Get All Access for $5/mo

Serial Entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal Commits $1 Million to Stop Hate Crimes The BeProud foundation launches with the support of Deepak Chopra, among other high-profile supporters.

By Teri Evans

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Serial Entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal Commits 1 Million to Start a Movement

Solving big problems is what drives the most successful entrepreneurs. While other people sit on the sidelines, entrepreneurs are quick to tackle an issue they are passionate about -- whether it's business or personal. Gurbaksh Chahal is the latest to take on one of the biggest challenges with a bold move.

The multimillionaire is launching what he hopes will become a humanitarian movement that stretches far beyond business. Chahal has committed $1 million to launch the BeProud foundation as part of a broad effort to prevent hate crimes and empower people to embrace their differences.

"As Americans we're a melting pot," he says. "Everybody's different, and we should be proud of that."

His decision to start a foundation came after the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting earlier this month, when a white supremacist gunned down six people and wounded four others. "I had a sick feeling in my stomach when I heard the news," says Chahal, who emigrated from India to the U.S. at age 4 and was incessantly teased for wearing a "patka" to school, a traditional head covering for Sikh children. He still vividly recalls the years of bullying he endured just for being different. Now 30, he was taken aback when he saw the same hate attacks still persist today.

"It's supposed to get better, not go backwards. We should be coming together," he says. "Somebody needed to step up. I knew it was up to me to take the lead on this change and create a message we can all come together on."

Related Video: Serial 'Trep Gurbaksh Chahal on Being Driven to Succeed

The BeProud foundation is expected to officially launch with a TV and social media campaign, including Facebook and Twitter (@BeProud), next month. Through the foundation's website, individuals will be able to make donations, and Chahal says 100 percent will be used to support families of hate crime victims. In the future, he expects to introduce other ways for people to get involved, including off-line events. Even in its early stages, the initiative appears to be gaining traction quickly.

"We started receiving hundreds of emails all over the world from people who wanted to volunteer right away," says Chahal, noting it has also attracted the support of Deepak Chopra, musician Jay Sean, actress Lisa Ray, and film director Gurinder Chadha, among others. He is hoping the entrepreneurial community will also come together to help build momentum.

He says he is determined to bring about change. To be sure, Chahal is known for his persistence and determination in business. At 18, he sold his first online advertising startup ClickAgents within two years for $40 million, cashed out his second company BlueLithium for $300 million, and currently runs his third venture, RadiumOne. His success has afforded him the opportunity to give back in a big way.

"It humbles you and keeps you grounded, reminding you of the opportunities you have that you are grateful for," Chahal says. "I'm also a big believer in karma, and you want to make sure you spread enough good in this world."

Related Video: Gurbaksh Chahal on Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.