Cha-ching — that’s the sound of Black entrepreneurs going to the next level!

According to Howard Newsroom, PNC Financial Services Group Inc.’s charitable foundation has announced a five-year $16.8 million grant to Howard University to build the The Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship.

“This is a huge investment by PNC and it’s going to have a tremendous impact to address Black wealth and Black businesses,” said Anthony Wilbon, dean of Howard’s business school in an official statement.

The Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship is on a mission to equip Black entrepreneurs with both the education and resources needed to expand their businesses. This will also open the door to helping them create a network among other business owners and chambers of commerce.

“The center will be an effective champion of interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial development within the African-American community,” said Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University in a statement.  “I am grateful to Anthony Wilbon, dean of the Howard University School of Business, as well as to Barron H. Harvey, dean emeritus of the School of Business, for helping bring this idea to fruition. It was truly their vision and leadership that forged this partnership and will enhance entrepreneurial opportunities for aspiring Black business leaders.”

And, Howard University won’t be the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) benefiting from this initiative.  The institution will also work alongside other HBCUs in order to give the center a nationwide reach. Regional partners include Clark Atlanta University, Morgan State University and Texas Southern University.

“We are making significant progress on our commitment to support the economic empowerment of Black Americans and low- to moderate-income communities. The five-year grant to create a nationally recognized Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship is a major part of this pledge,” said Richard Bynum, PNC’s chief corporate responsibility officer.

As a part of PNC’s larger commitment to provide over $1.5 billion in funds to create “economic empowerment” for Black Americans, this donation is just one of the financial institution’s several plans to level the playing field.

PNC also has plans in motion to provide $88 billion worth of investments, loans and financial backing to several groups, which include communities of color and low and moderate-income communities.

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