RICE Unveils Digital Platform for Black Entrepreneurs, Bolstered by Disney Partnership

Last updated: December 17, 2023

The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) is stepping up its game with the launch of a virtual educational platform, “Digital RICE”. This new venture aims to empower Black entrepreneurs with insights on navigating both public and private business sectors. The announcement was made at an entrepreneurship retreat in Orlando, Florida, where RICE also revealed the renewal of its partnership with Disney Experiences.

RICE Unveils Digital Platform for Black Entrepreneurs
Courtesy of: https://theatlantavoice.com/

Disney’s subsidiary, which oversees all its global theme parks, will contribute a portion of its funds to advance Digital RICE. This financial boost brings Disney’s total contribution to over $1 million.

“This didn’t exist two years ago,” said Paul Wilson Jr., RICE’s VP of innovation and entrepreneurship. “(Disney has) taken a liking to us in a very special way.”

Digital RICE will offer a self-paced, virtual component, allowing users to digest lessons at their own pace. It’s an expansion of RICE’s existing supplier readiness training curriculum.

The goal, according to RICE’s COO Burunda Prince, is to grow their businesses while learning to collaborate with companies of different sizes. “If you can be certified and qualified to do business with Disney, you can be certified and qualified to do business with Walmart, Target or any other major corporation,” Prince said.

Previously, RICE’s support was limited to Atlanta-based entrepreneurs. However, Disney’s sponsorship will extend RICE’s resources to entrepreneurs nationwide. Wilson believes the program will prepare business owners to work with all kinds of companies, including Fortune 500 ones.

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