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HBCUs Collaborate on $130M Economic Initiative to Energize Southern Cities

Dr. Ray Belton, courtesy of Southern University and A&M College

(By Vanessa Roberson for HBUBuzz) Businesses and communities across the southern U.S. affected adversely by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a huge boost from a new partnership that includes nine historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) and seven cities. Get the full story from Chris Burt at University Business.

The Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative, led by the Hope Enterprise Corporation and with a potential $130 million infusion from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, is aiming to empower small businesses while kickstarting job growth in areas that have been beset by “poverty and racial disparities” during the past year.

Colleges and universities taking part in the initiative will be asked to provide their expertise in a number of areas, including strategic business planning, marketing guidance and procurement opportunities, according to the DSEMC. The chance to collaborate on a mission that will boost the collective economic power of Birmingham, Montgomery, Little Rock, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jackson and Memphis along with entrepreneurs was a no-brainer for HBCUs, who also have so much to gain.

“Southern University and A&M College is excited for the opportunity to partner with national leaders to advance small business opportunities for Black entrepreneurs in our community,” said Southern University and A&M College President-Chancellor Dr. Ray Belton. “As an anchor institution, we are poised to assist thousands of Black and women-owned businesses.”

The other eight institutions that will be assisting in this enormous economic mobility effort include Alabama State University, Miles College, Philander Smith College, Southern University and A&M College, Xavier University, Dillard University, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and LeMoyne-Owen College. Read more here.

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