Saint Xavier University’s Graham School of Management recently offered a four-week educational workshop series to small business owners in the Pilsen community. The workshop was presented in partnership with First Midwest Bank, LISC Chicago, the Greater Pilsen Economic Development Association, and The Resurrection Project.
The program was provided free of charge throughout the month of October and was designed to build business owners’ skills and competencies, including the use of technology and networking. Program materials and presentations were provided in both English and Spanish to increase accessibility for non-native speakers of English.
As a testimonial to the value of attending the workshops many of the owners have refined their business plans and are using them when contacting their financial lenders. Read an article featuring several of the businesses that attended the workshops here, or watch this video depicting the spirit and energy of the workshop participants, sponsors, instructors, and community organizations that worked together to deliver this great program
Monica C. Gavino, Ph.D., associate professor of Management and program director, facilitated the workshops and conducted the session on hiring and retaining the best employees. Pam Schwer and Deb Rapacz, also SXU faculty members, taught the business owners how to develop and write their business plans and develop a marketing strategy.
Guest speakers from Bryce, Downey and Lenkov, First Midwest Bank, SommerCor 504, and the Center for Economic Progress addressed other critical aspects of sustaining a business, including financing and lender options, taxes, compliance, and legal requirements. They also met with the business owners to provide feedback on their business plans.
Best Buy provided laptop computers for the workshops and the Geek Squad offered technology assistance. Groupon presented on the effective use of social media for small businesses. Don Churro de Letran, La Esperanza, Yvolina’s Tamales, local establishments, catered breakfast and lunch for the workshops.
St. Aubin Haggerty and Associates, Star Diamond, and Great Lakes Financial Partners also were sponsors of the workshops.
On the final day, a Certificate Ceremony and celebration luncheon catered by Ciao Amore was held at Casa Morales.
For more information, please contact the Graham School of Management at (773) 298-3600.