Graduate Associate, Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge

World Business Chicago is the City of Chicago’s economic development organization. We’re a public-private, non-profit partnership that drives inclusive economic growth and job creation, supports business, and promotes Chicago as a leading global city.

ChicagoNEXT leads WBC’s World Business Chicago’s dedicated effort to drive growth and opportunity for Chicago’s tech economy. Governed by a council of technology leaders, ChicagoNEXT strategic focus areas include capital, talent, industry, and community.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas hardest hit by the global economic crisis. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities.


World Business Chicago (WBC) is seeking a Graduate Associate to aid the ChicagoNEXT team in the management of the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge program. The three-year program, $3 million grant program, which just launched its third program year, funds innovative organizations that effectively recruit and support diverse entrepreneurs and scale startups in the Chicago area. The selected programs serve diverse populations, including communities of color, women, veterans, and immigrants.

The Associate will support the program’s mission, vision and values, reporting to the ChicagoNEXT Director and receiving leadership, engagement and direction from the ChicagoNEXT Chair, ChicagoNEXT Program Manager and additional WBC leadership.

The Associate will have familiarity with Chicago’s civic and technology communities and knowledge of entrepreneurship-focused organizations and/or programs. The Associate will have excellent project management, organization and communication skills, and an ability to thrive in complex environments and manage multiple work-streams simultaneously.


  • Assist ChicagoNEXT Inclusive Entrepreneurship Director with all projects and objectives and ensuring technical feasibility.
  • Successfully support, and in some cases manage, multiple relationships with various stakeholders with Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Program.
  • Support and assist in development of communications products such as (but not limited to): press releases, social media and other digital media assets.
  • Maintain comprehensive project documentation and coordinate internal resources and third parties/vendors to impeccably execute projects.


  • Ability to work effectively across a variety of skill areas, including project management, communications, content creation, event planning and execution.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including WBC staff, board members, government stakeholders, and outside advisors.
  • Self-starter with the able to work independently as well as with a team; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.
  • Excellent writing/editing and verbal communication skills.
  • Commitment to deliver against deadlines; ability to handle high priority and pressure situations.
  • Entrepreneurial approach is a must, and experience working in a startup environment with evolving priorities and processes preferred.


  • Current graduate student in public policy, business, social service, or a related field
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite applications.
  • Financial budget and reporting experience.


  • This program requires a commitment until the end of program year 3 (July 2020).
  • Stipend provided for a minimum of 15 hours per week during the academic year not to exceed 30 hours per week during out of school time.


If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to:

Carrie Summons

World Business Chicago

177 N State St #500, Chicago IL 60601