Blackstone Charitable Foundation Announces $40 Million Commitment to Expand Blackstone LaunchPad and Partnership With UNCF

Blackstone have announced that the Blackstone Charitable Foundation will expand its LaunchPad program to support underrepresented students and communities. Going forward, LaunchPad will focus on colleges and universities that have a majority diverse population or are serving under-resourced communities. With a $40 million commitment, LaunchPad will increase its program from 30 to 75 campuses over the next five years. The Foundation will work with UNCF, the largest scholarship provider for students of color, as a strategic advisor to help identify schools appropriate for growth, develop plans to support students, and use their platform to amplify LaunchPad’s mission.

This builds on a series of firmwide initiatives to further advance Blackstone’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, including the two recently announced initiatives: a firmwide mandate to target a least one-third diverse representation on new control portfolio company boards as well as Career Pathways, a pilot program designed to create employment opportunities and career mobility at portfolio companies for people from under-resourced communities.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation also recently announced a $5 million commitment to expand LaunchPad to six additional campuses in The University of Texas school system, bringing the initiative’s network and resources to a more diverse set of students. Four of the six campuses included are designated Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), which doubles the number of HSIs in the LaunchPad network and further underscores the commitment to increasing inclusion in student entrepreneurship.

Drawing on insights from ten years of experience, Blackstone LaunchPad will also develop new offerings to bring its critical entrepreneurship training to a broader set of students and offer an expanded set of programs for entrepreneurial skill-building – like building business acumen and creative problem solving –  to support career mobility in 21st century jobs.

Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, said: “In the last ten years of LaunchPad, we have seen a growing need for inclusion in student entrepreneurship. As we continue to build on our commitment to diversity and equity, we hope to support a new generation of entrepreneurs and provide resources for students to thrive in today’s workforce.”

Dr. Michael Lomax, President and CEO of UNCF, said: “Our partnership with Blackstone underscores the firm’s commitment to genuinely expanding its offerings to reach more diverse students. We have been impressed with their expansion plans and hope to grow this partnership to continue making LaunchPad more inclusive.”

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