ST. LOUIS – Harris Stowe State University’s eagerly awaited $4.9 million Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is set to open this August to help local entrepreneurs and students.

The university wanted to give more minorities entrepreneurial opportunities through the upcoming center.

“We wanted to create a hub where Black and brown business owners can access the resources, the information, the entrepreneurship community that they need to start a business, scale a business, and to get the education that they need to continue to thrive,” Kristy Jackson, executive director of Harris Stowe State University’s Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said. 

The new center will have four collaboration spaces and a rooftop work space. They plan to have a creative technology space, a market space for business owners, or lease some space to a banking partner.

“Entrepreneurship is a pathway to generational wealth as well as education. We want all of our scholars to know that entrepreneurship is an option that they have as well as a career,” Jackson said.

The school of business has had 200 business owners graduate from their programs. The upcoming center will benefit local entrepreneurs and students like J’montez Cameron.

“Here at Harris Stowe is where I found that love. It’s where I first started customizing shoes. It’s also put me in positions to where I’ve been forced to get out of my comfort shell,” Cameron said.

Cameron started a shoe customization business called OV Customs. He says the center is needed in the community of entrepreneurs.

“It’s a hub for Black entrepreneurs. I feel like that’s something that’s really not seen. So you’re going there, getting in touch with people who understand you and people who may be able to guide you on to where you are going in life,” Cameron explained.

The School of Business has three programs that help local nonprofits and executive leaders in the technology field, also allowing entrepreneurs to travel internationally.

To learn more information about their programs and the upcoming center, click here.