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.

Project Director – Ms. NaAsiaha C. Simon

Collaborative Leadership Model 

Dr. Micheal Robinson, Assistant Provost
Dr. Micheal Simmons, Dean of the College of Professional Studies
Dr. Anu Venkateswaran, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Charles Fox, Director of Telecommunications and Assistant Professor of Mass Communications

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

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.

Past Emerging Entrepreneur’s Selection Process

The selection process for the 2018-19 Emerging Entrepreneur’s Program and Road Trip is closed. Please check back in April 2019 for more about the 2019-20 application process. For more information email or review the 2018 selection process below.

Step I: Prepare an Executive Summary (your two-paged, double spaced, typed-12pt font) that communicates the following:

  • Overview of your business idea
  • Product or services offered
  • Customers or prospective customers
  • Sales & marketing strategy
  • Clear vision of the business you’re trying to create
  • The potential and issues of the intended business
  • Your contact information.

Step II: Meet with one of the following IDEA Coaches:

  • Dr. Marvin Reid (
  • Rev. Gerald Poe (
  • Dr. Charles Fox (
  • Dr. Anu Venkateswaran ( LIMITED AVAILABILITY

Step III: Submit Executive Summary to

Step IV: Interview with the Selection Committee (in-person or via technology)

Step V: If selected, prepare to travel to Atlanta, GA to embark on the Wilberforce University Emerging Entrepreneur’s Road Trip!

Please note: A business plan is not required to enter. You will have an opportunity to develop a business plan during the competition. The business submissions must be your original work and ideas.

To participate, you must be a Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior currently enrolled at Wilberforce University.

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

2018-19 Emerging Entrepreneurs

Erin Evans
Jalen Martin Wilkerson

Erinn Williams
Jalen Wakefield

Alex McClure
Charlissa Lee

© 2018 Wilberforce University - All Rights Reserved.

WU Insignia

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?