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.
Crain's Chicago Business: 40 Under 40 Profile of Christina Hachikian
Judith Crown profiles Christina Hachikian, a leading force in social enterprise and development. Hachikian is the founding executive director of the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the Booth School of Business, which seeks to employ business insight and research capabilities in partnership with nonprofits.
Block Club Chicago: Dinobi Detergent, Run By Married Couple, Wins $5,000 To Build Its Business At South Side Pitch
Winner of the University of Chicago's South Side Pitch competition, Dinobi Detergent, beat out competitors for the top title. Founders Sylvia and Augustine Emuwa plan to use the $5,000 prize and one-year membership to the University of Chicago's Polsky Exchange to diversify their products and upgrade their web platform.
Hyde Park Herald: South Side Pitch competition brings together good ideas, energy
Entrepreneurs were energized and excited to share their ideas at the University of Chicago Insititute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship's 6th annual South Side Pitch competition. Three contestants won prizes, including grants that will allow them to further innovate and continue work on their products and services.
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.
Taylor Electric, a South Shore–based, black-owned electrical contracting firm founded in 1922, has grown significantly since it began working on UChicago construction projects. Kendra Dinkins, the firm's president and CEO, says Taylor Electric's contracting work at the University has put the company on the map.