Tag Archives: HBCU

Internet Services Startup Launched By Three HBCUpreneurs – Who Have Never Met

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

It is a business story worthy of Hollywood. Mainly because it seems to be a storyline that you only find in movies. However, the story is very real and very powerful. Not only because of its potential, but also because of the possibilities that it presents. Three HBCUpreneurs from three different HBCUs start a business, but have never actually met each other in person. The power of the internet, the power of Twitter and most importantly, the power of the HBCU community.

The company, HBCU Real Estate, is an internet services company that seeks to help the HBCU community (but not limited too) find and use HBCU real estate service providers. Everything from real estate agents, mortgage brokers, interior designers, and more. The founders hope that it will even lead to business creation in the spaces of real estate that the HBCU community may have little to no presence. HBCU Money is aware of only one title company* owned by an HBCU alumnus. HBCU Real Estate’s mission is to help facilitate circulation of the HBCU community’s dollars and keep them in the HBCU community. If successful, it could potentially keep tens of billions of dollars within the HBCU community. The fact that none of the founders have ever met in person makes what they are trying to accomplish even more astounding.

For two years it sat on the proverbial shelf according to organizer, cofounder, and HBCU Real Estate’s Director of Product Development, William A. Foster, IV, a Livingstone College, Virginia State University, and Prairie View A&M University alumnus. “I am a multipreneur and have learned that more hands and brains on deck is almost always a good thing. I needed to meet and find the right people who could understand, compliment, add value, and who could see the potential just as much as I could. Also, I promised myself no more solo projects. When you are involved in as many businesses and organizations as I am, being able to spread the load is vital to success – and sanity.”

Enter Christen Turner, Spelman College and Southern University alumnus, and Marcus King, an alumnus of Prairie View A&M University, both HBCUpreneurs themselves. Ms. Turner, HBCU Real Estate’s Chief Technology Officer, also owns Janelle T. Designs, a graphic designs firm, as well as Forever Femme, an accessories company. Mr. King, HBCU Real Estate’s Chief Marketing Officer, owns Hardly Home, a clothing line that is catered towards travel that was featured on HBCU Money’s The HBCUpreneur Corner in 2015. What does it say to you (King) about the potential of collaboration for HBCUpreneurs that 5 different HBCUs are represented among the 3 cofounders? King answered, “The motto at my alma maters is that “PV produces productive people” and I think that can be said about HBCUs across the board. For years HBCUs have been producing top talent and should continue to do so as we seek to move forward and provide solutions to the problems our community faces.”

The three have followed each other on Twitter for years, although no one can remember for how long. It was towards the end of 2020 that Foster said he approached Turner and King about doing a collaboration or tweeted at them rather. “I sent out a tweet and tagged both of them saying that I need to cofound something with the two of them. Having watched them over the years I knew we would click and have the same kind of work ethic. I just needed to find out if they thought the idea had any legs. If it was not this, it was going to be something else.” The work ethic was confirmed when he said he got an email from Turner on Thanksgiving while he himself was working. Turner further drove the point home of the potential of the moment, “This business will be successful because of two reasons, respect and trust. Despite not having met in an ‘official’ capacity, our partnership seems to have a natural fit to it; almost like pieces of a puzzle. With William’s intuition, he was able to unknowingly add the right people to his team who would each be able to add something different. Whether from a professional standpoint or specific personality traits, we all came in with an immediate respect for each other’s talents and skills. This is why the business will be successful. There’s no questioning; there’s only action, openness, and honesty.” Usually in Hollywood the movie ends with and they lived happily ever after – The End, but in this case it is clear that this is just The Beginning.

For more information, visit http://www.hbcurealestate.com

2020 HBCU-Based Credit Unions Directory & Map

HBCU-based credit unions have been largely stagnant in the past four years since our last report in 2016. Assets have increased marginally by $1.7 million or a 1.9 percent. Only the top three HBCU-based credit unions saw increases in their assets of the eleven with all others declining. The asset decline was coupled as well with an acute decline in overall members with an almost 10 percent drop from 2016. With millions of dollars and thousands of potential accounts at their doorstep, it is extremely baffling how these institutions continue to struggle to grow. Especially in an environment of heightened social and economic desire to #BankBlack. The most glaring issue for these credit unions is a lack of FinTech investment. This includes everything from lack of a quality website, debit cards, bill pay, an app, and more. Things that would be considered basics at most financial institutions are still notoriously lacking at HBCU-based credit unions.

In 2012, we published a proposal for a merger among the 11 HBCU-based credit unions (or at the very least an alliance) that would immediately create one of the largest African American credit unions by assets and membership. You can read that here.

  1. Southern Teachers & Parents (LA) – $30.3 million
  2. Florida A&M University (FL) – $22.9 million
  3. Virginia State University (VA) – $10.2 million
  4. Howard University Employees (DC) – $10.1 million
  5. Prairie View (TX) – $3.7 million
  6. Councill (AL) – $2.9 million
  7. Savastate Teachers (GA) – $2.7 million
  8. Arkansas A&M College (AR) – $2.3 million
  9. Xavier University (LA) – $1.7 million
  10. Tennessee State University (TN) – $1.5 million
  11. Shaw University (NC) – $0.4 million

TOTAL ASSETS: $88.7 MILLION

MEDIAN ASSETS: $3.3 MILLION

AVERAGE ASSETS: $8.1 MILLION

TOTAL MEMBERSHIP: 14,953

MEDIAN MEMBERSHIP: 754

AVERAGE MEMBERSHIP: 1,359

Source: National Credit Union Administration

The Cookout of Cookouts: Teddy Riley vs. Babyface & The HBCU Takeaway

The cookout of cookouts finally happened. Teddy Riley and Babyface came together and gave us everything we wanted and more. Yes, there were still some old black man technical difficulties, but ultimately, over 500,000 Instagram accounts logged in to watch – MAGIC. These two legends have produced, written, and been at the helm of creating hundreds (if not thousands) of undeniable hit records. The financial value of their catalogs possibly exceeds $1 billion. The music, event, and the gentlemen themselves provided a world of observations to behold. We tapped a few of our favorite HBCU intellects on their take from the night and what if anything they believe HBCUs could take away from such an amazing night for the culture.

Christen Turner, Alumnae of Spelman College, Founder of Matchmaking for Millennials & Janelle T Designs, @isthatchristen

“The battle itself was amazing. Never thought I’d feel so connected to my people through a social media platform. With that being said, we have to figure out a way to create our own hugely successful platforms AND/OR get a cut from the platforms that we literally keep relevant.”

Brandon Bellamy, Alumnus of North Carolina A&T State University, Associate Director (Student Services) and Adjunct Professor at Howard Community College, @ProfBellamy

“Like HBCUs, the Teddy Riley vs Babyface battle faced adversity from within, but also from external threats. Both artists brought an exceptional background, respect and similar perspectives on the transcendent nature of music. They are competitors in their work, but contemporaries like DuBois and Washington, whose approaches to the purpose of education varied – but the goal was the same, the improvement of our people. HBCUs can learn from this battle that there is nothing wrong with competition, but we must also be able to work together and strive for the common goal of success for all through education.”

Dr. Keneshia Grant, Alumnae of Florida A&M University, Author & Assistant Professor of Political Science at Howard University, @keneshiagrant

“On Monday night, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds came to Instagram to slay prepared to remind the world of his distinction in music. When Babyface’s preparation was met by Teddy Riley with a lack thereof, he calmly stayed the course and encouraged Riley to rise to the occasion. HBCUs could learn two important lessons from last night’s battle (and by battle, I mean tutorial in genius, excellence, and professionalism—taught exclusively by Babyface). First, professionalism in the presentation and delivery of our work is as important as the work itself. Second—and critical to many HBCU missions—we must balance patience and maintenance of high standards in our interactions with others (people, organizations, other HBCUs, etc).”

William A. Foster, IV, Alumnus of Virginia State University & Prairie View A&M University, Economist/Financier & Founder of HBCU Money, @astroeconomist

“It was an extraordinary night. For those of us who grew up with these two men, having them together in these times – I am not sure we could have asked for much more, technical difficulties aside. I will say for a budding HBCUpreneur, especially in technology, these moments have provided a clear opportunity for a need to provide a platform for moments such as these given the numerous issues and limitations. If I was managing an HBCU’s endowment, I would be courting them (Teddy Riley & Babyface) to see if they would donate a percentage of their catalog. Even a small percentage of the royalties would bring in millions over the years from these living legends.”

Charlyn Anderson, Alumnae of Howard University, Founder of Starting With Today, @startingwtoday

“But what immediately came to mind is too often our institutions (HBCUs) are compared to the bells and whistles of PWIs when the actual core of our education is stronger even in its simplicity. The lack of the extraneous has often worked to the benefit of the HBCU community because they don’t rely on bells and whistles as props but actually prepare to execute consistently on a high level regardless of amenities. Clearly siding with BabyFace, and even with that knowing your value and who you are brings a certainty in all spaces that doesn’t require you to move outside of your lane for approval and validation.

Marcus King, Prairie View A&M University, Founder of Hardly Home, @marcuskxng

“I’d like to say it’s another example of the need to elevate and promote a younger and more technologically advanced workforce to meet the needs of today’s digital world… but I’m a dreamer…”

Ultimately, there will be a lot to take away from this pandemic. There will be a plethora of academic studies that will need to be done, entrepreneurial opportunities, and HBCUs should try their best to be at the vanguard of them for our community. Moments like this are case studies that can help us learn, prepare, navigate, and shape the post-Covid world that we will eventually find ourselves in. Teddy Riley and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds gave us an amazing evening from the chaos outside, lessons within, and as always music to fill our souls with.

 

HBCU Money’s 2019 Top 10 HBCU Endowments

The adjective that best describes 2019 HBCU endowments – uninspiring. HBCU flagship endowments barely moved over the past calendar year. Of all reporting endowments, only The University of the Virgin Islands saw double digit gains in their endowment market value. Since breaking into the top 10 HBCU endowments in 2014, UVI has been on a meteoric rise almost doubling their endowment over the past six years and has become something of a canary in a coal mine.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but the jest of the matter is HBCUs and HBCU alumni associations continue to not do a good enough job of hammering financial and philanthropic literacy among their constituents. This leads to either a lack of investing or no investing at all among HBCU alumni and HBCU alumni associations and therefore a paltry engagement both from an alumni giving rate and alumni giving amounts. Simply put, there are still far too many HBCU alumni and students who do not know what an endowment is or its purpose and it is reflected in the endowments of our institutions.

If there is any solace to be taken from this year’s numbers, it is that HBCU endowments are largely in line with the overall sentiment of America’s college and university endowments. Unfortunately, the median HBCU endowment is less than 44 percent of the overall NACUBO median reporting endowment and HBCU endowments are just barely 18 percent of the NACUBO average reporting endowment.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • HBCU Endowment Total – $2.1 billion
  • Number of PWIs Above $2 billion – 54
  • Number of PWIs Above $1 billion – 108
  • HBCU Median – $64.8 million (4.07%)
  • NACUBO Median – $149 million (5.02%)
  • HBCU Average – $148 million (4.25%)
  • NACUBO Average – $816.4 million (4.24%)

All values are in millions ($000)

1. Howard University – $692,832 (0.62%)

2. Spelman College – $390,462 (0.27%)

3.  Hampton University – $282,543 (-0.98%)

4.  Meharry Medical College – $159,146 (-0.48%)

5.  Florida A&M University – $98,213 (1.93%)

6.  University of the Virgin Islands – $71,684 (15.83%)

7. North Carolina A&T State University  – $68,459 (7.58%)

8.  Tennessee State University – $61,110 (4.11%)

9. Virginia State University – $57,383 (5.33%)

10.  Winston-Salem State University – $49,755 (7.66%)

OTHERS REPORTING:

Take a look at how an endowment works. Not only scholarships to reduce the student debt burden but research, recruiting talented faculty & students, faculty salaries, and a host of other things can be paid for through a strong endowment. It ultimately is the lifeblood of a college or university to ensure its success generation after generation.

Source: NACUBO

HBCU Money™ Turns 8 Years Old

By William A. Foster, IV

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” – Joyce Meyer

Are we there yet? Any adult remembers asking this as a child and any parent remembers hearing this from a child. The trip could be to the grocery store or a road trip. Sometimes we think children are being impatient when it could be they are just excited and ready to explore all that awaits them at their destination. For myself and the building of HBCU Money, we are that metaphorical child.

Expecting to be much further, bigger, and covering far more ground by now. My HBCU Alumni Owned media contemporary Steven Gaither of HBCU Gameday recently put it best in a tweet, “Just because HBCU Gameday doesn’t show up at your school consistently doesn’t mean we are biased or hating. We don’t have the resources (manpower and money) to provide the same level of coverage for everyone consistently.” That really hit home for me. Steven and his team have been doing amazing work and have built an amazing following in a very short period, but like most HBCUpreneurs there is little in the way of resources available. We are often competing with major media and asked to cover our subject matter with the same level of quality all while doing it with 1/1000th of the resources. And yet, we know the work must be done and we will continue to do it. HBCU Money, HBCU Gameday, HBCU Digest, and other HBCU Alumni Owned media is not a luxury to our ecosystem, it is a necessity, imperative, and vital. The HBCU narrative, all of it from the good, the bad, and between absolutely must be controlled by those who know, love , and want to see the very best for our institutions.

In HBCU Money’s eighth year there is significantly more building to be done. The hiring of HBCU journalism graduates, YouTube channel to launch, acquisition of radio and television station, internship programs, and more. One day we will be ranking HBCU b-schools, graduate programs, and more. The vision is grand as I am sure it is for our colleagues, but patience is key because whether it happens in the next year or the next ten, we are here to stay, here to grow, and here to be a force. Thank you for eight years of support.

Rest In Peace Kobe & Gianna Bryant. May this year be a tribute to their work ethic from all of us at HBCU Money.