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Blackstone Charitable Foundation delivers donation in Florida.
Diverse student organizations are the beneficiaries. Photo: @BXLaunchPad.

$5 million for diverse colleges and universities in Florida

The resources will be to support student entrepreneurship development programs.

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The Blackstone Charitable Foundation recently announced this grant, which will be distributed over 3 years to expand LaunchPad, its entrepreneurial skills development program to help students launch successful businesses and careers.

Directing resources to 5 new universities, including one Historically Black College and University (HBCU), and three Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), the new grant is part of the foundation's broader $40 million commitment to support institutions of higher education with a largely underrepresented population or that are serving low-income communities.

Maura Pally, executive director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, noted:

We are thrilled to welcome this new group of Florida LaunchPad schools into our network and community. Blackstone continues to be committed to Florida and to connecting students with professional networks and opportunities to help them build successful companies and careers.

A decade of support

The University of Central Florida has been supported by Blackstone LaunchPad for the past 10 years, benefiting its students with career advancement and economic mobility programs, equipping them with skills, resources and opportunities to achieve their goals.

"Miami's growing entrepreneurial and tech ecosystem calls for transformational investment in the home-grown talent who will fuel that growth. Miami Dade College has a long track-record of enabling entrepreneurship in this community through The Idea Center and this partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad will allow us to further expand our entrepreneurial skills-building across the College. We look forward to having MDC scale its ability to support even more aspiring young entrepreneurs in the years to come. We know they become the backbone of this community,” said Madeline Pumariega, Miami Dade College president. 

Philanthropic effort

Through these partnerships, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation focuses on empowering its candidates to be more attractive to potential employers by providing a lifelong learning mindset, creative and critical thinking skills, and the ability to build social capital.

In addition to accessing these programs, no matter what career they choose, students will be able to participate in national programs, such as pitching contests and scholarships, where they can build lasting professional relationships.

The 2021 initiative to expand Blackstone LaunchPad to higher education institutions with a majority of underrepresented or under-resourced students has taken the initiative to 22 Hispanic-serving institutions, 7 HBCUs, and 4 community colleges.

“We are extremely grateful to the Blackstone Charitable Foundation for providing us with this opportunity to expand the entrepreneurship programs at FIU. This grant will enable us to strengthen our commitment to providing our students with the tools they need to assess new enterprise opportunities and start new ventures,” said William Hardin, Dean of FIU School of Business.

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