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In celebration of the launch of nominations for the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) Chicago program, Benefit Chicago hosted a breakfast on April 8. We were joined by local community leaders, financial institutions and city partners, along with alumni of the program who shed light on the impact ICCC has on the development of small businesses.

William Towns addressing nominators
William W. Towns, Ph.D., Executive Director, Benefit Chicago, addressing attendees.

The ICCC program helps strengthen small businesses and the inner city communities across the country where they operate. The program equips participating business owners with the knowledge and skills to grow their business, through training by expert instructors, access to capital, and one-on-one coaching. The Chicago program, which will begin in July of 2019, is in its seventh year and includes 2,221 alumni. This network of alumni have created nearly 20,000 jobs and raised more than $1.9 billion in capital.

During the breakfast celebration, we heard from Hannah Fernandez, Founder and CEO of ROI Business Funding, and Helen Crawley-Austin, CEO of Beyond Consulting Solutions. Each shared how the training along with access to capital providers was instrumental in visualizing and realizing their potential as leaders and business owners. Setting attainable goals and understanding how to strategically prioritize what works best for their business were key takeaways along with being part of the growing network of alumni which they continue to connect with.

“The tools provided in this program are invaluable to the growth and strength of small businesses and the communities they serve,” said William Towns, Ph.D., Executive Director of Benefit Chicago. “Through our work across the Chicago region, we have seen firsthand how access to capital fundamentally propels small business growth. By providing business owners with high-quality instructors and access to funders and investors, there is no telling what they can accomplish.”

Benefit Chicago is proud to be a partner with the ICCC Chicago program and our hope is that everyone nominates several deserving businesses to participate in this empowering program.

Interested in nominating? Visit: nominate.iccapitalconnections.org

Interested in applying? Visit: apply.iccapitalconnections.org

Have questions about the ICCC Program? Contact Marynee Pontes, Senior Program Coordinator, at mpontes@icic.org or (617) 238-3035.

For more information, visit: ICCC Chicago Program