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Supporting Small Businesses With Microlending and Innovation Ecosystem

Microlenders are a network of organizations that originate microloans using funds through the Chicago Microlending Institute, a City-funded loan pool that provides loans ranging from $500 - $25,000. The Microlender flyer lists the microlenders and key services and can be distributed to businesses and is available on the Small Business Center website.

Innovation Centers are a network of 170+ incubators, accelerators and co-working facilities that support entrepreneurs and small businesses in neighborhoods. Since this is a robust and large network, you can start building relationships with the 5 NBDC Innovation Centers to understand how to spot what stage an entrepreneur or business is in so you can refer them to the right level of support:

?? 18th Street Innovation Center - Eighteenth St. Development Corp.
?? West Side Business Xcelerator - Bethel New Life
?? Get Started! - Greater Southwest Development Corp.
?? GROW-Food Incubator - Rogers Park Business Alliance
?? Sunshine Enterprises Community Innovation Center - Sunshine Gospel Ministries

Popular Innovation Center services include: business development; work plan/coaching; legal assistance; accounting; access to capital; marketing plan/branding; affordable office and meeting space; location/rehab assistance; and a referral partner network. Visit the World Business Chicago website for an Innovation Center directory.