The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is expanding programming that fuels local small business growth and improves the economic health of communities.
Funded by a $400,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase as part its nationwide Ascend program, the Polsky Center’s Small Business Growth Program (SBGP) is tripling in length to support clients in their implementation of effective growth strategies. The goal is to help small businesses on Chicago’s South and West Sides break the $1 million revenue mark, so that they can drive economic growth in their communities.
“We want them to go from six figures to seven figures,” said Abigail Ingram, executive director of the Polsky Exchange, which runs the Polsky Center’s community-facing programming. “Not only are we providing technical assistance and expertise from the world-class Booth School of Business, but also the means by which to execute that expertise to achieve meaningful growth.”
The Polsky Center collaborated with the University’s Office of Civic Engagement to engage with JPMorgan Chase’s Ascend program, which partners with top universities and institutions to provide business assistance and opportunities for minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses in major metropolitan areas. According to Ascend, the median White-owned firm has revenue 1.5 times that of the median Latinx-owned firm and 5 times that of the median African American-owned firm.
This story was first published by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.