The A.G. Gaston Business Institute was founded to assist small businesses operating in emerging markets with the information, knowledge, and connections necessary for their continued success. The founder of the Institute, Bob Dickerson, recognized the importance of lifelong learning and chose to honor an influential black business leader by naming it after Dr. A.G. Gaston. Even though the A.G. Gaston Business Institute is not a traditional educational institution, its programs give business owners the knowledge, motivation, and skills necessary to increase their chances of success in their ventures. When it comes to being successful, this is one of the most important things you can do.

It’s vital to have partnerships. One of the reasons MasterCard is such a great partner to the AG Gaston Business Directory is their commitment to ensuring the success of minority-owned businesses. This dedication provides access to funding, resources, and tools that can assist in furthering the growth of all small businesses.

Bob Dickerson, President

Who We Are:

Our Mission:

The A.G. Gaston Business Institute was founded to empower small businesses operating in emerging markets by equipping them with invaluable information, knowledge, and essential connections for sustained success.

Our Purpose:

Our founder, Bob Dickerson, held a deep appreciation for lifelong learning and chose to pay homage to the influential black business leader, Dr. A.G. Gaston, through the institute’s name. The A.G. Gaston Business Institute offers innovative programs that serve as a catalyst for business owners, providing them with the necessary knowledge, motivation, and skills to significantly enhance their chances of success in their entrepreneurial endeavors. In pursuing success, fostering partnerships becomes a vital element.

Our Partnerships:

We gained the attention of Mastercard, an early funder of our efforts. Our other partners include Birmingham Business Resource Center, Foundation Capital, Community Economic Development Group, and Dickerson Management. Together, we are championing the success of entrepreneurs and leveraging our combined expertise and resources to cultivate thriving businesses, foster economic growth, and empower communities.

Our Key Programs:

The A.G. Gaston Business Institute offers exceptional programs and resources, including the Start Smart Youth Entrepreneurship Program, workshops and seminars to help small businesses, and the opportunity to be part of the business directory. These programs are vital for entrepreneurs, providing valuable resources, mentorship, exposure, and early entrepreneurial education. They significantly empower entrepreneurs to succeed in the competitive business landscape, foster innovation, and drive economic growth.

Business Directory

Through our business directory, we offer a comprehensive listing of businesses owned and operated by African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama, showcasing the diverse and thriving entrepreneurial spirit within Birmingham’s business community. By featuring their enterprises, the directory fosters visibility and access to potential customers, investors, and partners, leveling the playing field in the business landscape and championing economic equity.

START SMART Youth Entrepreneurship Program

The START SMART Youth Entrepreneurship Program is an innovative initiative that engages young minds in entrepreneurial thinking. Developed by Bob Dickerson, a well-respected small business coach and advocate, START SMART aligns with his belief that we must prepare future generations for business success by providing them with early exposure to the world of entrepreneurship.

Our Board

Devin Posey – President

Schuylar Osby – Vice-President

Marketa Dickerson – Secretary

Kyra Osby – Treasurer

DeAndrea Dickerson

Starla Marbury

Ron Marshall

Allyson Posey

Our Partners