Johnetta Hardy, former executive director of Howard University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Innovation, has been named director of the University of Baltimore's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Merrick School of Business Dean Darlene Smith announced the appointment last August.
Hardy served as the head of Howard University's center for developing entrepreneurs from 2006 to 2010, during which she partnered with Howard's business school and the Washington, D.C. Small Business Development Center to create the Georgia Avenue Development, Growth and Environmental Transition Center, a hub for entrepreneurial activities for the Howard community. She also secured financial support for the center through corporate and foundation giving, developed student and alumni incubators for starting small businesses, and established an advisory board for the center.
"Johnetta is the answer to our question about how to meet the demands of an increasingly sophisticated environment for small businesses, start-ups, serial entrepreneurs and so on," Smith said. "In 2012 and beyond we need our CEI director to take charge of many things—to develop and implement market strategies, explore the potential for venture capital, network with like-minded entrepreneurs, and manage the center so that our students, alumni and the community at large can benefit every day from its presence in Baltimore City. Johnetta intends to make it clear that this is the only center of its kind in the metropolitan area. She has the experience and the energy level to do it. I'm very excited to have her on UB’s team."
"Today's entrepreneur is engaged on many fronts, and we at UB are here to support their inspiring activities and initiatives," Hardy added. "Our institution has first-rate expertise and experience in these areas, and I will apply that knowledge to both the everyday issues as well as the 'big-picture' aspects of what it means to be an entrepreneur in a great American city. Together, we can make Baltimore a hub for all things entrepreneurial."
Prior to her directorship at Howard's entrepreneur center, Hardy served as deputy executive director for the National Association of Black Accountants from 1998 to 2006, during which she worked in strategic planning for fundraising and increasing membership and directed efforts on several fronts toward the organization's annual national conventions.
She also has been an adjunct professor for the Washington Center for Internships and Academic seminars since 1997, and served as business director in 1996-97 for Howard's Small Business Development Center and the Metropolitan Small Business Administration and the National Council of Negro Women.
Hardy holds an M.A. in human communications behavior from the Howard University Graduate School of Communication, as well as a bachelor's degree from the university's School of Communication.
Among her memberships and professional affiliations, she is active with the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, and the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2007 she was awarded the Legacy in Entrepreneurship Education Award from the African American Empowerment Group, and in 2009 she received the Faculty of the Year Award from the Washington Center for Internships and Seminars.