The mission of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) at
Shaw University is to increase and improve small business ownership
and address underemployment in minority communities. We provide
targeted entrepreneurial training and support for students and
aspiring business owners that will foster innovation and help them to
establish and sustain high-growth and sustainable companies. We
leverage intellectual capital through collaborative efforts of faculty,
community partners, students, entrepreneurs, and the larger
Are you a Shaw University student entrepreneur or want to start your own business? Join our Student Entrepreneurship Club! To join or for more information, please click below.”
Program Manager, Aspire
The Aspire Entrepreneurship Certification Program (AECP) is a 16-week certification program that provides training to aspiring and early-stage Black entrepreneurs in the Raleigh-Durham and surrounding areas. Launched in January 2022, the AECP presents a research-based curriculum designed to address specific needs and challenges experienced by Black entrepreneurs. Our next cohort will launch in January 2024. For more information, please click here or email Aspire@ShawU.edu.
The Aspire Entrepreneurship Certification Program (AECP) The flagship program of the IEC is the Aspire Entrepreneurship Certification Program (AECP), a 16-week program that provides training specific to aspiring and early-stage Black entrepreneurs in the Raleigh-Durham and surrounding areas.
Launched in January 2022, the AECP presents a research-based curriculum designed to address specific needs and challenges experienced by Black entrepreneurs. Facilitated and taught by experienced Black entrepreneurs and subject matter experts, the AECP provides comprehensive, research-based training in the following areas: business essentials, opportunity recognition, money management, marketing, business operations, and presentation and communication. At the conclusion of the pro-gram, participants in AECP will have a viable business plan evaluated by local entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Based on the quality of the curriculum, the Aspire program received advance funding from our primary sponsor, Wells Fargo, resulting in full scholarships for two cohorts of local Black entrepreneurs.
As of May 2023, AECP proudly boasts the successful completion of two cohorts of entrepreneurs. We look forward to our next cohort in January 2024.
The Business Innovation Gateway (BIG) is an entrepreneurship program focused on developing
undergraduate student competency in the areas of business planning and opportunity recognition,
project management, financial management, marketing and branding, and cultural competence.
Through courses, seminars, and internships, the BIG program addresses underemployment by ensuring that students are career-ready, either though the launch of their own enterprises or as employees
in entrepreneurial organizations.