Institute Of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship Program Coming To Philly


For decades, the culture of Hip Hop and its music has instilled countless principles into the minds of his fans and followers alike, despite the way negative headlines tend to dominate the conversation.

Now one Philly man is using said principles to not only pay the culture’s blessings forward, he’s empowering future business owners and innovators in the process.

Tayyib Smith spoke to CNN Money about his role as co-founder of The Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship, a nine-month weekend business program that will help impoverished and underserved communities beat the odds they’re constantly told are insurmountable.

“Hip-hop, more so than any other genre, embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship,” Smith, 45, says. “Our intention is to decode how hip hop has influenced traditional business practices. Far too often, young people with real ambitions are overlooked by existing educational and business programs. This is for them.”

Through the hard work, planning and the help of the Knight Foundation, Smith was able to secure $308,000 in funding to get The Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship started as he finalizes the plans for course work and staffers. Such an effort has allowed the program to be free for all accepted students, with the first 36 future entrepreneurs expected to start as early as this fall.

Entrepreneurship in Hip Hop, generally accompanies wealth and Smith says he was inspired by the biggest players in the game to help encourage all who enter the program. Musicians and other related professionals will replace the standard teacher/lecture model in attempts to make the program that much more engaging.

“Dre elevated Beats into a headphones empire before selling it to Apple for $3 billion,” Smith explained to CNN before bigging up Sean “Puff Daddy/Diddy” Combs for his dominance in the fashion (Sean John) and liquor (Cîroc) marketplaces.

Smith says his edutainment business model began after he conquered dyslexia as younger man and worked extensively in the music industry; first as a employee for Axis Music Group before co-launching a magazine and a branding agency with 215 Magazine and Little Giant Creative, respectively.

His developing institution is already igniting excitement in local members of the community as well.


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