Geared explicitly to minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses, the Polsky Small Business Growth Program works with South and West Side entrepreneurs to help them increase revenue and sales, pursue expansion, overcome obstacles to pre-qualifying for capital and develop marketing strategies. Since 2017, the initiative has benefited 30 companies.
A joint initiative of the Polsky Center and UChicago Local, the 11-week program is funded by JPMorgan Chase’s Ascend 2020 initiative. Student teams, supervised by Chicago Booth faculty, consult the businesses, leading them to create seven new jobs, generate approximately $700,000 in new revenue, and attract approximately $600,000 in outside investment. The majority of participating businesses have been minority- and/or women-owned.