Black Enterprise

Black Enterprise spoke with John Hope Bryant to learn more about his efforts to promote entrepreneurship and financial literacy in communities of color. His initiative, named HOPE Business in a Box Academies, aims to achieve this goal by nurturing the talents of young people through role modeling and formal instruction.

BE: What is the HOPE Business in a Box Academy?

BYRANT: We have designed something with the customer in mind—the customer is the child.  When kids are dropping out of your schools at a 30% to 70% rate, something is wrong with the business, not the kids. So my conclusion is that we have just simply failed to connect education and aspiration. What many people really want is economic opportunity. So what we’ve done is connect economic opportunity with education.

There are three components to the HOPE Business in a Box Academy curriculum: a course in financial literacy, self-esteem building, and a primer course in entrepreneurship. Whether you want to become an entrepreneur or not is irrelevant. Being an entrepreneur helps you run a family, your life, and helps you to be innovative and creative. Entrepreneurship fosters a solutions-based mindset. It creates leaders.

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