SBA Signs Strategic Alliance Memorandums With HBCUs

The U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Administrator Cassius Butts recently signed Strategic Alliance Memorandums (SAMs) with Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State University and Rust College.  Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, Alcorn State University President, Dr. Alfred Rankins, Jr., Acting President of Mississippi Valley State University, and Dr. David L. Beckley, President of Rust College, each signed the agreement on behalf of their respective institutions.  

 Regional Administrator Butts stated, “of the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in this country, 59 are located in SBA Region IV (comprised of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.) I’ve always believed that these institutions and their faculty serve as the foundation for strong and thriving communities. This partnership will foster entrepreneurship amongst the young population, especially in minority communities.”

“SBA is excited about this opportunity to expand its outreach and relationship with these three HBCUs in Mississippi”, says Janita R. Stewart, SBA District Director in Mississippi. This new initiative with HBCUs will expand on that connection by providing further opportunities for SBA, Alcorn, Valley, and Rust to collaborate by ensuring that students get vital information on starting a business and the surrounding communities at large, may also benefit from these relationships.”  SBA Mississippi has previously worked with these institutions in other capacities.  In addition, through the Mississippi Network of Small Business Development Centers, SBA enjoys a long-term and on-going relationship with Jackson State University, a HBCU, which receives funding from SBA to provide counseling, training, management and technical assistance to small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs in Attala, Holmes, Hinds (city of Jackson), Madison and Yazoo counties.

Alcorn State University (ASU) is a Historically Black University that has been committed to academic excellence for over 140 years. Alcorn is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation, and world. Alcorn was founded in 1871 and is the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the United States and the second oldest state supported institution of higher learning in Mississippi. Alcorn State University offers graduate and undergraduate programs in agriculture, business, robotic engineering, science and mathematics, criminal justice, industrial technology, education, nursing, and information technology. Academic programs at Alcorn State University are designed to challenge the mind, build intellectual integrity and create leaders of tomorrow. 

Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) is a Historically Black University founded in 1950. Mississippi Valley State University provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. The University is driven by its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, service, and research–a commitment resulting in a learner-centered environment that prepares critical thinkers, exceptional communicators, and service-oriented, engaged, and productive citizens. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond.

Rust College is a Historically Black, coeducational, senior liberal arts college founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The College is related to the United Methodist Church, and dedicated to serving students with a variety of academic preparations, through instruction in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural science, business, technology, and education. The College recognizes the threefold functions of education as being teaching, research, and community service.  Rust offers a well-rounded program designed to acquaint students with cultural, moral, and spiritual values, both in theory and in practice.

For additional information contact the SBA Mississippi District Office at (601) 965-4378.