Urban League Gives Small Business a Boost

October 3, 2007

Download Story
Earlier this year, the Chicago Urban League announced a new focus on economic empowerment. That's a shift from its traditional emphasis on social services. Today the Urban League unveils its inaugural entrepreneurship program. Sixteen African-American companies will receive intense business mentorship. Chicago Public Radio's Natalie Moore reports.

**

Cook County has more black-owned businesses than any other county in the country. But many are small and struggling.

The nextONE Urban League program aims to accelerate growth of the selected businesses.

Urban League CEO Cheryle Jackson says the impact could affect the region.

JACKSON: It's not about wealth for 16 individuals. This is about creating wealth for the community. It's about getting these firms growing so that they can create jobs.

The businesses will receive financial counseling, business coaching and client development.

The mentorship is worth fifty-thousand dollars per client. A shoe store, supermarket and plumber are among the participants.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.