The initiative will make it the first Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to partner with Operation HOPE’s One Million Black Business Initiative (1MBB), which will provide financial literacy, empowerment, and education for youth and adults.
“CAU students—and alumni— are ambitious, creative, and filled with innovative ideas. It is the CAU way,” President George T. French Jr. said. He also added that CAU is “the first university to join in this partnership formed to make a difference in the world of business for African-American entrepreneurs.”
Under the program, CAU will ensure that students, employees, and alumni have access to financial resources and other tools to support their growing businesses.
“Joining this effort to create one million black businesses while helping entrepreneurs in the CAU community aligns with our business school’s mission to produce alumni and entrepreneurs who are competitive in the business world. The 1MBB program provides opportunities for Black entrepreneurs to thrive,” French added.
This partnership bolsters CAU’s longtime commitment to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in Black students. The university was among the pioneers in creating a business-driven curriculum for people of color and boasts successful alumni in various industries.
1MBB started in February 2021 to fulfill Operation HOPE’s mission of promoting financial inclusion and dignity to underserved communities. The organization’s primary benefactor is Shopify, one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the world.
Through 1MBB, Black business owners will receive coaching sessions and educational resources. Shopify will also give them a 120-day free trial to use their services. Additionally, iHeartMedia Atlanta has also pledged social media promotions and advertising to selected entrepreneurs.
“HBCUs matter and the future of Black entrepreneurship matters. This is why we started 1MBB,” said Operation HOPE Founder and CEO John Hope Bryant.
“Through this partnership with CAU, we are accelerating the success of our future leaders. I’m looking forward to ringing the bell at NASDAQ for the first Clark Atlanta graduate who has benefited from 1MBB.”