The Circle Pressroom

Press Release
February 15, 2022

Circle Collaborates with Bowie State & Rhodes Universities’ Entrepreneurial and Technological Empowerment Program

Learning module brings digital financial literacy education and essential fintech entrepreneurialism to the U.S. and South Africa and is Circle’s first Circle Impact engagement

BOSTON — FEBRUARY 15, 2022 — Circle Internet Financial, LLC, today announced the first in a series of partnerships centered around its Circle Impact digital financial literacy pillar through collaboration with HBCU Bowie State and Rhodes Universities’ joint learning module, the Entrepreneurial and Technological Empowerment Program (ETEP). Supported by the U.S. Department of State in South Africa, the module is part of the Spring 2022 semester for students enrolled at the universities in Bowie, Maryland and South Africa.

ETEP introduces business students to the skills needed to integrate budding digital technologies with project management, information systems, and digital financial literacy to develop a global entrepreneurial mindset and foster intercultural knowledge exchange. The program benefits both local communities and business students as they apply tech-based solutions to identified socio-economic problems facing local community co-ops. 

“The opportunity to collaborate with these two esteemed universities on their ETEP initiative is a prodigious honor for Circle and our employees,” said Dante Disparte, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Global Policy at Circle. “A key pillar of Circle Impact is to ensure the future of finance leaves no one behind by establishing a digital financial literacy initiative, and both Bowie State and Rhodes Universities are aligned in our mission to help us foster fair and equitable access to digital financial education and catalyze more participatory entrepreneurship.”

As part of the collaboration, Circle will assist in co-creating learning modules, provide subject matter experts to help teach material and offer hands-on learning opportunities, exposing students to the opportunities that open source technologies and fintech offer aspiring entrepreneurs. Circle’s collaboration will also expose students to hackathon-style presentations and executive mentorship, career fairs and access to mentoring and networking for startups.

“When we learned of the Circle Impact initiative, we knew we had found the right collaborative partner to help us realize the vision of this initiative,” said Dr. Kavita Kapur, Assistant Professor at Bowie State University’s College of Business. “The digital financial literacy subject matter expertise and real-world entrepreneurial skills will help us accelerate learning and take our students from the classroom to the future.”  

“We approached Circle with a wish list to bring ETEP’s curriculum to life, and they answered with energy, passion and resources,” said Yaya Fanusie, ETEP advisor and chief strategist at Cryptocurrency AML Strategies who also developed a blockchain introduction course in 2018 at Morgan State University, a Baltimore, Maryland-based HBCU. “Together, I believe we will educate and prepare students to succeed personally and professionally and make lasting contributions to their communities.”

“Preparing students for the world of work and integrating a service-learning aspect into our curriculum are hallmarks of Rhodes University’s unique business programs,” said Tshidi Mohapeloa, Professor at Rhodes University’s Business School. “Collaborating with Bowie State and now Circle to bring the benefits of ETEP to our students and our community co-ops is a unique opportunity for all of us to contribute toward our common goals.”