We leverage UChicago’s financial resources and expertise to foster entrepreneurship and create economic opportunities for community residents and local businesses.
UChicago builds strong economic partnerships throughout our communities. As the largest employer on the South Side, we are committed to making a strong contribution to the South Side's prosperity by working in partnership with small businesses and community organizations in our surrounding neighborhoods to connect people with jobs and contracting opportunities, both here at the University and throughout our network of vendors.
We support local small business owners and entrepreneurs through faculty- and student-led workshops and programs that help them to launch and grow. We also partner on workforce development initiatives that help individuals build the skills that employers value most.
Through investments in community health, education, business and workforce development, public safety, economic development, and arts and cultural enrichment, we are building broad, enduring partnerships with our South Side neighbors.
The heart of Hyde Park: With UChicago support, black-owned businesses thrive on 53rd Street
For more than 15 years, Eric Williams’s shop, The Silver Room, set trends on Chicago’s North Side with an expertly curated mix of merchandise and an annual block party that drew thousands. But by 2...
Through Polsky Center, South Side entrepreneurs find a place to grow
Steve Jobs famously advised budding entrepreneurs to “stay hungry.” For Boyede Sobitan, hunger was more than a metaphor: The Bronzeville resident was tired of having to travel to specialty markets ...
The Silver Room
The Silver Room, one of a number of thriving black-owned businesses on Hyde Park’s 53rd Street, is more than a retail store — it’s a community hub where people listen to music, tell stories, and connect. Owner Eric Williams found his niche on 53rd with the help of UChicago’s Commercial Real Estate Operations (CREO) department.