The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (EIC) offers a unique opportunity for residents of Chester Housing Authority and Chester City community to gain hands-on experience in STEM careers, entrepreneurship, music production, apparel design, podcasting, and television/radio production. The goal is to provide individuals who would not otherwise have access or financial resources to acquire the skills with the ability to learn, start a career, or launch a business. The innovative concept and design by Marrea Walker-Smith and students at the Devon Preparatory School on behalf of the Chester Housing Authority.
Research shows that entrepreneurship reduces crime in underserved communities. Studies shows that black businesses mitigate some of the economic factors that contribute to youth violence in these communities. They add jobs, provide employment opportunities, and generally improve the neighborhood. Specifically, we seek to close the gap in STEM careers throughout African Americans. As of 2021, only 9% of the STEM workforce included African Americans. Because urban underepresented communities do not have early access to STEM programs in elementary, middle school and high school, the interest to consider a STEM major in college is almost non-existent. According to US Business News, Black Business Ownership increased by 28% during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a strong need for programs that provide support for African Americans to launch businesses.
The Entrepreneur Center is proud to partner with Industry Leaders, Academic Institutions and Businesses to support programs and services. Funding to start the Entrepreneurship was provided by McLean Contributionship.