February 17, 2021 – Savannah State University has been awarded a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to operate a Minority Colleges and Universities pilot project in Savannah. The goal of the project is to lay the foundation for future generations of entrepreneurial leaders and innovators to help strengthen U.S. global competitiveness, job creation, and the overall U.S. economy.
“Savannah State University’s proposal demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the mission and goals of MBDA and the requirements of the Federal Funding Opportunity Announcement,” said Miguel Estien, acting national director of the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA. “In addition, their application presented evidence of the expertise and community resources necessary to meet these goals.”
Savannah State University was one of five Minority College and University awardees. To qualify for the grant, Savannah State was required to submit a proposal outlining a pilot project to meet the objectives of the MBDA and increase entrepreneurship education for its undergraduate students. The pilot project titled, “Immersive Delivery and Experiential Entrepreneurship Alternative (IDEEA)” will continue through October 2024 and will be led by the university’s College of Business Administration (COBA) and its Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“This grant allows us to offer a holistic educational experience to foster dynamic thinking and shape business perspectives by integrating experiential learning activities into the entrepreneurship curriculum,” said Sudesh Mujumdar, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business Administration and contributor on this project.
IDEEA aims to revamp the entrepreneurship minor offered in COBA and establish open access (not-for-credit) programming to build the skills and capabilities of undergraduates to open their own businesses. The programming will include seminars, labs and lectures related to ideation and business modeling, understanding venture financing and developing successful business plans and will be designed to serve the defined business needs of developing minority business enterprises and the growing Savannah region.
”Minority business creation is especially important in the Savannah region. This grant will fund a business accelerator focused on developing undergraduate entrepreneurial concepts and linking students’ new venture ideas with appropriate business models to launch and scale viable startups and microbusinesses,” said Shalonda Mullgrav, DBA, Savannah State University’s interim vice president for University Advancement and the project’s principal investigator.