America’s SBDCs help make the dream of small business ownership a reality for more Americans — creating jobs and opportunities that build communities throughout the nation.
See how the Illinois SBDC has served its communities.
IHGA Leading the Way in Educating Illinois Farmers on Hemp
The IL Hemp Growers Association's (IHGA) goal is to build the resources and relationships necessary to grow a sustainable and equitable hemp industry in Illinois. Led by Rachel Berry, CEO and a first-generation female farmer, she had a dream but needed help. Through the advice received in part by the Illinois SBDC at Sauk Valley CC, IHGA is expanding and accepting new members to educate producers and consumers while representing the hemp industry's best interests throughout the State.
Reliable Non-Emergency Medical Transportation for Underserved Areas
Muprereki and his wife, Rutendo, a pharmacist and pediatrician, respectively, understood the importance of increasing access to healthcare in their area as more than 3.6 million people miss an appointment due to lack of transportation. To fill this void, they worked with the Illinois SBDC for the Metro East to create JewelRide, a reliable, trustworthy, and affordable non-emergency medical transportation company that is now also Medicaid approved allowing them to increase their customer base.
Incubator with SBDC Services Provides Amazing Camaraderie and Support
Catan Pisco is a woman-owned spirits business, founded by Catalina Bentz . Catalina has been an active member of the Make City business incubator as well as an Illinois SBDC @ ICNC client. As a female in an already male-dominated industry, challenges have been inevitable but thanks to the incubator/SBDC environment, she has persisted. "Meeting with other business owners and my neighbors inside Make City is always so empowering and has added a lot of value to my business."
RoboThink Transforms Imagination into Reality with STEM Programs Worldwide
Minority-owned RoboThink, LLC offers STEM programs to builders of all ages. Working with the Illinois SBDC-ITC College of Lake County, they were provided opportunities to participate in the highly sought after ExporTech™ program to create export business plans and receive grant funding through the state of Illinois' ISTEP program. RoboThink has since expanded its operations, gaining partners in Gulf Coast Countries including South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand and other emerging countries.
The Illinois SBDC at Illinois Wesleyan University helped me tremendously with making sure the challenges I experienced did not sidetrack the basic brand message of Coats Performance: Quality Service.
Kendrique Coats, Owner/Founder, Coats Performance
E-Learning Platform iLikeMath Maximizes Potential
Kevin Jones and Kenya Brooks-Jones founded Jones Software Corporation (JSC), a Digital Social Impact Enterprise, which has developed a SaaS, Cloud-Based, SEL, Education Learning Platform, iLikeMath, a proprietary technology program to help K-12 students meet or exceed grade-level standards. Working with the Illinois SBDC-ITC at the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC), on expansion, JSC is now engaged in high-level talks with key stakeholders in the U.K. and Belgium.
They've (Illinois SBDC @ Build Bronzeville) been most supportive during the COVID-19 Pandemic. They've provided marketing support that has helped me reach more customers with people sheltering in place.
Nichole M. Jackson, Owner, Bronzeville Wingz
Moxie Fitness Apparel now SDVOSB Certified
Moxie Fitness Apparel developed patent-pending incontinence apparel products to assist women who participate in CrossFit and other high-intensity workouts that suffer from stress incontinence. Taking advantage of the advising, mentoring and other resources offered through the Illinois SBDC at Bradley University's Brave Launch Cohort, Moxie Fitness is now certified as a Women-Owned Small Business as well as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business.
The Illinois SBDC at Starved Rock Country Alliance taught me search engine optimization, helped me redo my website, and begin applying for grants. Without the SBDC I would not have the clarity I have now.
Susan Burton, Owner, Art Explorations
The Search for Financing for Cano Logistics
Cano Logistics owner Roel Cano found himself needing vehicle repairs along with costly documentation, insurance, and certifications to operate legally. He contacted his advisor at the Illinois SBDC at Greater Southwest for assistance and was educated on crowdfunding. Deciding to apply, Mr. Cano, who is blind, worked closely with his SBDC to fill out the application and was successful in obtaining a zero-interest loan to get his vehicles on the road.