Mayor Rahm Emanuel and World Business Chicago Announce ChiBizHub.com


New site will provide a one-stop shop for Chicago small business owners and entrepreneurs 


Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and World Business Chicago announced ChiBizHub, an innovative new web platform powered by SourceLink®, that connects expert service providers to Chicago’s fast-growing business community. Set to launch in March, ChiBizHub will be a one-stop, collaborative platform to help new and existing Chicago businesses accelerate their growth.

“Chicago is full of the most innovative and hard-working business owners in the world,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This initiative provides another tool for business owners to grow and scale their business.”

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.


“Chicago is full of the most innovative and hard-working business owners in the world,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This initiative provides another tool for business owners to grow and scale their business.”

-Mayor Rahm Emanuel


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.

“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,” said Rob Williams, director of SourceLink.

To date, SourceLink has helped more than 100 communities nationwide, from Seattle to San Juan, build an infrastructure that sparks, supports, and sustains entrepreneurship and innovation. In every community, the first step is to define the available resources and make them visible. That mapping then allows service organizations to address the specific needs of their entrepreneurs, make and track referrals to resources, and identify and fill gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Small- and medium-sized businesses are the economic engines of Chicago’s neighborhoods,” said Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of World Business Chicago. “ChiBizHub ensures that these businesses can not only accelerate their own growth, but also that of Chicago’s thriving entrepreneurial community in total.”

In addition to its targeted matchmaking between providers and businesses, ChiBizHub will provide guidance for licensing and management of a start-up 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.


“Small- and medium-sized businesses are the economic engines of Chicago’s neighborhoods. ChiBizHub ensures that these businesses can not only accelerate their own growth, but also that of Chicago’s thriving entrepreneurial community in total.”

-Andrea Zopp, President & CEO of World Businesses Chicago



Initial funding for ChiBizHub was received from the Chicago Community Trust, the Office of the Chicago City Treasurer, and the City of Chicago. 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.

Not-for-profit service providers interested in joining this powerful network can sign up at www.chibizhub.com.

 

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