Chicago Urban League Entrepreneurship Center
The Chicago Urban League Entrepreneurship Center was founded in 2007 to assist African Americans launch, grow and sustain businesses. The Center provides entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to maximize revenue growth, profitability, job creation and innovation.
The Center also helps businesses obtain supplier diversity certifications, respond to bids on public and private contracts, and increase the number and average dollar value of contracts won.
Entrepreneurship Center Goals
- Support aspiring entrepreneurs to be successful
- Equip entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to create a strong foundation for sustainable businesses
- Bridge the “Digital Divide” that has challenged many African American business owners
- Provide support to small business owners seeking capital (e.g. Bank loans, microloans, venture capital, and angel investments)
- Increase job creation and retention in the communities we serve
nextSTEP assists aspiring entrepreneurs and start-up firms develop viable business plans and equips them with the skills necessary to succeed. The program consists of 16-week training sessions and ten (10) hours personalized coaching relevant to each participant’s business venture.
nextLEVEL provides strategic consulting, classroom training and expert evaluation to support business expansion. The program consists of seven (7) weeks of classroom time, followed by seven (7) weeks of intense customized consulting. It promotes “keeping the business plan alive” through ongoing monitoring and follow-up with coaches and Entrepreneurship Center alumni.
Contracts & Connections is a business diversity procurement portal that assists small business owners connect to procurement opportunities and business development resources via the web. This technical assistance tool is designed to help businesses grow their customer base and increase access, and diversity participation on public and private contracts. Technical assistance is offered twice per week by appointment.
nextCONSTRUCTION assists existing construction companies enhance this entrepreneurial skills by examining business operation deficiencies and cultivating effective business strategies. The long-term program goals include continued industry-based trainings, advocacy for participation on contracts, and partnership cultivation to assist business hiring needs.
To learn more about all of our programs call 773-624-8810.