An Alcorn State professor has been selected as a faculty fellow for the Howard University & PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship (HUxPNC Center).

Dr. Babu George, a professor in the School of Business, will participate in the innovative initiative launched to support entrepreneurship at HBCUs and for Black business owners nationwide. 

“This recognition confirms Dr. George’s dedication to transformative educational practices, particularly in empowering entrepreneurship amongst our leaders of tomorrow,” said Dr. Antwon Woods, dean of the School of Business. “His relentless pursuit of research and scholarship is a testament to our University’s mission and the broader goals of HBCUs. We are exceptionally proud of his accomplishment.”

George was selected as a representative for the Southwest region for his project, “AI and the Black Entrepreneur: Case Studies in Technological Empowerment.” 

“I am immensely honored and appreciative to be chosen as an inaugural faculty fellow for the Howard University & PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship,” said George. “My journey in entrepreneurship research, which began with my doctoral studies in 2002, has been a driving force in my academic pursuits. Receiving this recognition is profoundly gratifying.”

His study will explore how African American entrepreneurs can use artificial intelligence for common business practices and its ethical implications. 

“This research is pivotal as it explores the application of AI in supporting African-American entrepreneurs in areas like product development, marketing, operations, and strategic decision-making,” said George. “It also addresses the challenges and ethical dilemmas associated with AI, aiming to promote equitable access and utilization. Given AI’s transformative impact on business, it’s critical to understand how it can bolster entrepreneurship among historically marginalized groups, who often encounter obstacles in accessing resources, capital, and networks.”

As part of his research approach, he will work across academic disciplines to determine how they influence each other to bring about innovation. 

“My current focus is on the implications of digital transformation for entrepreneurship, with a special emphasis on AI,” said George. “The discourse around AI varies, with some viewing it as a potential exacerbator of digital disparities, while others see it as a mitigating force. My work explores these and related perspectives, particularly within the context of African American and minority entrepreneurship.”

The faculty fellows program supports HBCU faculty members who contribute to the Center’s mission of empowering Black entrepreneurship through research and scholarship. George will receive a $10,000 stipend for the fellowship.

George will use the funding for interviews with“Black entrepreneurs integrating AI into their businesses, attendance at pertinent conferences for knowledge sharing and networking, and the acquisition of data analysis tools.”

“The ultimate goal is to synthesize these insights into a published book and one or more peer-reviewed journal articles, said George.

The benefits of the fellowship include opportunities for collaboration, networking, and resources.

“Beyond financial support, the fellowship affords collaboration with the esteemed Howard University & PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship, granting access to a wealth of networks and resources, said George. “It also offers a platform at the Center’s National Conference to disseminate my research to a broader audience, fostering engagement with fellow academics and industry experts. This fellowship is a catalyst for my professional growth and will pave the way for my future scholarly pursuits in related fields.”

George will be recognized as a fellow at the 2nd Annual Black Commerce Conference in June 2024 in National Harbor, Md.