Operation HOPE CEO John Hope Bryant joins Clark Atlanta University and PNC for National Center for Entrepreneurship Launch

Bryant, as First Entrepreneur in Residence at Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business, commits to supporting aspiring HBCU entrepreneurs

ATLANTA  (April 17, 2023) — Clark Atlanta University’s (CAU) School of Business hosted its first Entrepreneur Scholar-in-Residence, John Hope Bryant for a fireside chat in partnership with PNC Bank. The event marked the launch of PNC’s National Center for Entrepreneurship. Bryant’s new post aims to help CAU serve as an incubator for developing the next generation of leaders at the Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Bryant is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and the founder of Operation HOPE, the nation’s largest non-profit dedicated to financial literacy.

During his residency at CAU, Bryant will lead an ongoing speaker series on a range of topics such as managing financial risk, negotiating deals, and the importance of FICO scores, among others. He is also a member of CAU’s Board of Trustees.

Bryant’s remarks included a historical review of The Freedman’s Bank and various HOPE programs including Financial Literacy for All (FL4A) and One Million Black Businesses (1MBB). He asserts that Black entrepreneurs hold the key to transforming communities through ownership and improved financial wellness. The event was a celebration of the shared commitment to advancing Black entrepreneurship and brought together nearly 100 students, alumni, business experts and community leaders. PNC has been a HOPE strategic partner for nearly a decade. To view event images, click HERE.

“When you are sitting in history it doesn’t feel like it, this is one of those moments. Today, the right partners are at the table,” Bryant said. “We are at an inflection point that I call the ‘Third Reconstruction’ and I look forward to engaging both PNC and CAU’s extraordinary students in a conversation about how they can change the world through entrepreneurship. By better understanding capitalism and learning the language of money, they will be equipped to shape the future of America.”

“For three decades, John Hope Bryant has been on the frontlines with a message of ‘Silver Rights.’ He is an experienced and successful businessman who has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping others build generational wealth,” said Dr. Silvanus Udoka, Interim Provost and SVP for Academic Affairs, CAU. “We are confident that Mr. Bryant’s leadership, in partnership with PNC, will resonate with CAU students and unleash the power of entrepreneurship.”

According to the US Small Business Administration, minority businesses account for more than 50% of the 2 million new businesses started in the United States in the past 10 years. Despite that growth, minority-business ownership represents only 18 percent of total U.S. businesses, and the businesses face huge disparities when it comes to access to capital, contracting opportunities and other entrepreneurial development.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through its community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Operation HOPE recently received its eighth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability from the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: Join the conversation on social media at @operationhope.

About Clark Atlanta University

Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African American tradition and focused on the future.  Through global innovation, educational experiences, and high-value engagement, CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world.  To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit



Lalohni Campbell, for Operation HOPE

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