Gift to Help Fund Financial Literacy Programs, and Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship (SURE™) Program
The C. T. Bauer College of Business has received a $75,000 gift from Frost Bank that will fund the award-winning Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship (SURE™) Program and other Bauer programs that emphasize financial literacy from 2020 to 2023.
SURE™ is an innovative educational model that connects students, entrepreneurs and executives to empower under-resourced communities and train students in practical, human-centered skills.
Bauer’s Financial Empowerment program serves about 2,500 middle school, high school, and college students with financial literacy presentations, workshops and career planning events.
“This generous gift from Frost Bank will allow us to substantially increase the number of students the program impacts,” said Department of Finance Senior Professor of Practice John Lopez, who directs the program. “We are grateful to Frost Bank for their meaningful contribution to our community of young people.”
The gift also comes at a particularly opportune time for entrepreneurs and students struggling to adapt to challenges related to the Coronavirus pandemic, said SURE™ Founder/Director Saleha Khumawala, the Robert Grinaker Professor of Accounting at Bauer.
“During this time, the grant fills a critical need for our entrepreneurs and students,” she said. “The SURE™ program has always been a powerful force in our community, but is needed more now, than ever before. There are hardly any internships and jobs. One positive thing that comes out of the challenge is the dynamics and opportunity of entrepreneurship. People want to take their skills and make a living from it. We hope that SURE™ will provide them the capacity and resources to turn their skills into a thriving business.”
Both SURE™ and the Financial Empowerment program embody UH and Bauer’s shared mission of positively impacting the community through education. Both also share the fundamental goal of empowering people through financial literacy, a foundational principle of Frost Bank.
“Working with Frost Bank for this gift truly reflects their commitment to the UH and Bauer student body as well as the communities we serve, including the Third Ward,” Bauer College Director of Advancement Dalia Pineda said. “They believe in our mission to empower our students and Houston through education, and we are excited to continue to grow our partnership.”
“The impact that the SURE™ Program has made on the city of Houston is unquestionable ― educating more than 1,300 current and aspiring entrepreneurs in the area, primarily in the Third Ward, training more than 300 Bauer students while helping traditionally-disadvantaged entrepreneurs, and playing an instrumental role in launching or expanding over 300 local businesses so far,” said Bauer College Dean and Cullen Distinguished Chair Paul A. Pavlou. “Notably, 77% of the entrepreneurs are minorities, either African American or Hispanic. We envision expanding this program even further, while replicating its impact beyond Bauer across other campuses and cities with partnerships and collaboration with other universities, both across the United States and even globally.”
“Our Financial Empowerment program is similarly making an indelible difference in the lives of young people, who are gaining valuable personal financial planning and leadership skills. Both of these programs are a major investment in our community, commensurate with our Third Ward initiative, a way to nurture and educate at the individual level, particularly for those from less financially-privileged backgrounds, aiming to fuel positive societal change,” Pavlou added.
By Julie Bonnin