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CBE Research Program

By ghmccord

CBE Research Program


The Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE) is excited to announce a call for research proposals. This initiative is a testament to our dedication to fostering a new generation of Black entrepreneurs by harnessing the power of research and academic inquiry. We aim to identify, analyze, and propose solutions to the unique challenges faced by Black entrepreneurs. This call is an invitation to scholars and researchers, particularly from HBCUs, to contribute to a pivotal body of work that will empower Black entrepreneurship and shape economic policies. Funding for this initiative has been generously provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Fellowship Projects

The CBE seeks to award a $20,000 grant to innovative research projects that provide new insights into Black entrepreneurship.  Proposed research should investigate critical issues affecting Black entrepreneurship and wealth creation. Research fellows will have access to the powerful data assembled by the Black Wealth Data Center (BWDC). Promising research projects will also help the BWDC enhance its data by understanding gaps in existing data and whether the data is structured for analysis. Potential projects could focus on, but are not limited to:

  • Exploring the impact of Black business success on personal and/or community wealth.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of current entrepreneurial support systems for Black business owners.
  • Investigating the role of bias in AI/ML informed decision tools for investment.
  • Assessing the influence of cultural and social dynamics, including COVID and theRacial Awakening, on Black entrepreneurship.

Topics of particular interest include:

Starting a Business

  • What are the business formation rates of businesses, by race of business owner?
  • What are the reasons for starting a business, broken out by race of business owner?
  • What are Black participation rates in different kinds of accelerators, incubators, and other business support programs? What are the outcomes of participation in these programs?

Sustaining a business

  • What is the share of Black-owned businesses by size compared to all other businesses?
  • What is the share of Black employees at Black-owned businesses, compared to all other businesses?
  • What is the average payroll of Black-owned businesses, compared to all other businesses?
  • How much business equity do Black people hold, compared to people of other races?
  • What are the rates of Black-owned businesses that use Black-owned banks?
  • How connected are Black business owners to local, regional, and national business networks and organizations?
  • What is the long-term impact of Black businesses on job creations, home values, and other economic factors at the city and/or neighborhood level?

Exiting a business

  • What are the closure rates of Black businesses, compared to all other businesses?
  • What is breakdown of exit outcomes of Black-owned businesses, compared to all other businesses?
  • What is the net worth of Black business owners before and after starting a business?

Unsolicited topics related to Black entrepreneurship and wealth building will also be accepted.

Qualifications and Eligibility Criteria for Applicants

  • Academic Qualifications: Applications are particularly encouraged from faculty, researchers, and graduate students at HBCUs. Applicants should hold a minimum of a Master’s degree in any discipline. Preference will be given to doctoral candidates, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty members at HBCUs.
  • Field of Study: While applicants from all academic backgrounds are encouraged, priority will be given to research that intersects with economics, business, sociology, technology, and other fields directly related to entrepreneurship.
  • Experience: A demonstrated track record in research, particularly in areas relevant to Black entrepreneurship, is desirable. This includes previous publications, research projects, or involvement in relevant industry activities.
  • Commitment to Black Entrepreneurship: Applicants must exhibit a strong commitment to the advancement of Black entrepreneurship, as evidenced by their personal statement and previous work or research.
  • Interdisciplinary and collaborative proposals, involving more than one researcher or institution, are welcome.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to completing the research project within the specified timeline and present their findings at the CBE Research Symposium in Fall 2024.

How to Apply

Guidelines for Application Submission

Your application must include:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): Detail your academic credentials, professional experience, and any previous research pertinent to entrepreneurship.
  • Personal Statement: Describe your passion for research in Black entrepreneurship and how your project aligns with the CBE’s mission.
  • Research Proposal: Follow the detailed structure provided below.
  • Optional Recommendation Letter: (for early career researchers) An endorsement from a mentor, highlighting your research skills and relevance to this fellowship.

Research Proposal Structure

Your proposal should be succinct yet comprehensive (5 pages or less) and include:

  • Introduction:
    • Statement of the Problem: Clearly articulate the specific issue or question your research will address.
    • Research Question(s): Define precise question(s) guiding your research.
    • Significance: Demonstrate the potential impact and relevance of your research in advancing knowledge and practice in Black entrepreneurship.
  • Research Design and Methodology:
    • Elaborate on your research approach, including the theoretical framework and hypotheses.
    • Detail your data sources, collection methods, and analysis plan.
    • Include a project timeline with milestones and an estimated date of completion.
  • Budget and Funding Allocation:
  • Provide a detailed budget outlining how the $20,000 grant will be utilized.
  • Include a breakdown of costs, ensuring they align with the objectives of the research project.  Note: The budget should not include personal expenses unrelated to the research, or purchase of general office supplies.

Evaluation and Selection

Each proposal will undergo a rigorous review by a panel comprising experts in entrepreneurship, academia, and business. Selection will be based on the proposal’s originality, methodological rigor, relevance to the field of Black entrepreneurship, and potential for practical impact. The target date for fellowship decisions is May 10, 2024.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • March 18, 2024: Opening of Application period
  • April 15, 2024: Priority Review Deadline
  • April 25, 2024: Deadline for Submission of Proposals
  • May 10, 2024: Notification of fellowship awards
  • Fall 2024: Presentation of Findings at the CBE Research Symposium (Dates TBC)

About the CBE Partners

The Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE) is a partnership between Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the Black Economic Alliance Foundation, dedicated to unlocking unlock Black entrepreneurial talent, empowering it to transform our communities.

About Morehouse College

Morehouse College is the only historically Black college dedicated to educating men. Founded in 1867, Morehouse is a private, liberal arts institution and the nation’s top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates. The College is the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs and was named to the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most Fulbright Scholars in 2019-2020. As the epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which has created social and economic disparities for people of African descent. Prominent Morehouse alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, Academy Award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political analyst; Randall Woodfin, elected as the youngest mayor of Birmingham in 120 years; and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black U.S. Senator. For more information, visit

Spelman College

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country’s leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit

About the Black Economic Alliance Foundation

The Black Economic Alliance Foundation is the nation’s leading organization harnessing the collective expertise and influence of Black business leaders and aligned advocates to build economic prosperity and generational wealth for the Black community. BEA partners with leaders across the public, private, and social sectors to champion policy reimagination, develop investment and philanthropic programs, commission research, and elevate national understanding of the inextricable link between the health of the Black economy and the entire American economy. The BEA Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit affiliate of the Black Economic Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition of Black business leaders and allies committed to advancing work, wages, and wealth in the Black community.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people by focusing on five key areas: the arts, education, the environment, government innovation, and public health. Encompassing all of Mike Bloomberg’s giving, Bloomberg Philanthropies includes his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works with mayors in cities around the world. Mike has committed the vast majority of the profits from Bloomberg L.P., the global financial technology, data, and media company that he founded in 1981, to support the work of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Bloomberg Philanthropies works to improve the lives of millions of people in more than 700 cities and 150 countries. In 2023, Bloomberg Philanthropies invested $3 billion around the world. Over his lifetime, Mike has so far given $17.4 billion to philanthropy.