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Golub Capital, Chicago Booth, and the Chicago Urban League Launch Social Impact Partnership to Serve Communities of Color

The third Golub Capital Social Impact Lab will launch later this year at Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation

Golub Capital, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the Chicago Urban League are launching a partnership that will play a foundational role at the new Golub Capital Social Impact Lab (“Golub Capital Lab”) at Chicago Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation. The Golub Capital Lab, through a significant five-year commitment from Golub Capital, will provide training and professional development to amplify the impact of leaders of high-potential nonprofits serving communities of color. 

The signature offering of the Golub Capital Lab, scheduled to launch this year, will be IGNITE, a Golub Capital Nonprofit Leadership Program. IGNITE will combine world-class educational content, coaching, peer mentorship, consulting assistance, and community networking for nonprofit leaders serving the Black community, incorporating both the hard and soft skills that are essential for nonprofit leaders to thrive.

“We are proud to partner with the University of Chicago and the Chicago Urban League—and build upon their commitment to communities of color in Chicago—to create this multi-faceted program. We believe this is an outstanding opportunity to offer resources specifically tailored to help nonprofits strengthen and scale their impact,” said David Golub, President of Golub Capital.

To develop, market, and grow IGNITE, Booth will partner with the Chicago Urban League, a leading nonprofit in Chicago dedicated to achieving equity for Black families and communities through social and economic empowerment. The Chicago Urban League will offer a connection to its network of accomplished nonprofit leaders, as well as an opportunity to scale the program to other National Urban League affiliates throughout the country.

“There is no shortage of resourceful and capable leaders working to address critical needs in communities of color, but far too often, these individuals have limited access to resources to strengthen their leadership capacity and increase their impact,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “IGNITE can be a game changer for these nonprofit leaders and the communities they serve in Chicago and across the nation. We’re incredibly excited to be part of the new Golub Capital Social Impact Lab and to expand our partnership with Booth.”

The Golub Capital Lab and IGNITE will live within the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, Booth’s social impact hub. George Wu, the John P. and Lillian A. Gould Professor of Behavioral Science at Booth, will serve as the faculty director. Wu is also a faculty lead for the IMPACT Leadership Development program, developed by the Chicago Urban League and Booth in 2014 to prepare up-and-coming professionals for leadership positions in Chicago’s for-profit, nonprofit, and government sectors.

“I’m delighted to serve as the inaugural faculty director of the Golub Capital Lab and see it as another opportunity for Chicago Booth to partner with the Chicago Urban League to support leaders and organizations dedicated to our city,” Wu said. “IGNITE will help equip the next generation of nonprofit leaders with the tools, frameworks, and resources they need to tackle systemic issues and drive social change.”

Golub Capital is a market-leading, award-winning direct lender and credit asset manager with more than 325 employees based in Chicago. The company chose to invest in Chicago Booth because of the school’s world-class content on leadership and business, vast network of corporate leaders and alumni, expertise in social sector innovation, and its infrastructure that will allow it to build and scale IGNITE.

“We are thrilled that Chicago Booth is the home of the newest Golub Capital Lab,” said Madhav Rajan, Chicago Booth Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Accounting. “The university and Booth are dedicated to investing in our community, and Golub Capital’s gift allows us to continue to expand our impact in meaningful ways.”

The growing network of Golub Capital Social Impact Labs is designed to engage the next generation of business leaders and academics at leading business schools to accelerate progress across the nonprofit ecosystem. In 2019, Golub Capital established its first lab at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and in 2021, it announced the creation of a second Golub Capital Lab at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


About Golub Capital 

Golub Capital is a market-leading, award-winning direct lender and credit asset manager, with over $45 billion of capital under management. Golub Capital specializes in delivering reliable, creative and compelling financing solutions to companies backed by private equity sponsors. The firm’s sponsor finance expertise also forms the foundation of its Late Stage Lending, Broadly Syndicated Loan and Credit Opportunities investment programs. Across its activities, Golub Capital nurtures long-term, win-win partnerships that inspire repeat business from private equity sponsors and investors. Founded over 25 years ago, Golub Capital today has over 600 employees and lending offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and London. For more information, please visit


About the Chicago Urban League

One of the oldest and largest affiliates of the National Urban League, the Chicago Urban League works to achieve equity for Black families and communities through social and economic empowerment. Since 1916, through collaborative community, corporate and civic relationships, the organization has helped people find jobs, secure affordable housing, enhance their educational experiences and grow their businesses. For more information about our programs, visit Follow us on Twitter at @ChiUrbanLeague, Instagram at @thechiurbanleague, and Facebook at @ChicagoUrbanLeague.