Entrepreneurship. Innovation. Thought Leadership.

EC Homepage.jpg

 CUL Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Mission

The Chicago Urban League Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (formerly the Chicago Urban League Entrepreneurship Center) was founded in 2007 to help African- Americans launch, grow, and sustain businesses. The Center provides entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to maximize revenues, reduce costs, increase profitability, and drive job creation while encouraging innovation. The Center also helps businesses obtain supplier diversity certifications, respond to bids on public and private contracts, and increase the number and average dollar value of contracts won.


Our Partners

polk brothers.png
bmo logo.png

How We Support African American Businesses 


Successful entrepreneurs of color are not only important to the African American community, but to the economic development of the entire City of Chicago. To ensure that African American entrepreneurs flourish, our center provides the following services: 

coaching pick.jpg

One on one Coaching.

We provide business owners at all stages with one on one coaching in core knowledge areas  such as strategy, branding, access to capital, marketing, finance, procurement/ supplier diversity and operations.  

1916 logo.png

1916 Co-Working Space.                                   –

Launching TBA:  Members of 1916 get access to shared work space, meeting rooms, expert consulting, and the opportunity to connect with other like minded entrepreneurs. 


Business Training.                               –

The Chicago Urban League Entrepreneurship Center has classes for entrepreneurs at all stages: whether you are just getting started, or are a mature business. 


Events & Workshops.

The Chicago Urban League Entrepreneurship Center has over 50 events each year focused on areas such as technology, access to capital, procurement and other knowledge areas. 


About the Chicago Urban League

At the Chicago Urban League we believe that a strong African American community makes a stronger Chicago. For nearly a century, the Urban League—through unique community, corporate and civic relationships,—has helped people find jobs, affordable housing, educational opportunities, and grow businesses. We are passionate advocates for educational equality, economic development and social justice. 

A strong African American Community is a better Chicago.

The Chicago Urban League works for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans and promotes strong, sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration and innovation.

The Chicago Urban League is committed to implementing its mission with a strategic focus on educational equality, economic development and social justice and through the well-informed pursuit of the following strategies: 

  • Ensuring access to quality education that prepares individuals to become lifelong learners and to be competitive and successful in the global economy. 
  • Preparing individuals for work at all levels in an ever-changing economy, developing engaged citizens, and building strong families. 
  • Supporting community based investment and growth through facilitating entrepreneurship, business development, and home and real estate ownership 
  • Advocating for policies and programs that ensure equal participation by African Americans in the economic and social mainstream.


See A Coach 


black business owner 3.jpg