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Three HBCUs in Atlanta Received $5M From Cisco To Empower the Next Generation Of Black Entrepreneurs

Three HBCUs in Atlanta Received $5M From Cisco To Empower the Next Generation Of Black Entrepreneurs

We see you, AUC!

Leading technology company, Cisco, recently committed $5 million to AUC schools to empower the next generation of Black entrepreneurs, PRNewswire reports.

Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University are the HBCUs that make up the Atlanta University Center (AUC). Spelman is where notorious Black women like Sydney Wilson, the 14-year-old student that made the dean's list, and Mary-Pat Hector, the youngest woman to run for office in Georgia, attended. Morehouse gave us determined Black men like Atlanta Public School’s youngest principal, Dr. Dominique Merriweather. It even made history as the first HBCU to have a polo team! Earlier this year, Clark Atlanta University received $11.8 million to further digital education, and entrepreneur Pinky Cole gave out LLCs to the entire graduating class of 2022. The AUC continuously produces excellence and redefines the meaning of higher education for Black students. Now, with a recent $5 million commitment from technology company Cisco, they can support the next generation of Black Atlanta students looking to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. 

AUC Atlanta University Center Cisco $5 Million


President of the BEA Foundation, Samantha Tweedy, said, "The Center for Black Entrepreneurship and the BEA Entrepreneurs Fund are tangible solutions to advance work, wages, and wealth across the Black community, we're thankful to Cisco for their generous support and strategic partnership in advancing the vision of the CBE and investing in Black entrepreneurs who will multiply prosperity for our community and, in doing so, grow the American economy."

Helene Gayle, MD, MPH, President of Spelman College, expressed her gratefulness saying, "We're proud to be a partner in launching the Center for Black Entrepreneurship, a collaborative effort that will help prepare tomorrow's visionary entrepreneurial leaders. Black women have been the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, and Spelman College has had a rich history of developing Black female entrepreneurs that are making their mark on the world. We are grateful for the commitment from Cisco that will continue to fuel our entrepreneurial legacy well into the future."

This week, Clark Atlanta University and the nonprofit organization that promotes generational wealth building in Black families, the Black Economic Alliance Foundation (BEA Foundation), announced the funding partnership. Together, they aim to empower students who plan to become entrepreneurs. These funds will catalyze the development of the center's graduate-level programming at Clark Atlanta University and advance the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE). $4 million of the funds will go towards grants and direct technical services toward the development of the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE), and $1 million towards the BEA Entrepreneurs Fund. Cisco will also donate technology products and services valued at over $1 million to all three institutions.

Fran Katsoudas, Chief People, Policy and Purpose Officer and Executive Vice President at Cisco, was pleased to say, "Preserving the legacy and sustainability of Historically Black Colleges and Universities is a global, company-wide priority for us. By supporting the Center for Black Entrepreneurship launch and establishing the BEA Entrepreneurs Fund, Cisco hopes to inspire Black entrepreneurs of the future from three of our nation's most prestigious HBCUs, putting our social justice beliefs into action. Today's announcement is part of Cisco's unique, sustaining commitment of over $150 million as part of our partnership with HBCUs across the country, strengthening our workforce and providing access to education and technology."

This funding ensures AUC students will continue to grow into greatness. We love to see it!

Photo: AJC