In the city of Atlanta, a child born into poverty has almost no chance of reaching the upper middle class – less than four percent. And more than half of those born into poverty will remain in poverty their entire lives.

THIRTY-SEVEN percent of African American households have a net worth of ZERO, and Atlanta leads the country in economic immobility and income inequality.

But the data is clear: the greatest equalizer of wealth disparity is business ownership. On average, minority business owners have a median net worth TWELVE times higher than those who do not own businesses. To break these dismal cycles, we must create new economic operations.

RCIE is our BIG IDEA.

Launching in 2019, honoring the great legacy and visionary business leadership of Herman J. Russell, The Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE), will be the largest center in the country, driven by community impact, devoted to empowering African American entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The only initiative of its kind in the region, RCIE will be part incubator, part accelerator, part innovation lab and even part museum; changing the narrative by telling the untold and under-told stories of African American entrepreneurs and business leaders of past and present, while offering access to place and space, resources, networks, mentorship, technical assistance and education. Atlanta’s nexus between community, exposure, access and opportunity. Ultimately building a prepared and capable pipeline of entrepreneurial leaders and sustainable businesses that will raise the collective prosperity of Atlanta—just as Mr. Russell did in so many ways.

In the heart of one of Atlanta’s Opportunity Zones, RCIE will house over 50,000 SF of affordable coworking, convening, meeting and makerspace; along with a robust offering of educational, mentoring, networking, and capital resources; dedicated to inspiring ideas, creating jobs, scaling companies, and increasing wealth in the community.

BIG IDEAS.
  • I

    Inspire

    5,000 individuals through entrepreneurship and the benefits of an entrepreneurial mind.

  • D

    Develop

    250 new start-up companies.

  • E

    Educate

    700 existing businesses to grow by 1-5 employees.

  • A

    Accelerate

    50 growth companies by 10-15 employees.

  • S

    Sustain

    Our goal is to create sustainable businesses.

The Russell Family legacy.

The Russell family, led by H.J. Russell and Russell Construction, quite literally built Atlanta, as we know it today. H.J. Russell & Co., founded in 1953 and headquartered in Atlanta, is the largest minority-owned real estate and construction company in the U.S. Over the past six decades, the company has demonstrated its commitment to urban renewal and community building via thoughtful real estate development. In addition to H.J. Russell & Co., the Russell family also owns Concessions International, the largest African American-owned airport concessions company in the country. The Russell family is composed of highly respected entrepreneurs with deep roots in the City of Atlanta and across the nation.

The Russells are also historically and politically influential African-Americans, who have provided decades of significant support for the civil rights movement, the advancement of students and entrepreneurs, and the development of the city of Atlanta.

The second and third generations of Russells are committed to honoring H.J.’s legacy by revitalizing the area and creating a 50,000-square foot location of innovation, imagination and opportunity for Atlanta’s entrepreneurs. The corporate relocation makes room for a truly catalytic venue in a way that deepens the family’s dedication to the neighborhood.

See what we’re building at RCIE.
We want to hear from you.
Join us on this journey.

504 Fair St SW
Atlanta, GA 30313

Fill out the form below to get updates on our progress. Let us know if you have questions, feedback, or if you would like to schedule a tour of our facility.