DURHAM – Five of North Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) will receive $150,000 grants from the private foundation NC IDEA, the organization announced today.

Under what Thom Ruhe, president and CEO of NC IDEA, called a partnership, the grant funds are a call to “expand equitable economic empowerment with entrepreneurship.”

The grants were made under the leadership of the organization’s North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council, NC BEC.

“Equitable entrepreneurship is vital to our economic recovery,” said Ruhe in a statement.  “Partnering with these five institutions creates greater opportunities for access, exposure and networks for our state’s historically underserved population,” he added.

The five accredited HBCUs receiving grants are:

  • Elizabeth City State University – Elizabeth City, NC
  • Fayetteville State University – Fayetteville, NC
  • North Carolina Central University – Durham, NC
  • Shaw University – Raleigh, NC
  • Winston-Salem State University – Winston-Salem, NC

NC IDEA announces 20 grant recipients at annual event, putting $2.3M into NC economy

Strengthening the NC economy

The five recipients were selected following a competitive process.  According to the organization, the process allowed any accredited North Carolina-based HBCU to submit proposals “supporting the entrepreneurial potential of students, faculty, alums, and the communities they serve.”

“These grants will help to strengthen North Carolina HBCUs ecosystems,” said Terik Tidwell, Director of Inclusive Innovation at VentureWell and member of the Executive Committee of the NC BEC. “The Council looks forward to supporting entrepreneurship and innovation on the campuses of these exceptional institutions,” Tidwell added in a statement.

In November, NC IDEA announced that it would make 20 additional grants in the fourth quarter, totaling $2.3 million that would be invested into the state’s economy.

The private nonprofit foundation announced it would form the NC BEC in 2020, launching the council later that year.  To date, the NC Black Entrepreneurship Council has distributed more than $2 million in grants “to organizations, institutions, and companies, to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations and economic potential of North Carolina’s Black community,” a statement notes.

NC IDEA names 25 leaders from across state to NC Black Entrepreneurship Council