The International Black Business Museum is the first and only museum in the world whose mission is to preserve the history and honor the contributions of Black entrepreneurs in the United States and in other countries of the world. This museum will serve as the only comprehensive public testament to the ingenuity, brilliance, hard work, and business acumen that these entrepreneurs used to promote economic development.


      In spite of their tremendous talent and ingenuity, the story of Black-owned businesses is very much an untold story even in the 21st century. Many people do not know about the vast range of products and services that they have provided, the inventions they created, the strategies they used, and their roles in promoting the attainment of economic independence. Our vision is to make this information accessible to a global audience to celebrate and honor their entrepreneurial spirt, creativity, and innovation. Towards that end, the IBBM will establish the International Black Business Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala in which black entrepreneurs in the USA and globally will be inducted every two years based on criteria established by the International Board of Directors.


      The creation of the International Black Business Museum is very much connected to more than 20 years of research performed by Dr. Bessie House-Soremekun on Black entrepreneurs in the United States and Africa. It is also connected to the information that she has gleaned through the creation of five entrepreneurial centers over this same time period. The idea of having an entity known as the International Black Business Museum was the result of an epiphany that she experienced in early July of 2019 when she was driving her vehicle in the city of Cleveland. She envisioned the possibility of creating an entity that would be responsible for bringing together the artifacts, inventions, historical records and materials of Black entrepreneurs in a significant physical space to document their tremendous contributions in economic development. Upon reaching her home, she sat down at her desk and sketched out her ideas on a sheet of paper.

      On July 10, 2019, she acquired the assistance of a college student at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church to help develop a graphic depiction of what the structure of the museum would look like. On this same day, she typed up a four-page conceptual summary with a high level of specificity about what the museum would actually encompass.

      Upon the completion of the concept paper and the formatting of the document, she circulated it to a few family members, academic scholars, entrepreneurs, and community leaders to acquire their feedback on the feasibility of pursuing this project. She was delighted to find that all of them wholeheartedly supported the idea. These original stakeholders became part of a working group that met via conference calls every two weeks during the summer months to discuss the concept paper and to further refine the ideas that were written in it. These discussions focused on what the entity should be called, where the museum should be located, as well as first steps that should be taken to continue the high level of enthusiasm that was evident and to help the group to maintain its momentum. The members of the working group eventually became the first members of the International Board of Directors. The IBBM was established as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in August of 2019 and a copyright of the concept paper was applied for with the U.S. Copyright Office.