GRAMBLING, La (GSU News Release) - On Monday, July 18, 2016, the Delta Regional Authority selected Grambling State University as one of six Historically Black Universities to be a part of their HBCU Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative. Grambling State University is one of the six schools. Interested HBCU’s submitted an application to the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) for competitive review. The application process required each university to address previous work in developing and supporting entrepreneurs, a vision for expanding these efforts and the identification of community partners. Interim Vice President of Advancement, Mr. Otto Meyers, assembled a team to develop the application. The writing team consisted of Advancement staff, STEM and Business faculty. Members of the writing team included Mr. Otto Meyers, Mr. Talmon Butler, Dr. Erick Valentine, Dr. John Nwoha, Dr. Donald White, Dr. Ben Nwokolo, and Dr. Danny Hubbard. The Interim Director of Sponsored Programs, Dr. Connie Walton, led the writing efforts.
According to Meyers, the ultimate goal of this initiative is to improve the job opportunities available in the Delta Region. This region of the United States has approximately 10 million residents and consists of parishes and counties in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
The GSU vision for expanding its entrepreneurial focus includes providing training that targets all students. Additionally, specific training will be provided for those aspiring entrepreneurs that have technology-related business ideas. These ideas may include the development of Apps.
Mr. Leon Sanders, Interim Chief of Operations and Vice President for Finance and Administration stated, “We are excited that Grambling State University was selected to be a part of this initiative. Since 1901, Grambling State University has partnered with agencies to equip students with skills that will impact communities in a positive manner. This program supports the expansion of the University's entrepreneurial footprint and expansion of the training provided to students."
Grambling State University will receive funds to host a two-day technical assistance, rapid acceleration workshop during year one. This workshop will focus on areas that are vital to establishing and maintaining a successful business.