Drive inclusive economic growth and job creation, support businesses, and promote Chicago as the leading global city to help our existing companies expand as well as attract new companies

Tasha Brown

Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 85,000 small businesses and 1,500 business and community organizations to deliver resources to entrepreneurs and advocate for public policy solutions that promote inclusive small business growth. Our work is bolstered by extensive research and deep connections with the small business community that enable us to educate stakeholders about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequities.

Christine Saffold

Chama Capital is a reimagined funding platform designed to increase access to capital for women-owned businesses and drive gender equity in business financing. We’re committed to getting capital in the hands of the women who are the backbone of our economy. Join the community to access our curated list of funding opportunities for women business owners and get connected to best-fit financing.

Susan Clarke

Founded in 1993, Clarke Public Accounting is a team of CPAs and professionals with a reputation for being proactive, organized and smart. We know there is a solution to every problem and we trust our people, systems, and processes to find that solution. Our clients not only value our guidance and expertise, they depend on it to keep their businesses running smoothly and calmly. Our ability to assemble and maintain a solid tax and accounting foundation for our clients keeps them simultaneously grounded and free to navigate and explore their entrepreneurial world of uncertainty and opportunity.

Marisabel Pozo

North River Commission is the nonprofit community and economic development corporation for the Northwest side of Chicago, from the Chicago River to Cicero and Addison to Devon. Founded in 1962 by concerned residents and neighborhood institutions, North River Commission unites over 100 civic associations, businesses, schools, institutions, and places of worship. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our community by developing affordable housing, quality education, arts & cultural endeavors, open spaces, and thriving neighborhood businesses.

Megan Nakano

The Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois (AACCIL) is a new resource for Asian American and other minority-owned firms and those seeking to do business with them. We aim to increase access to capital and opportunities for diverse firms through advocacy, professional development, and public-private partnerships. Established in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the founders of AACCIL recognized the demand for a Pan Asian organization that could identify and raise awareness about the needs of AAPI entrepreneurs and provide financial and technical assistance for their businesses throughout the state. We are making connections between minority-owned businesses, big business, government agencies and non-profit organizations with the shared goal of ensuring equity and inclusion for all.

Kelly Bryant

Kerosene is a two-sided network that connects qualified, early-stage founders with our network of 200+ Venture Capital partners across the U.S. Built from the learnings of fundraising for our own companies, we understand the pain points of raising capital first-hand. Our customized, virtual program is designed to Educate, Prepare and give Access to the venture capital community through warm introductions.

David Oakes

A neighborhood on Chicago’s north side, Andersonville is known for its Swedish roots, historic architecture, and bustling urban main street, Clark Street. When you arrive in Andersonville, you feel you have arrived someplace special. While our roots are Swedish, we are also recognized as the “shop local capital of Chicago,” supporting the largest network of local and independent businesses in the area. Home to one of Chicago’s largest LGBTQ+ populations, Andersonville is a community full of pride and a commitment to equality.

Leslee Cohen

AllRise was inspired by the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who set an example of how to live a life of achievement and fulfillment, to establish our 3 guiding principles: Commitment, Competence and Character.

Brittany Burgess

A future where military service is a leading pathway to successful business ownership and entrepreneurship. Bunker Labs provides community, programs, and courses to help military veterans and military spouses start and grow successful businesses and startups. We love building a strong and inclusive entrepreneurial community and the people we build it with. We get it done, we work smart, we are fearlessly authentic, and we are magnanimous.

CJ Jelinek

JellyNeck Solutions, Inc is a web solutions company providing products and services to make life simpler for website managers and creators. Our flagship product is OcularCMS®, a website CMS with built-in SEO. In addition to being a web applications company, we also specialize in custom-designed websites and semi-custom websites for small businesses and organizations.

Letty Poole

We support and champion Black and Latinx, women, and Indigenious businesses through better access to funding, educational resources and networking opportunities.

Kimberly Brisky

We are fully committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve the dreams they have for their businesses. That has been our sole purpose for the past 30 years – whether we’re working directly with the business owner, a lender, or an economic development organization.

Amie Zaander

PEBA is a not-for-profit Business Association designed to promote the visibility and growth of new and existing businesses in the Pulaski Elston Business Corridor. As a successful service organization PEBA will attempt to create a united community by promoting growth and positive relations among the neighborhood, local business and government agencies. PEBA strives to assist in the retention of existing businesses and attraction of new viable businesses in the Pulaski Elston Business District. We serve as a liaison between the City and local businesses that may benefit from city services, programs and special projects.

Adam Engle

The Fund for Equitable Business Growth invests in a coordinated network of business service organizations (BSOs) advancing proven and promising strategies that support entrepreneurs of color to accomplish this work.

Melinda Jordan

The mission of the National Black MBA Association® is to lead in the creation of educational, wealth building, and growth opportunities for those historically underrepresented throughout their careers as students, entrepreneurs and professionals.

Adrienne McFarland

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network assists pre-venture entrepreneurs with launching their new business ventures and provides guidance to existing businesses to help them grow and expand. With 35 locations throughout the state, Illinois’ SBDCs provide one-on-one confidential business advice at no charge for business plan development, financing, marketing, regulatory compliance information, and more. Existing businesses looking to expand into new markets can find that assistance at specialized centers with expertise in the areas of seeking government contracting opportunities, accessing international trade and export markets, as well as assistance for technology based and high-growth potential companies.

Chettha Saetia

Proudly founded by ethnic Chinese refugees in 1981, Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) is led by many prominent individuals from the Asian American community. Our purpose is to serve the needs, promote the interests, and enhance the well-being of low-income, diverse immigrant and refugee communities across metropolitan Chicago through social services, advocacy, educational programming and assistance for youth, adults, the elderly and small businesses through Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC) at our office in Chicago or Virtually.

Cam McGlynn

Proudly founded by ethnic Chinese refugees in 1981, Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) is led by many prominent individuals from the Asian American community. Our purpose is to serve the needs, promote the interests, and enhance the well-being of low-income, diverse immigrant and refugee communities across metropolitan Chicago through social services, advocacy, educational programming and assistance for youth, adults, the elderly and small businesses through Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC) at our office in Chicago or Virtually.

Samantha Schwartz

Workbox is a platform for companies to connect. We provide extensive resources, accessible anywhere, with a mission of member success. We offer striking office accommodations in the locations you want to be, but we are much more than just coworking. We also provide access to an unparalleled community of growing businesses and direct connection to a range of investors, lenders, and vetted strategic advising from professional specialists.

Holli Wertheimer

The mission of the Corporate Coalition of Chicago is to build a corporate culture in Chicago where companies understand that reducing racial and economic inequities is essential to their business success and a thriving regional economy. The Corporate Coalition was convened in 2019 by business leaders who came together to find ways for the business sector to use its assets, capabilities, and employee enthusiasm in new ways to address economic and racial inequities across all neighborhoods in the Chicago region. Members believe that to reduce long-standing and continuing inequities and create a thriving economy, companies must stretch beyond their important philanthropic contributions and beyond the responsibility all have to help the non-profit and public sectors be successful. Firms must challenge business as usual to create opportunities through their core business functions, including talent acquisition, employee support and advancement, site location, procurement, capital investments, and more. Today the Coalition includes more than 40 corporate members and 23 anchor partners— non-profits who help center the Coalition’s work on community-defined issues and needs.

Adam Chrusciel

Our team at Bank of America works with small to middle size businesses to deliver innovative advice and guidance as well as strategic financial solutions to help companies improve cash flow, invest for the future, and grow. These financial solutions include commercial credit, cash management, foreign exchange, equipment finance, real estate, Small Business Association (SBA) loans, trade finance, and merchant services.We also use our enterprise thought leadership and local knowledge to provide unique expertise and help our clients navigate the challenges of the business environment both here in Chicago as well as around the world. We finally offer industry-leading digital solutions that provide an efficient, personalized experience that help businesses access their banking data on-the-go and provide owners end-to-end, 24/7 access to best-in-class digital solutions to help clients forecast and manage their business finances.

Kayla DiPilato

We know politics, cultural mores and quite frankly, ignorance put LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs at a significant disadvantage, leading to massive underrepresentation. We will not rest until every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has the support and the resources they need to fairly compete in today’s business world. We believe empowering LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs can unlock untapped business and economic value and become an essential driver of inclusivity and social progress. StartOut accelerates the growth of the LGBTQ+ community to drive its economic empowerment, building a world where every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has equal access to lead, succeed, and shape the workforce of the future.

Carolyn Kwon

Moderne Ventures is a strategic venture capital firm with over $450M AUM. Moderne invests in technology companies in and around the multi-trillion-dollar industries of real estate, finance, insurance and home services. It has both a Fund and an Industry Immersion Program, the Moderne Passport, designed to foster innovation, partnership and growth between industry partners and new emerging technology companies.

Abigail Scanlon

The WBDC’s mission is to support and accelerate business development and growth, targeting women and serving all diverse business owners, in order to strengthen their participation in, and impact on, the economy. The WBDC envisions a diverse world where all business owners have an equitable opportunity to compete and succeed in the marketplace and achieve economic independence. The WBDC values our knowledgeable, prepared, and diverse staff; a culture that is results-oriented, supportive, and progressive; innovation, responsiveness, and relevancy; advocacy for public policies supporting women and other diverse communities; and respect for, and accountability to, all stakeholders.

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