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Inter-denominational school participating in business initiative


A Catholic university whose students come from various faiths is participating in a business initiative designed to boost minority-owned businesses in Memphis, Tennessee. Christian Brothers University is a lead partner in “The 800 Initiative,” along with FedEx, Epicenter, and Start Co.

The initiative derives its name from a study that found about 800 of the city’s minority businesses were stuck in beginning phases. FedEx has committed $1 million to the effort over the next four years.  

Christian Brothers University’s role will be to increase accessibility to professional training to help individuals succeed in business. With just over 1,400 students, the private school is located on a 75-acre campus about four miles east of downtown Memphis. It was founded in 1871 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic teaching order.

While CBU is a Catholic university, only 24 percent of the students are Catholic. The school’s website says 34 different faiths are represented in the student body: “Religious observances are not required, but students are encouraged to practice their faith openly and actively.”



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