Blackstone Charitable Foundation Announces $40 Million Commitment to Expand Blackstone LaunchPad and Partnership with UNCF
New York, February 4, 2021 – Blackstone (NYSE: BX) today 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.”
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $619 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.
UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 17 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” ® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @UNCF.