Streets University is a community-based program that speaks the language of the “streets” – the culture of today’s urban environment; while teaching practical business basics and providing actual opportunities to turn practice into profit. The program is driven by the needs, desires and capacity of the community, as opposed to merely the needs of a consumer.
Going a step further than other programs, Streets University adds a self-knowledge component to entrepreneurship, and also addresses the inappropriate behavior patterns that have led to self-defeating decisions and conditions present in urban communities. Some of the behaviors addressed among youth & young adults are listed below:
Misjudgment of business viability: The tendency to a misjudge the mom and pop or a tech business’s viability as not being as good as a corporate level job, professional athletic or entertainment career
Lack of social reinforcement for entrepreneurship: The respect of professionals, hustlers, athletes, entertainers, etc.; rather than entrepreneurship. The perception that black business are marginal and that it is more lucrative to work for someone else.
Lack of trust: Due to the legacy of inequity, the cooperative spirit seen in other immigrant communities by pooling their resources is minimal in black urban consciousness and therefore, communities.
Poor service and consumer attitudes: The assumption that black businesses should be supported because they are black and therefore lack customer service and management techniques, or “Buy black for the cause, not for the service.”
Attitude toward work: Due to the legacy of slavery, many Black youth seem to despise work as an activity that does not help to benefit their lives or their communities; and many times look at work as punishment.
Attitude toward material things: A careless attitude towards material things. The “bling-bling” & “Turnt-Up” mentality that many interpret as symbols of freedom and power and creating wealth
Additionally Street University workshops and facilities will ideally be located in the inner-city or on a direct bus route in order for neighborhood residents to attend classes, workshops and participate; rather than having to traveling to another location outside their immediate neighborhood or community.
- Computers & Software Companies
- (CRA) Community Banks,
- Local, State and Federal Agencies
- Chambers of Commerce, Community/Economic Development Organizations
- Community Minority/Women Business Leaders and Owners (ex: bank board members, school board members, community representative board members, parents, attorneys)
- High Schools & Middle Schools (Unified School Districts)
- Hip Hop and media Personalities