Empowering the Ecosystem

Johnetta Hardy

Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Bowie State University

Johnetta is a prominent figure with over 25 years dedicated to championing entrepreneurship as a transformative power for communities. With extensive experience, she has played pivotal roles in leading entrepreneurship centers for over two decades. Presently, she serves as the founding Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Innovation Center at Bowie State University (BSU), where she injects her relentless energy and passion for fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and culture across the campus. Under her leadership, she empowers the next generation of entrepreneurs, enabling students to bring innovative business ideas to life. She is the visionary founder and chair of the Annual HBCU+ Entrepreneurship Conference hosted by Bowie State University. The Conference is a platform advocating for entrepreneurial excellence and innovation.

Throughout her illustrious career, Johnetta has been a guiding light for business endeavors, having created four companies and counseled over 3000 businesses. Her insights and perspectives on entrepreneurship and education have been shared in her co-authored 2021 works, “The Black Experience” and “Navigating Higher Education through a Virtual World,” and she is a published contributor to the Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy – Vol. 5. Her commitment to entrepreneurship education and innovation is evident in her active roles in various prestigious boards and groups. She is a revered member of the Global Consortium for Entrepreneurship Centers’ Executive Advisory Board and the co-founder of the Centers & Institutes Social Innovation Group within the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). She sits on the University System of Maryland Launch Fund Executive Committee.

Johnetta’s involvement with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, highlights her dedication to community service and advocacy for educational excellence. The Daily Record selected her as one of Maryland’s 2024 Top 100 Women and also in 2016. Johnetta holds an Entrepreneurship Essentials Certificate from Harvard Business School and an Entrepreneurial Mindset Facilitator Certification from the Entrepreneurship Learning Initiative. She has earned both a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University. A native of Washington, DC, Johnetta is happily married and the proud mother of two beautiful daughters.