Best Practices

Welcome Chicago and the ChiBizHub for Entrepreneurs

Published May 10, 2019 by Pola Firestone

 

Chicago is the latest community to join the SourceLink family and to build a stronger entrepreneurial infrastructure for its entrepreneurs.

Help us give a big shout out to ChiBizHub.

Entrepreneurs need different things: some need investors, others need counselors. Some require a different kind of industry expertise based on their region’s expertise and market. But all entrepreneurs need connections to help them build business—and create jobs.

ChiBizHub is an innovative new web platform powered by SourceLink® that connects entrepreneurs to expert service providers. A network, website and portal for Chicago entrepreneurs, ChiBizHub will be a one-stop, collaborative platform to help new and existing Chicago businesses accelerate their growth.

With more than 100 resource partners already signed up to help Chicago businesses, ChiBizHub will help businesses access a wide variety of services: legal counseling, accessing capital, and navigating the licensing and permitting process.

“ChiBizHub ensures that Chicago’s small- and medium-sized businesses can access the necessary tools for their companies to thrive,” said Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of World Business Chicago. “By connecting them to resource providers, ChiBizHub creates a collaborative community that allows businesses to accelerate their growth.”

Through the ChiBizHub platform, business owners can directly contact resource partners for assistance or utilize one of its “Resource Navigators.” “Resource Navigators” will work with business owners to identify the right provider based on need, location, industry, stage of business, and additional criteria.

 In addition to its targeted matchmaking between providers and businesses, ChiBizHub will provide guidance for licensing and management of a startup enterprise, catalogue business-focused events across the city, and host a running blog series featuring Chicago entrepreneurs. The tool is free to use by business owners and free for resource partners to join.

The ChiBizHub platform is a free service for Chicago’s business community.  Initial funding for ChiBizHub was received from the Chicago Community Trust, the City of Chicago, and the Office of the Chicago City Treasurer. Accion, CRF USA, and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection were part of the advisory group in the development of ChiBizHub. Peoples Gas is the inaugural sponsor.

Interested in building an entrepreneurial infrastructure for your community?

We’ve written a book about it! Check out Beyond Collisions: How to Build Your Entrepreneurial Infrastructure for practitioner-tested and action steps to identify your resources, connect them to entrepreneurs, empower collaborations and measure your region’s entrepreneurial efforts.


Pola Firestone of SourceLink
Pola Firestone is the relationship manager and affiliate liaison for SourceLink. Through her outreach work, she has a window into the challenges of building entrepreneurial ecosystems, and uses that knowledge to help inform new products and solutions to the SourceLink network