Houston (April 11, 2023) – Texas Southern University and PNC Bank will launch the PNC Regional Center for Entrepreneurship during a roadshow event on Thursday, April 13 from 12-4 p.m. Through PNC’s support for this initiative, the Center for Entrepreneurship will provide programming, access to capital, education, research, and much more to help expand opportunities for Black businesses across the country.
The launch at TSU follows the opening of the National Center for Entrepreneurship supported by Howard University, which is focused on serving as a catalyst for economic opportunity for HBCU students, alums and Black entrepreneurs broadly. PNC has committed $500,000 a year for five years, totaling $2.5 million to support for this initiative.
“We are very excited about this entrepreneurship program, which will engage curriculum, research, the community and students,” said Dr. David Yen, dean of the Jesse H. Jones School of Business. “The TSU and PNC Regional Center for Entrepreneurship will leverage the University’s efforts to increase entrepreneurship in a more focused and collaborative way to serve as a resourceful hub that we know will enhance entrepreneurship education and empower young entrepreneurs of color. We look forward to the ways in which this initiative will grow businesses and economic opportunity within our community.”
Through the grant from PNC Foundation, TSU joins an affiliated consortium of schools to extend the national programming. The other institutions include Clark Atlanta and Morgan State universities. With the regional center at TSU, students, families and local entrepreneurs can tap into resources to help grow their businesses.
The initiative at Texas Southern University will be led by new Regional PNC Entrepreneurship Center Director Robert Dunlap, who has worked as an auditor for Lockheed Martin, Western Regional Director at Enactus, an organization focused on educating, inspiring, and supporting young people to use innovation and entrepreneurship to solve the world’s biggest problems. Most recently, Dunlap was the Assistant Programs Regional Director for INROADS South Central Region, responsible for all operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.
“I am excited to begin this journey with PNC and Texas Southern University,” Dunlap said. “We know entrepreneurs of color have had persistent barriers to succeeding. This Center’s purpose is to educate and empower them with resources to remove those barriers in every way possible. The campus community and the community around us will be better because of the work that we will do here.”
The Center will also help build Black small business capacity by leveraging partnerships with local chambers of commerce and other institutions to provide mentorship and networking opportunities.
“We are making significant progress on our commitment to support the economic empowerment of Black Americans and low- to moderate-income communities. The five-year grant to create a model for a nationally recognized PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship is a major part of this pledge,” said Richard Bynum, chief corporate responsibility officer for PNC.
In addition, it will partner with Black businesses to improve credit, increase access to capital, provide undergraduate and graduate students hands-on experience in working with Black businesses and entrepreneurs, provide access to technologies that can increase the success of Black businesses, provide access to universities’ procurement process, and assist in applying for loans and access to capital.
Texas Southern University (TSU) honors our designation as a special-purpose institution for urban programming and research. As such, TSU is a comprehensive university providing higher education access to the nation’s underserved communities with academic and research programs that address critical urban issues and prepares its diverse student population to become a force for positive change in a global society. A distinguished educational pioneer since 1927, the University has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas.