NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The newest installment of a partnership between ConnCORP and Quinnipiac University is set to launch a cohort of minority entrepreneurs next month.

“I have been in the fitness world since 2012, and what I know is coaching,” said Novella Akinson, who owns Asantewaa Fitness and Wellness. “I don’t know about business, so I’m looking forward to developing a business plan. I’m looking forward to networking with the other entrepreneurs in the program, learning about pitch videos and things like that. So, the business aspect of it is what I’m really excited about.”

The Quinnipiac University Entrepreneurship Academy and Clinic aims to support minority-owned businesses in New Haven by giving them the skills they need to thrive.

The first workshop launches in January.

Erik Clemons, the CEO of ConnCORP, said the hope is to give capital to Black entrepreneurs, continuing an existing program that supports high school students in an effort to get businesses quickly off the ground.

“The idea is to aggressively address poverty,” he said.

To learn about the program, email

Watch the full interview to learn more!