Museum for Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Creativity catalyzes commerce


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

MBIE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, is based in Washington, DC and is undertaking initiatives in Birmingham, Alabama. Other communities are invited to join us.

With consultation from the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (, we are undertaking IP For Innovation. IP For Innovation is a nationwide effort to raise public awareness of intellectual property, how to create it, protect it, commercialize it, and share it.

Please show your support by joining us and making a contribution on our Membership page.

Take control of your intellectual property (IP):

If you are creative and want to learn more about how to protect your work, the free Creative Control workshop is just for you. The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is offering workshops around the country to mix creative people with intellectual property lawyers who provide free assistance. The workshop link is: Creative Control.

Other news:

Dr. Patricia Bath, "Just look at my work."

We are very thankful to the many anonymous donors who send ongoing support for the Museum through Network for Good and YourCause via corporate participants including AT&T and Facebook. As an all-volunteer effort, we very much appreciate funds that pay for non-personnel costs, such as educational materials development and dissemination. Although we do not know who you are individually, we are immensely grateful for your solidarity in our educational cause, and encourage you to contact us directly if you have suggestions for how we can be more effective.

We enthusiastically congratulate Lonnie G. Bunch III for his appointment as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. His extraordinary success in founding and funding the National Museum of African American History and Culture is nothing short of extraordinary. His role as Secretary will surely be a most treasured gift to all the people who constitute our nation. As a founding member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, MBIE will continue to explore how we can collaborate to raise awareness of Black innovation and entrepreneurship in communities throughout the country.

IIPSJ announces its 16th annual Social Justice and IP CLE Program, Howard University School of Law, Washington DC, 1 March 2019.

Seven Black Inventors in the New York Times, 24 February 2019.

Fascinating New York Times obituary on Granville T. Woods here.

Short film on Super Soaker inventor Lonnie Johnson here.

Lateef Mtima explains IP Social Justice in this Authors Alliance interview.

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

“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.

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

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 need to be more widely understood;
  2. We need more positive contemporary examples and role models for innovation and entrepreneurship in communities today;
  3. We need a 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 we need to raise awareness of what cooperatives are as distinct from companies as investor owned firms.

We begin by opening a dialogue with the community to discuss innovation, creativity, 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