A new entrepreneurial center is coming to Atlanta in efforts to help Black-owned businesses foster growth, Black Enterprise reported.
Dubbed the Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (RCIE)—which is named after the late Herman J. Russell who founded America’s largest Black-owned construction firm—the center will help aspiring entrepreneurs of color bring their business ideas to fruition by providing them with the necessary tools and resources, the news outlet writes. It will also aid seasoned business owners in developing new strategies to grow their companies.
The center—which is slated to open its doors in 2019—was created to promote Black economic growth. Aware of the barriers that Black entrepreneurs face when trying to gain access to capital, the center will develop partnerships with angel investors and financial institutions to provide financial backing for businesses. In June, RCIE will launch a $10 million fundraising campaign to build a state-of-the-art space that fosters innovation and creativity.
James Bailey, CEO of RCIE, says that the center will be a hub for the creation of Black wealth. “The RCIE exemplifies black people owning and controlling the narrative for economic development, economic empowerment, and entrepreneurship for Black people,” Bailey told Black Enterprise. “We will harness resources to create an ecosystem designed to propel businesses forward and connect the next generation of revolutionary entrepreneurs to the tools and relationships needed to turn dreams into reality.”
The plan for the center comes at a time where Atlanta has a thriving population of Black entrepreneurs. Several initiatives have been launched across the country to support the growth and development of Black-owned businesses. In Harlem, a collective called Harlem Capital Partners was established to invest in businesses created by at least 1,000 diverse entrepreneurs over the next two decades.