News Release

Blackstone Charitable Foundation grants UNF Coggin College $500K to advance career mobility through entrepreneurial skills

Grant and Award Announcement

University of North Florida

Student entrepreneurs pitching ideas to business leaders

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Credit: University of North Florida

Jacksonville, Fla. – The University of North Florida Coggin College of Business (CCB) is pleased to announce a generous $500,000 grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to provide entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skill-building programs to help UNF students prepare for successful careers.


The gift will establish a new physical space opening this fall for Blackstone LaunchPad, with programming and events that offer innovation and entrepreneurial opportunities for students across campus. Faculty, established entrepreneurs, and business leaders will be available to students for insight and advice. Students will also have access to national programming to help them build their peer and professional network, access paid internships and other career exposure opportunities, and strengthen their entrepreneurial mindset.


“Today’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is more sophisticated than ever, and we are grateful to Blackstone for supporting and helping inspire students to become future innovators and business leaders,” said UNF President Moez Limayem.


The gift from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation builds on UNF’s existing entrepreneurial programming, broadening access to entrepreneurial skills that are applicable to all students, regardless of major and career path. UNF offers students a minor in entrepreneurship as well as the Entrepreneurs, Creators and Innovators student club. Early-stage entrepreneurs are supported by the UNF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which helps ambitious business owners apply for start-up and seed funding. The final step in the entrepreneurial success ladder is the Florida Small Business Development Center at UNF which provides management assistance and training to beginning or established small business owners in North Florida. 


“The Coggin College of Business is the most influential business institution in Northeast Florida,” said Dr. Richard Buttimer, UNF Coggin College of Business dean. “Blackstone’s commitment will provide a far-reaching entrepreneurial impact in this region and give our students a career advantage few institutions can offer.”

Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation deploys its financial and human capital in support of programs that bridge opportunity gaps and support more equitable and thriving communities. Special emphasis is given to communities where we live and work. LaunchPad provides training and support through partnerships with higher education institutions, nonprofits and employers to increase access to career-building opportunities.


About University of North Florida

The University of North Florida is a nationally ranked university located on a beautiful 1,381-acre campus in Jacksonville surrounded by nature. Serving nearly 17,000 students, UNF features six colleges of distinction with innovative programs in high-demand fields. UNF students receive individualized attention from faculty and gain valuable real-world experience engaging with community partners. A top public university, UNF prepares students to make a difference in Florida and around the globe. Learn more at




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