Social entrepreneur and executive Britney Robbins is committed to investing in Black communities through access, education, and innovation — harnessing humanity’s collective powers to create ever-evolving paths forward. As a catalyst for social change, she leverages entrepreneurial values to maximize opportunities for economic inclusion.
Britney believes economic mobility begins with investing in the next generation of leaders. As the Founder and CEO of The Gray Matter Experience, she empowers young people to strengthen their ties to self and society through experiential learning, entrepreneurship education, and leadership development. Since 2016, The Gray Matter Experience has connected over 1000 black youth to opportunities that propel their futures forward, serving as the paramount blueprint for entrepreneurship education nationwide.
An innovator within Chicago’s business and tech community, Britney has partnered with some of the city’s top venture capital firms and incubators. She has also led countless panels and entrepreneurial workshops to guide startup founders from concept to implementation. Through her work with CAST US, a multi-million dollar Black-owned Capital firm and Accelerator, Britney designed and spearheaded the Frederick Douglass Entrepreneurial Development & Leadership Institute (EDLI), a non-profit spinoff of CAST US. EDLI empowers underrepresented entrepreneurs to succeed through access to personalized business assessments, coaching, systems, and targeted connection to an ecosystem of resources and support. Britney’s work has built relationships across generational, financial, and status divides, creating more access for disinvested entrepreneurs.
With Ebony, Essence and Forbes Magazine features, Britney has emerged as a sought-after trailblazer for equal rights and inclusion for Black people in America. She has been named a Notable Black Leader and Executive by Crain’s Chicago Business and as an Ariel Investment, BMO Harris, and WVON’s 40 under 40 Gamechanger for her significant contributions to the corporate, business and civic leadership communities. The Chicago Bulls, Advocate Health Care and the Illinois State Comptroller have honored Britney as a champion for social justice.
As an adjunct professor at Loyola University’s Quinlan School of Business, Britney has expanded her social justice framework by challenging students to prioritize community needs over profits. Additionally, she informs social business strategies as a Baumhart Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility Leadership Council member. Britney’s alma mater, the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign, recently awarded her the LAS Outstanding Alumni Award. She is also a recipient of the Chicago Community Trust Donald Stewart Fellowship Award, which recognizes exemplary contributions to education, diversity, and inclusion by African American leaders.
Britney is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School for Strategic Leadership for Nonprofits and Nonprofit Management program. Aside from empowering communities, she enjoys outdoor activities, being a proud aunt to 12 nieces and nephews, and engaging in mindfulness practices that nourish her soul.