Orlando Bravo, managing partner of private equity firm Thoma Bravo and founder of the Bravo Family Foundation, last month announced a $100 million personal contribution to his foundation to promote entrepreneurship and economic development in Puerto Rico, where he was raised, and his family still lives.
The foundation’s mission is to foster basic principles of social justice in Puerto Rico and Bravo says his donation will support on-the-ground initiatives focused on encouraging young entrepreneurs on the island. Initial support will be dedicated to the Rising Entrepreneurs program.
“I see the innate talent, skills and vitality of so many young people who thirst for opportunity but are held back by poverty and debilitating macroeconomic forces,” Bravo said. “Our objective is to fuse the talent and potential that abound in Puerto Rico with opportunity and hope. By identifying, funding and mentoring entrepreneurs, we will help lay the foundation for long-term economic success on the island.”
Foundation representatives say Puerto Rico’s residents are plagued by narrow financial support and insufficient resources to create and sustain new business ventures, resulting in limited economic mobility and reinforcing a cycle of poverty, which was exacerbated by the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.
“Bravo knows from personal experience that local entrepreneurial talent is being forced to find opportunities off the island,” the organization said in a press release.
The poverty rate in Puerto Rico is 44%, compared to the national U.S. average of 14%. Puerto Rico ranks fifth among 187 countries in terms of income inequality, according to a 2016 study conducted by the United Nations. Bravo says his gift is dedicated to creating a more just society in Puerto Rico, in which youths of all socioeconomic backgrounds have access to personal growth and economic development opportunities.
For more information visit www.bravofamilyfoundation.org