PNC awards $2 million in grant money for NC HBCUs

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- On the first day of Black History Month, the PNC Foundation made a major investment in five Historically Black Colleges and Universities in North Carolina.

"At the core, empowering black entrepreneurs translates to business ownership, jobs and wealth creation," said Jim Hansen, PNC Regional President for Eastern Carolinas.

The PNC Foundation announcing the new PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative. It is investing grant money into the entrepreneurship programs at five HBCUs: North Carolina Central University, Fayetteville State University, Elizabeth City State University, Johnson C. Smith University and Winston-Salem State University.

"Some will introduce new programs. Some will be capacity-building opportunities and others technology enhancements," Hansen said.

Each school will receive their portion of the money during three years. NCCU said it plana to create an Acceleration Weekend that will bring together entrepreneurs, corporate partners community leaders and investors.

"Our African American students and our minority students will have the same opportunity to fulfill a business idea and be able to create innovative ideas that will last into the future," said Dr. Johnson Akinleye, NCCU Chancellor.

At Fayetteville State, they will use the money to build out their Entrepreneurship lab or E-Lab. Student teams will be able to compete for E-Lab funding to help fuel their businesses ideas.

"We're going to have the experiential classroom. We're going to have the workshop. We're going to have the maker space. We're going to have the team workspace. That's what PNC is allowing us to do," said Chancellor Darrell T. Allison, Fayetteville State University.

The grants will range from $282,000 to $719,000.
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