Executive Summary – Kauffman Campuses Proposal
This proposal represents Howard University's submission to the Kauffman Foundation for funding to institutionalize entrepreneurship at the university. Howard is seeking a grant to assist in developing the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Innovation (ELI Institute). This Institute will unify the university's current approaches to stimulating entrepreneurial behavior on campus and throughout the extended community.
Although many colleges and universities are competing for this prestigious grant, we believe that Howard University is uniquely qualified to achieve the desired results of enriching and extending the American tradition of entrepreneurship. First, we believe that as a top-tier research and academic institution, Howard possesses the networks and infrastructure necessary to develop entrepreneurial skills in every member of our community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partner organizations). Second, Howard University represents a critical component of the potential for entrepreneurial development in America and in particular within the African-American community. Finally, we believe that as an institution, Howard is well positioned to create initiatives that will deliver dramatic results not only on our campus but also in the communities in which we are engaged. Moreover, we already are operating several initiatives that demonstrate Howard's ability to drive change in a dramatic way.
Programs and Initiatives — The ELI Institute will enhance existing programs and establish new ones in four major centers of excellence:
- Academic programs;
- A center for research;
- Business and community development programs; and
- A center for entrepreneurial thought.
Academic Programs — We will establish curricula that will instill a sense of entrepreneurship in the student body and will prepare our faculty to lead the students through this journey of discovery. The academic programs will be: 1) campus-wide; 2) of interest to multiple schools and/or colleges; or 3) specific to a particular school and/or college degree program. Through this mix of offerings, which will represent both current activities and new initiatives, we intend to infuse entrepreneurial ideas and concepts in all university students.
In the near term, the ELI Institute will concentrate on creating and expanding coursework and making it available to all students at the university. We will establish an entrepreneurship module in our freshman orientation course, create an entrepreneurial minor for undergraduates and a full concentration for graduate students, develop an online certificate program, and provide a unique learning experience for our faculty.
Center for Research — Howard University has the distinction of achieving excellence in research in several areas of specialization. The ELI Institute will feature a dedicated research arm that will be centered around two topics, which explore aspects of entrepreneurship focused on the African-American community:
- Black Entrepreneurship and Business Development—Designed to explore African-American,
Caribbean, and African entrepreneurial models and approaches; and
- African-American/Urban Demographics—Identifying key trends in community purchasing
power and habits that shape this trillion-dollar market, as well as exploring ways for African-
American business to gain from these trends.
The ELI Center for Research is dedicated to providing a national forum for learning about the African-American entrepreneur and entrepreneurial ventures. The Center for Research will:
- Provide fellowships for faculty, students, and other scholars to engage in fundamental and
practical research on entrepreneurship as it relates to the African-American community (through
fellowships and grants);
- Publish a research journal, case studies, and white papers;
- Host an annual symposium and conduct several conferences on critical research topics; and
- Create a clearinghouse of valuable data and information about African-American entrepreneurs,
market opportunities, and business development trends.
Business and Community Development Programs — Building viable and economically prosperous inner-city communities is a major objective of Howard University, and we believe this goal is achievable through the development of unique partnerships among key organizations and leaders. The ELI Institute will devote a portion of its mission to developing businesses (small as well as large) and community-based organizations.
Through business and community development initiatives, academic programs and research efforts can be leveraged to deliver tangible results throughout our community on both a local and national level. Faculty and student commitment to entrepreneurship—in conjunction with local businesses, government agencies, and community development organizations—will create meaningful and sustainable changes in the communities in which African-Americans live and work.
Howard University has supported small business development in the Washington, D.C., community for the last 30 years through the Washington, D.C., Small Business Development Center at Howard University (SBDC). We plan to create additional opportunities for the SBDC through two programs: The Georgia Avenue Incubator and the Student Consulting Program.
In creating programs to expand community development, our plan is to integrate the best of our business development thinking with a deep commitment to social entrepreneurship. Our vision is to have two significant outreach programs initially—the first focusing on social entrepreneurship. and the second focusing on an innovative HBCU outreach program for faculty.
Center for Entrepreneurial Thought — Business and community programs, research, and academic initiatives are essential offerings for the ELI Institute, but we also want to push the thinking of the entire Howard "family" toward the more creative aspects of being an entrepreneur. This discipline is aimed at continuing the campuswide discourse and exploring new and different areas of thinking. We believe that true entrepreneurial thought lies at the nexus of leadership, innovation, and creativity. We want to instill this type of thinking in members of the university as well as its extended family.
Consequently, our Center for Entrepreneurial Thought will explore this intersection in detail through our Entrepreneur in Residence Program, new television programs to spread the message on entrepreneurship, and two programs that provide funding for innovative ideas—the Fund for Academic Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education and Development and the Student Business Plan Competition.
Howard will also create a performance measurement system consisting of both quantitative and qualitative measurements that represent a variety of categories such as financial, operational, people, learning, and innovation. On an ongoing basis, each program and activity will develop its own performance scorecard and will regularly report progress. The ELI Institute will also prepare a written "Annual Report" that reflects the strengths of Institute programs and activities as well as identifies areas where we can improve the offerings. We will solicit input on the performance of our programs from our Advisory Board, our internal Council of Deans, as well as other outside parties that have a stake in the success of the ELI Institute.
Organization & Governance — The ELI Institute will report to an Executive Director, responsible to the University Provost. The Executive Director will rely on Directors, Associate Directors, and Faculty Advisors for management oversight of operations. In addition, two governing bodies will be used to continue to guide the development of the ELI Institute. The Advisory Board is a new group that will consist of corporate, non-profit, and community organization leaders who will help with policy and programs. The Council of Deans, an existing group at Howard University, will assist in ensuring program excellence and faculty involvement.
We would like to thank the members of the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Initiative for the opportunity to compete for this most prestigious honor.