Annual Report

A yearly review of the impact of our work

2017 in Review

It was another strong year for the city of Chicago and World Business Chicago (WBC).  From our business development efforts and international outreach, to our neighborhood initiatives, entrepreneurship, and innovation programs, we are working to realize our vision to ensure that all Chicagoans prosper.

Economic Growth for All of Chicago
WBC’s work in business development – which has been our central focus since we were founded in 1999 – continued to exceed our previous annual averages for projects, wins and jobs in 2017. Drawn by Chicago’s exceptional pool of talent, affordability and world-class quality of life, companies such as Hickory Farms, Nielsen, West Monroe Partners, Trustwave, and many more, are making Chicago their new and expanded home.

As a continuation of our efforts to advance Mayor Emanuel’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, we continue to advance our work across neighborhood and strategic initiatives (NSI). We’ve honed our focus on neighborhood development, small- and medium-sized business support and workforce development, and collaborated on the City of Chicago’s active efforts already driving growth and investment in our neighborhoods. 

Effective Programing
Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE) expanded its anchor network to 16, making it possible for nearly 100 CASE-qualified businessesto gain access to contract opportunities that will

support neighborhood vitality. And through our tech and innovation programs, including the Blackstone Entrepreneurship Challenge, ThinkChicago and the Chicago Venture Summit, ChicagoNEXT continues building a strong platform for inclusive growth in Chicago’s innovation economy.

Local Impact, Global Reach
WBC helped amplify Chicago’s global reach in 2017. From attracting foreign investment, facilitating partnerships and intergovernmental agreements such as with Tel Aviv-Yafo; to hosting international delegations, and convening government, civic and business leaders on issues of global importance through the North American Climate Summit, WBC continues to advance the city’s global strategy to promote Chicago as a leading global city.

None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the support of our board, sponsors, partners, and world-class teams at WBC. We appreciate your engagement and look forward to another strong year ahead.

2017 Annual Report (PDF)

2017 Audited Financials (PDF)

2017 City of Chicago Grant (PDF)