The Delta Regional Authority announced that six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including two in Arkansas, have been selected to participate in the inaugural HBCU Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative. The initiative will allow the expansion of entrepreneurial programming and support services for students and engage HBCU leaders, student entrepreneurs, and community leaders.
Among the schools selected were Philander Smith College in Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
The HBCU Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative will expand programming through a series of activities that will support the growth of minority-owned businesses on these Delta region college campuses.
“Entrepreneurship is one of the strongest economic opportunities for young people in our region, and this initiative is our way of helping our region’s HBCUs invest in the entrepreneurial growth of their students and thus the Delta communities around them,” said Chris Masingill, federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority.
Each school will receive up to $24,000 to help host a two-day workshop for technical assistance and rapid acceleration. The workshop is designed to teach both advanced and aspiring student entrepreneurs about resources and skills that are needed to launch and scale a business.
Students will also have the opportunity to pitch their ideas upon completion of the workshop. Winners will be selected to represent their campus and region at Founders Weekend, held at the Allen Entrepreneurial Institute in Lithonia, Georgia.
Winners will receive mentorship with successful minority entrepreneurs, business model development, technical assistance, and pitch practice leading up to the Founders Weekend.