“Entrepreneurs search for — and create — value,” Pickens wrote in Boone Pickens: The Luckiest Guy in the World. “That underlying value is what my life is all about — whether the focus is the energy business or some other endeavor.” Throughout his career, he was a stout supporter of entrepreneurs and leadership development.
Entrepreneurs of North Texas
The Foundation has supported the work of EFNT and its network of more than 100 Member Companies, comprised of early stage, small and mid-size businesses, private equity investors, venture capitalists and a wide range of professional service providers who all have a commitment to give back to the communities in which they live and work. The Foundation supports EFNT and its hosting of entrepreneurs round table discussions, which emphasize how important it is for young businesses to become philanthropic in their community, and its Freedom Day program and how it fosters local volunteerism. The organization is also a sterling example of the collaborative efforts of the Pickens Foundation in the community. Each year on September 11, EFNT coordinates a “Freedom Day” — bringing together hundreds of volunteers to honor the lives horrifically lost and changed as a result of the terrorist acts in 2001.
Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women
The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women’s PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program supports and educates women in developing and war-torn countries. The program, in its 12th year, is implemented through three major components — in-country education, leadership development, and pay it forward —which combine to create a continuing program to educate women, promote their business and leadership skills, build a strong public policy agenda in the women’s business community and to help build stable democracies. The Foundation has supported the nonprofit since its first annual classes in 2007. The graduates’ success has created economic stability and additional employment opportunities for their communities and countries. In addition to the business courses, U.S. women business entrepreneurs mentor the participants. The Institute attributes much of the success of its program to the mentors involved.
Junior League of Dallas
The Foundation awarded a $250,0000 gift in 2009, which allowed the Junior League of Dallas Inc. — an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers — to further advance its mission by launching the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. JDL membership is comprised of a diverse group of more than 5,000 women who annually give nearly $4 million in value to the Dallas community through financial donations and volunteer hours. The Institute features an in-depth leadership development and training program for active and sustaining members of the League. The program is designed to identify and build strengths, enhance leadership skills, develop relationships and prepare participants for leadership service in their community. According to a 2019 alumnae survey of the 338 members who had participated in the Leadership Institute, 63 percent of graduates have advanced their careers from promotions to new jobs since graduation; 30 percent have held an elected or appointed position, many in a community organization or professional association; 37 percent have served on the board of a nonprofit or for-profit organization; 24 percent have started their own businesses, and 10 percent employ others in businesses they have started.