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Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), announced grant awards of nearly $2 million to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) — including $499,497 for Clark Atlanta University to develop a STEM entrepreneurship curriculum that increases student interest in the innovation economy at three Atlanta University Center Consortium campuses.

In June this year, MBDA invited HBCUs to propose projects that will achieve one or more of the following objectives: increase their ability to compete for and receive Federal research and development funds; establish partnerships with Federal laboratories and other technology resources; increase Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) entrepreneurship; and compete for Federal contracts.

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities served as the catalyst to creating the black middle class in America and will continue to be the incubator for minority business talent, innovation, and leadership. These important schools generate billions in economic impact annually and are engines for job creation in their local economies across the United States,” said MBDA National Director Henry Childs II. “These grant awards will provide seed money for these institutions to pursue innovative projects and to build more revenue-generating infrastructures to better serve our nation’s future entrepreneurs and workforce.”

All awardee programs are part of the 2018 MBDA Broad Agency Announcement, a new initiative this year. More than $13 million was awarded for 13 projects focused on Department of Commerce and MBDA priorities from resources that increase disaster preparedness and relief to programs that increase access to capital.

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