Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship gets help from Chick-fil-A

New center for Black entrepreneurs garners support from Chick-fil-A, many others

RCIE Passes

Halfway Mark for Second Phase of Initial Fundraising Campaign

New center for Black entrepreneurs garners support from Chick-fil-A, many others

ATLANTA (Sept. 3, 2020) – The Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE) — Atlanta’s home for Black entrepreneurs — has surpassed the halfway point of its $10 million goal for Phase II of its Beyond Innovation Campaign.

Launched in 2019, RCIE supports Black entrepreneurs in turning ideas into enterprises, offering education, mentorship, place and space, and access to networks and capital. Phase I of the organization’s fundraising campaign was met with success and completion of a $12 million capital raise. Phase II has garnered more than $5 million to date from top donors like Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, which committed $1 million over the next three years to support the Center’s programming.

“During this time in which ensuring equitable opportunity for Black-owned businesses has never been more critically discussed, RCIE is boldly engaging in the work of expanding the possibilities for African-American entrepreneurs in Atlanta and beyond,” said Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Chick-fil-A.

Additional top donors to Phase II of the campaign include the U.S. Department of Energy, Truist Foundation, Accenture, JPMorgan Chase and Sylvia Russell. Contributions also came from corporate donors Google, the Clorox Company Foundation and Taylor English, and from Noel Kahlil, T. Dallas Smith, Iris and Bruce Feinberg, and the Kendeda Fund. A complete list of RCIE donors can be found at donors-rcie.org.

Jay Bailey, CEO and president of RCIE, explained that these donations are invaluable to the organization as it seeks to advance its mission to inspire and empower Black entrepreneurs.

“Our early donors believed in us when the center was only a dream. They had the vision to see what RCIE could become,” said Bailey. “We’re incredibly grateful for their contributions, which will help create and accelerate opportunities for Black entrepreneurs.”

Located at 504 Fair St. SW, in the heart of one of Atlanta’s Opportunity Zones, RCIE houses over 50,000 square feet of affordable coworking, convening, meeting and makerspace. The organization carries on the legacy of the late Herman J. Russell, founder of real estate and construction firm H.J. Russell & Co. and a prominent member of the Atlanta business community.

About RCIE

The Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (RCIE) is America’s largest not-for-profit center focused exclusively on helping Black entrepreneurs grow their early-stage businesses into economic mobility engines. We were founded by the family of Herman J. Russell, one of America’s first Black millionaires and a longstanding icon of Black entrepreneurship. For more information about the Center, visit rcie.org.

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