plan includes a commitment of more than $ 1.5 billion to support the economic empowerment of black Americans and low- and moderate-income communities.


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Rob M. Pratt

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