Blackstone contributions to be used to aid in COVID-19 response
Bunker Labs – a non-profit network of veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs dedicated to helping the military-connected community start and grow their own businesses – has received $100,000 from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation in honor of Military Appreciation Month to support entrepreneurs with the challenges they face in the time of COVID-19. This builds upon nearly $500,000 of previous support. Over the coming months, Bunker Labs, with support from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, is focused on empowering military-connected entrepreneurs to respond, recover and rebound from economic crisis by shifting programming to virtual formats and providing additional resources and community engagement opportunities. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Bunker Labs as part of the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge in partnership with World Business Chicago.
“Our firm has a long history of supporting military veterans and their families and we have been proud to partner with Bunker Labs the last three years,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “We are eager to support our veteran entrepreneurs during this pandemic as we continue a strong collaboration to ensure the veteran community thrives.”
Blackstone and Bunker Labs will also be launching the Blackstone Veterans Mentorship Initiative in June, a pilot volunteer coaching and advisory initiative to support the military-connected community in this time of crisis. Given Blackstone’s tremendous pool of intellectual talent, the firm will provide volunteers in different areas of expertise to support veteran and military spouse owned businesses. Bunker Labs will recruit and match 10-15 entrepreneurs with Blackstone talent to move their businesses forward and recover from the challenges facing business owners today.
With support from key national partners including Blackstone, Bunker Labs launched the #All_In campaign to equip the community with experts and resources to help entrepreneurs succeed - collecting and sharing stories of challenges and successes from entrepreneurs and providing access to experts from SBA and Financial Institutions with guidance on the Payroll Protection Program and other aspects of the CARES Act.
Bunker Labs will also launch the new Bunker Online platform to provide additional support for military-connected entrepreneurs facing challenges caused or exacerbated by COVID-19. Through this hub, members of the military community will be able to connect with peers, mentors, job opportunities, partner organizations and other resources based on a variety of industry, geographic, business stage or other characteristics.
This latest investment from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is also expanding the impact of Bunker Labs by supporting an Entrepreneurship Insights Survey to understand the challenges that the military community face with more robust data and measurement systems to better track pressing needs.
For more information, visit https://bunkerlabs.org/all_in/.