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The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation was established through a generous gift from alumni Mark Wilson and his wife Shelly Wilson. Mr. Wilson serves as Chairman of the Wilberforce University Board of Trustees and is the CEO/Founder of Chime Solutions, Inc. The Wilson give their time and talent to Wilberforce University and are models for our students. The Wilson’s generosity has positioned The Center as a place where entrepreneurship and innovation become reality.

The mission of The Center is to generate change through entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Center’s Structure

The Center is led by the Collaborative Leadership Model. Faculty and Staff oversee the efforts of The Center, while the day to day operations are led by an Executive Director. The Collaborative Leadership Model identifies opportunities to engage our communities in solution making through entrepreneurship and innovation.

Collaborative Leadership Model 

Wilberforce University uses a collaborative leadership model that provides an interdisciplinary approach to the work of The Center. The Team strategizes, plans, and implements together. We believe this model provides the strongest outcomes and deliverables for The Center.

Contact Information:

The vision for the Mark and Shelly Wilson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation focuses on entrepreneurship in our students. We embrace transformative practices that inform, empower, and impact our communities. Participants in The Center emerge as entrepreneurial change agents, shaping a future that is self-reliant, collaborative, and forward-thinking.

The Center’s Strategy

The Center’s foundational strategy consists of engagement, experiential learning, and research. The Center seeks:

  • to increase entrepreneurship in the communities our students represent
  • to facilitate change through experiential learning opportunities
  • to serve as a research hub that produces accessible resources for our communities
  • to develop innovative strategies to generate new ideas and practices

The Entrepreneurial Mindset 

The University strategy is to engage students in the entrepreneurial mindset. The following skills characterizes this mindset:  

    • critical thinking  
    • problem-solving  
    • innovation   
    • risk-taking   
    • free-thinking   
    • dedication   
    • integrity   
    • discipline 

Past Events and Opportunities

September 2019: Design Lab and WU Recycle Program launched through grant from Coca-Cola Dear Futures Grant Recipient and WU Student Alexxus Beckwith

June 2019: Innovator in Residence Engagement with summer interns.

March 2019: Miami Valley Community Action Network Partnership Sponsors Certificate of Entrepreneurship in collaboration with Wilberforce University.

February 2019: Wilberforce University announces Innovator in Residence, Mr. John Miller- CEO of Denny’s Inc.

January 2019: NgAtlanta Conference.      

February 27-28, 2018:  Emerging Entreprenuers Learning Series – Social Media Marketing and Branding.

January 15, 2018:  Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service – Students engage the community through service! Sign up to interact with a community organization. Transportation will be provided, lunch served following the event.

2019-20 Emerging Entrepreneur’s Selection Process

To participate, you must be a Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior currently enrolled at Wilberforce University.
July-August 2019 – WU Recycles Student Run Program Summer Internship sponsored by Coca-Cola Dear Futures Grant Program.

July-August 2018
WU Underground Student Run Dining Enterprise Summer Internship

June 2018
Minority Business Enterprise Day

December 2018
Emerging Entrepreneur Road Trip 2018

November 8, 2017
Gathering of the Mind Think Tank 
9-5PM, Think Tank, Aerobics Room
Re-Imagining the Educational Reality

Ribbon Cutting of The Dr. Mark and Shelly Wilson Center For Entrepreneurship, Social Good, and Transformational Leadership
12NOON, Wolfe Administration Building Ground Floor

Community Discussion
7PM, Aerobics Room
(Re-)Considering HBCUs as Solution Makers





2020-21 Emerging Entrepreneurs

Lanadia Martin

Deandre Melton

Honesty Lyons

Valmarie Mitchell

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