The Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation announced a $1,000,000 gift on Tuesday to support the Urban League of Greater Madison’s new Black Business Hub, an 81,000 square foot, 4-story building that will be located at the corner of Park Street and Hughes Place in South Madison.
The Black Business Hub is looking to become the Madison region’s premiere Black-led enterprise center devoted to incubating, accelerating, and networking under-served entrepreneurs. The Hub will be designed to offer entrepreneurs and businesses owned by people of color a chance to have a physical location, serve as a commerce hub, and have an on-site ecosystem of entrepreneur support services.
“While The Hub will be a destination that will serve the entire Madison region, its location in South Madison – Madison’s oldest African American enclave – is significant,” said Urban League CEO, Ruben L. Anthony, Jr. in a statement. “We’re confronting the risk of gentrification and showcasing a new model of inclusive economic development.”
The Black Business Hub will be a self-contained, full-service ecosystem of resources devoted to incubating, accelerating, and networking Black and other under-served entrepreneurs, according to a press release from the Urban League of Greater Madison, and the Black-led system of entrepreneurial empowerment will include training, coaching, networking, and other programming that will serve hundreds of current and aspiring entrepreneurs annually.
“From my own experience, I understand the power of an entrepreneurial vision to impact families and communities for generations. The disparity in access to entrepreneurial opportunity in Dane County is extreme, and unfortunately has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Pleasant T. Rowland. “I am inspired by the Urban League’s vision and pleased that our investment can help bring that vision to life.”