Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge

Advancing Entrepreneurship in Underserved Communities

Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge Report

Launched in 2017, the Blackstone Challenge is a three-year, $3 million program to fund organizations that recruit and support underserved entrepreneurs throughout Chicago. In the first year, eight organizations were selected to receive a total of $1 million in grant funding to develop innovative pilot programs to meet this goal.

Now in its second phase, the Blackstone Challenge will boost funding to organizations that demonstrated the most effective and sustainable programs, with an eye toward regional and national impact, awarding another $1.7 million for the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge, a partnership with ChicagoNEXT of World Business Chicago that invests in organizations that support entrepreneurship, new ventures, and job creation. During the next two years of the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge, ChicagoNEXT will also focus on regional programming for the broader community to ensure underserved entrepreneurs get equal access to Chicago’s growing innovation ecosystem.

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