Many are called, but few are chosen. Of the 550 organizations that submitted a request for proposal (RFP) for the Blackstone Innovation Grant, only twenty were selected – African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg South Africa was among them.

The cash award is part of a $3 million grant that was earmarked for 20 non-profit organizations which solidify entrepreneurial ecosystems and support high growth entrepreneurs.

As explained by Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable foundation: “Through our Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Foundation is committed to strengthening and supporting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystems globally through programs that enable the most promising new companies to remain and grow in their local economies. We view our Blackstone Innovation Grants as an extension of that work – the organizations we support are helping create the conditions necessary for entrepreneurs to thrive, and we look forward to working with them on these important efforts in the year ahead.”

The foundation hopes to assist organizations replicate programs that will accelerate growth of communities, businesses and industries in their localities. Funding for the academy aims to allow it guide entrepreneurial training camps across Africa, allowing young people lead and design ventures. 2015’s funding was granted to six organizations from the previous year’s pool of winners and fourteen new ones.The jurisdiction of the awardees programs encompasses 13 U.S states, India, Middle East, South Africa, Washington D.C and the United Kingdom.

Blackstone’s Chairman and CEO, Stephen A. Schwarzman, elaborates more about the mission of the organization on their website thus: “We are looking for innovative projects and catalytic ideas that can contribute to the economic rebuilding of the nation through entrepreneurship – specifically in regions where talent is strong, ideas are abundant, and our capital can make a real difference spurring job growth.”

The Blackstone charitable foundation, founded in in 2007 at the time of its Initial Public Offer (IPO), directs resources and applies its intellectual capital to foster entrepreneurship globally.

Olumuyiwa Coker Author

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox