Atlanta Clark University partners with Operation HOPE to help create 1 million new black businesses

HBCU becomes first to officially commit to $ 130 million Shopify-funded initiative

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) today announced a groundbreaking partnership as the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to officially become a partner of Operation HOPE National Million Black Business Initiative (1MBB). The CAU’s commitment includes impacting the creation of 1,000 black entrepreneurs and business owners by 2030. Through 1MBB, CAU will engage students, alumni, faculty and staff to ensure they have access to resources and capital to successfully start and sustain their entrepreneurial efforts. 1MBB launched in February 2021 and is widely funded by Shopify, the second largest e-commerce platform in the world. The movement is part of Operation HOPE’s larger mission to promote financial inclusion and dignity, aimed at empowering America’s under-served.

CAU’s 1MBB partnership with Operation HOPE is a natural extension of the entrepreneurial spirit cultivated among black students. The Atlanta-based HBCU was among the first to establish an entrepreneurship-focused program and has a distinguished roster of alumni from multiple industries. Recently, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) at the CAU School of Business Administration was recognized for encouraging black-owned businesses in the Atlanta’s Startup Ecosystem Guide.

“CAU students and alumni are ambitious, creative and full of innovative ideas. This is the CAU method, ”said President George T. French Jr., Ph.D.“ We are proud to be the first university to join this partnership formed to make a difference in the business world for entrepreneurs. African-Americans. ” French added, “Joining this effort to create a million black businesses while helping entrepreneurs in the CAU community aligns with our business school’s mission of producing alumni and entrepreneurs to compete in the business world. The 1MBB program provides opportunities for black entrepreneurs to thrive. ”

According to the US Census Bureau, there are over 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the United States, Atlanta landing in the top 5 cities for black entrepreneurs. This initiative will continue to amplify the work of aspiring black business owners, providing them with top-notch coaching and education resources and a 120-day free trial, courtesy of Shopify. iHeartMedia Atlanta will also provide social media support and advertising to a select group of entrepreneurs in the future, with additional activations to come.

“The issue of HBCU and the future of black entrepreneurship is important. That’s why we launched 1MBB, ”said John Hope Bryant, Founder and CEO of Operation HOPE. “Thanks to this partnership with CAU, we are accelerating the success of our future leaders. I can’t wait to ring the bell at NASDAQ for the first Clark Atlanta graduate who received 1MBB.

CAU encourages students, alumni, faculty and staff to take advantage of the program. Interested participants can register on the 1MBB site using “Clark Atlanta” as the registration code. There is no charge to register.

About Clark University Atlanta

Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of the University of Atlanta (1865) and Clark College (1869). Clark University in Atlanta continues a heritage of over 150 years steeped in African American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences and high-value engagement. CAU cultivates high lives that transform the world. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, television and film producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway director; Jacque Reid, Emmy-winning television personality and reporter; Brandon Thompson, vice president of diversity and inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Recording Academy To learn more about Clark University in Atlanta, visit

About 1MBB

Launched in October 2020 with its founding partner Shopify, 1MBB aims to remove traditional barriers to black entrepreneurship and encourage more aspiring black business owners to start – and scale – by providing them with the tools, resources and the education needed to be successful. To level the playing field, 1MBB will focus on tools essential to business growth, such as technology and resources, educational programs and the ability to access capital. Through this program, black business owners can enroll in Operation HOPE’s award-winning community improvement, financial literacy and education model, with access to tailor-made tools and resources upon graduation. .

To learn more about 1MBB or to start your business, visit,


About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has shifted America from civil rights to “money rights” with the mission of ensuring that free enterprise and capitalism benefit the underserved, thereby disrupting the poverty of millions of people. low and moderate income youth and adults across the country. Through our community improvement model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year award from American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served over 4 million people and led over 3, $ 2 billion in economic activity to disenfranchised communities, transforming check-cashed customers. In / A bank customers, tenants to owners, small business dreamers to small business owners, minimum wage workers to living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims to financially self-sufficient disaster survivors. For more information: Follow the HOPE conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Media contacts

Jolene Butts Freeman, for CAU Lalohni Campbell, for Operation HOPE

[email protected] [email protected]

(404) 456-8371 (404) 593-7145

About Myra R.

Myra R.

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