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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Atlanta-Based Urban Business Institute Opens its Doors for Black Hustlers

Devin Robinson, founder of Urban Business Institute

Devin Robinson, founder of Urban Business Institute, sharing key lessons black people must learn.

Atlanta, GA — Black people have historically held multiple jobs or side hustles. This culture has allowed for some economic progress but not much. Pew Research Institute has released data in 2014 that shows despite strong or poor economies, blacks have consistently lagged behind with an average 13-17% unemployment and an average net worth of $11,000. Whites have often remained in single digit unemployment rates and held on to a $141,900 net worth.

Urban Business Institute, founded in Atlanta, Georgia, began its work in 2012 with a strict focus on helping blacks go from hustlers to enterprisers. A training and incubation organization founded by Devin Robinson, his motivation to form this business came from when he opened 3 beauty supply stores in 2005 and began opening them for other entrepreneurs that asked for his helped.

To date, he has opened 79 stores in America, Canada and the Caribbean under Beauty Supply Institute but he soon expanded with Urban Business Institute due to the lack of what he calls the “enterprising mindset” from the new business owners. His success in owning beauty supply stores, a vending company, publishing, a fitness center, real estate and public speaking career was due to his approach of being the “best” business, not just a black one.

A former adjunct business & economics professor, while he ran his businesses, Robinson started noticing major issues with the types of students that were coming through his classrooms and then showing up as graduates to his businesses for work. He felt colleges were becoming too consumed with creating “happy customers” instead of well-equipped students.

Robinson said, “I wanted to create an easy admission, extremely low tuition training institute for black entrepreneurs that doesn’t discourage them from applying because of any academic or social blemishes they may have, while we maintain a very substantive curriculum that only focuses on business start-up and business ownership using all of my experience. I went from earning $85,000 on a job to generating $100,000 per month in business… and I grew up as an average kid.”

Robinson started to drill down the disparities and economic issues in black communities to be the lack of black businesses that are owned by enterprisers and not hustlers. He said, “We often own businesses that are not widely successful enough to employ people of our community and pay them a competitive salary. This results in many other problems such as crime, poverty, banking, unemployment and the ability to be discriminated against. Then, we have blacks that are afraid to start full-time businesses at all. They keep moonlighting.”

Urban Business Institute’s SMART Business Academy has several programs: Power MOVER (for the entrepreneur trying to quit work), Power Owner (the existing business owner), Power Leader and Power Enterpriser. The academy operates across the U.S. and has graduated almost 1,000 students since 2013. Students have mostly been black and they have ranged from age 19 to 70, with a range of students, from a restaurant owner of 18 years to a young drug dealer who became inspired to start a clothing store following the training and every other type of aspiring entrepreneur in between.

For more information or to inquire about enrollment, go to www.UrbanBusinessInstitute.com.


Daphne Dunning