“We offer our talents to work with others in the community to build an ecosystem that supports innovation and entrepreneurship in order to create income and wealth for residents. We invite other community leaders to draw on our resources to achieve a shared vision of cultivating an ethos and ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship east of the river.” –– John R. Whitman, Director

Our mission is to educate youth and other community members about Black innovation and entrepreneurship and to provide opportunities to engage in entrepreneurship and innovation. We envision a nationwide network of museums that highlight inspiring examples of Black innovators and entrepreneurs, located in public libraries and other community centers.

Hear Museum Board Director Patricia Carter Sluby on NPR’s Market Place on 25 February 2014. Hear it here!

The new IP agenda for intellectual property: “An entrepreneurship approach to achieving intellectual property social justice,” in a new law text, Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice, From Swords to Ploughshares (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015), edited by Lateef Mtima, Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC. View short clips from our video ethnographic study in Alabama.

The Museum for Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is both a showcase of contemporary and historical examples of extraordinary talent and a catalyst for inspiring, educating, and supporting emerging innovation and entrepreneurship, located in Washington, DC and now in Appalachian Alabama. Please show your support by joining us and making a contribution on our Membership page.

Please order from Amazon using the following link to donate one half of one percent of your purchase to the Museum. And many thanks for your support!

See this show on music copyright, featuring Lateef Mtima http://www.recreatecoalition.org/podcast/copy-podcast-episode-5-copyright-drives-beat-social-justice/


There may be few other stories as unique or compelling as the Black experience in creating social utility during centuries of virtually total disenfranchisement, and emerging from that peculiar experience. The story of this history and experience, which includes both the Black community and the context in which it was and is situated, is the subject to be explored in this web site and in the Museum (see here for our statement, “What Is Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship?”.

At the same time, this story is offered to all who may be inspired to create new avenues to promote the general welfare. Key issues of concern include:
  1. Innovation and Entrepreneurship are widely used terms, but they are not widely understood;
  2. There are too few positive examples and role models for innovation and entrepreneurship in communities today;
  3. There is no clear path for assistance in innovation and entrepreneurship that includes mentorship and community support available to community members; and
  4. The cooperative model of business organization, which provides income and builds asset wealth through collective entrepreneurial ownership, should be a clear option for those seeking productive work, but too few people know what cooperatives are.

We begin by opening a dialogue with the community to discuss innovation and entrepreneurship, provide positive examples, show where to get assistance, and elicit ideas for new products, services, and ways to improve the wellbeing of the community through community-based worker cooperatives and other forms of enterprise. We hope to inspire innovation and entrepreneurship as a result. The goal is to increase both asset wealth and revenue generation in the community as a means to achieve social mobility.

Please join us in this neighborhood-based initiative for community economic and social development (see Membership).

We are seeking energetic entrepreneurial volunteers. If you have some time to lend a hand organizing a speaker series, running a talent show, or contacting school teachers to engage students in writing community articles, please contact John, whitman at mbiedc.org.

Creatively Making a World of Difference––African American Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Our first major exhibit at THEARC on 16 March, curated by noted author on Black innovation and Board member, Patricia Carter Sluby, was a great success, drawing an estimated 50 plus visitors who inspected the creations of the following innovators and entrepreneurs to the lovely harp music by Victoria Payton Webber:

Above photo: Crystal Little, milliner and founder of Crylittle Designs created a fabulous display for the 16 March Exhibit. See more here!

The Museum for Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a Charter Member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Explore the Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship Trail in the Washington, DC area.