Sheriff’s Office Cook County Jail Entrepreneurship Program
The most recent program we have partnered with to provide Mentors for is the Sheriff’s Office Cook County Jail Entrepreneurship Program. This program, run by Rachel Getz, uses business ownership as a framework for re-entry skills and provides participants with business tools, entrepreneurial skills and self-confidence to foster alternative employment opportunities upon returning to the community. The goal of the 12-week program is for students to learn how to start a business through work in teams and to develop a business plan. Graduates complete the program with a business plan and participate in a business pitch.
Upon graduation participants who already have a business (as some do) or who are ready to take the next steps in starting their small businesses have the option to pair up with one of our Mentors for guidance and resources throughout the rest of the process. Our Mentors are 100% committed to helping their Mentees, often helping them focus on specific goals and accountability, along with troubleshooting and general support.
North Lawndale – New Covenant CDC Partnering
North Lawndale is home to the heart of Chicago’s growing film industry, the city’s largest brewer and major health care institutions. The North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council’s (along with New Covenant CDC) Quality of Life Plan includes economic and workforce development with a goal to help local entrepreneurs start and establish successful businesses.
To further this plan, the mission of New Covenant CDC is to empower individuals and families through educational programs, real estate/business development and job readiness/creation initiatives that will promote financial stability and sustainable economic development. We are delighted to partner with NCCDC providing not only upcoming entrepreneurs, but mentors for those completing the NCCDC course.
Mentoring Program for Entrepreneurs
Powerful things happen when a respected, experienced person shows interest in and supports the development of another individual. We learn best by hearing about others successes and failures. Entrepreneurship is lonely. Having a friend, an unbiased sounding board, who pushes and consoles and is only interested in another’s success, is a priceless tool. Being aware of mistakes and consistently working to make smart, well-informed decisions is crucial to the success of a business.
At SBAC EMPOWER, we ensure our that our Mentors are 100% committed to the program. It takes a willingness to share successes and mishaps; to challenge and push a Mentee to think more deeply; to be realistic and address uncomfortable issues; to be open to new ideas and cultures. But most importantly, it takes time. Potential Mentors are required to participate in a one-hour training to fully understand the annual responsibility and commitment expected to their Mentee.
Becoming a small business owner requires drive and a serious commitment. You need to be willing to make sacrifices, put in the time necessary, and face challenges head-on if you want your businesses to be successful. For that reason and to ensure that every Mentee is prepared to be mentored, they must also participate in a training session to understand their responsibilities and commitment to their Mentor.
If you would like to participate in Empower’s Mentor Program as a Mentor or Mentee, please contact us directly.
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