In honor of Black History Month, The International Black Business Museum (IBBM) is launching its new Entrepreneurial Masterclass Series on Zoom starting on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at noon eastern standard time. The purpose of the Masterclass Series is to provide information, skills, and strategies to members of the public on a wide variety of topics that will promote their economic empowerment.
Presenters of the masterclasses will include exceptional entrepreneurs, scholars, physicians, practitioners, and corporate leaders. At present, the masterclasses will be offered free to members of the public. Interested individuals must go the IBBM website to register for the classes at www.theibbm.org. After that, they will be sent a zoom link to use to join the masterclass series. Individuals may register for single masterclasses or multiple classes. The International Black Business Museum will offer the classes in conjunction with the National Center for Black Businesses, which is a unit of the museum that focuses attention on the provision of entrepreneurial education and training to build economic capacity in cities and neighborhoods in America.
The International Black Business Museum is the first and only museum in the world of its type, a repository that will enshrine the monumental accomplishments of Black entrepreneurs and inventors in the United States and other countries of the world. It will also honor black-owned banks and ancillary organizations which helped to develop principles of self-help in the Black community.
According to Dr. Bessie House-Soremekun, the President and Founder, “This pivotal institution will support black business creation and expansion. It will also enhance the development of an entrepreneurial ethos which emphasizes ways in which the Black Community can work collectively to enhance the attainment of higher levels of economic independence and more economic resources.”
The IBBM has a very distinguished International Board of Directors and an Advisory Board. The IBBM has received endorsements from The Association for African American Museums (AAAM), The Carver Federal Savings Bank, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Museum administrators are planning a state-of-the art multilevel building with exhibit areas, auditoriums, along with additional galleries and mixed-use spaces. The museum’s official opening is scheduled to take place in the future, although it is presently holding virtual activities, such as the Entrepreneurial Masterclass Series and creating several virtual exhibits.
Despite great odds against them historically, Black entrepreneurs and inventors have achieved mightily. Garrett Morgan, entrepreneur and inventor of the common traffic signal, gas mask, and hair straightening products, and Lewis Latimer, who drafted patents for the telephone and the incandescent light bulb, are cases in point. These trail blazers and their ancestors of color persevered through difficult obstacles, including systemic racial oppression and lack of adequate funding.
Black Americans control around $1.3 trillion of America’s $22 trillion economy – the world’s largest economic system – and Africa is home to one of the globe’s richest Black entrepreneurs, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, whose estimated worth is $8.3 billion.