PNC Bank Hosts Webinar With University Deans To Discuss Impact Of HBCUs On Black-Owned Businesses

On Wednesday, February 16, PNC Bank hosted a special Black History Month webinar where deans of various historically black colleges and universities, business schools, were on hand to talk about the role of HBCUs in supporting black businesses across America.

Steffanie Jasper, head of enterprise risk management for PNC, addressed the revenue gap between Black-owned and non-Black-owned businesses in the United States, which Jasper says is high. to $1.6 trillion and continues to grow. Citing research by McKinsey & Co., she also pointed to the fact that black businesses are both fewer in number and smaller than their non-black counterparts.

The floor was then given to the deans present at the webinar. Dr. David Yen, Dean of Texas Southern University’s School of Business, emphasized the importance of HBCUs in meeting student needs as we go, especially post-pandemic. He explained his hopes and ideas for the school as it progresses.

“There are several things we do at Texas Southern University. First, we want to continue to meet the needs of students,” he said. “We need to improve our school curriculum. We need to develop our new program to match not only our competitors, but also our local needs and services. »

Yen also offered increased support for research initiatives for undergraduate students attending HBCUs. He said making the effort will help these students better integrate into the world and provide them with greater opportunities to practice what they have been taught in an off-campus setting.

The topic then turned again to the widening wealth gap, which Dr. Sivanus J. Udoka of Atlanta University spoke about. Udoka believes the best way to address this disparity is through the initiative of the black community to become business owners who promote increased employment.

“The wealth gap between black and white Americans is a major force in racial inequality and social injustice, Udoka explained. black people in this country. And of that, about 96% of them are sole proprietorships, which means they don’t employ anyone. When we look at that, the wealth gap can only be closed by people who start businesses and employ others.

Udoka elaborated on this point, expressing the importance for black Americans to adopt the mindset of becoming employers, rather than just being employees.

Another topic of conversation was the role HBCUs can play in the employment of black women, which was discussed by Dr. Anthony Wilbon of Howard University. With around 65-75% of undergraduate students at the university, he said it’s especially important for female students to be able to see and recognize female leadership around them.

“It’s important for these undergraduates to see female leadership, and I think that translates to their confidence to start businesses and take the risks that will allow them to succeed,” Wilbon said. “When we talk about a successful entrepreneur, the traits they usually have are self-confidence, a sense of persuasion and consistency.”

Wilbon said the majority of campus deans at Howard are women, and the university is working on several initiatives and programs on campus that support women entrepreneurs and help them develop the skills needed to succeed in their field.

This webinar was one of the few efforts made by PNC to serve Black Americans. Last year, the company announced an $88 billion community benefits plan to provide loans and financial services to low-income individuals and communities and people of color. They also held a similar webinar on February 10, discussing the financial struggles of minority businesses.

Further information regarding PNC’s Black History Month plans, as well as past webinar information can be found at https://tinyurl.com/mr2u2v7j.

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