Tag Archives | entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Program — Open House August 27

word cloudEntrepreneurs with disabilities are about to get a helping hand.  The College of Lake County Personal Success Program (CLC-PSP) is about to offer a series of two classes aimed at teaching entrepreneurship skills.  The first class is “Introduction to Entrepreneurship”.  It is followed by “Business Plan Writing”.  Each class costs $350.  There will be an open house dealing specifically with the Entrepreneurship series on August 27, 2013, at the Grayslake Campus of CLC, from 6-8pm.  Pre-registration is encouraged.

A business plan is central to developing an enterprise that actually makes money and can be taken seriously by others.  Investors and customers like tangible evidence a business has been thought through – a business plan does that.   This class is different from others because  that it targets the needs of entrepreneurs with disabilities.  It addresses customized self-employment, micro-enterprise and other topics that are specific to disability.

In addition, students in the entrepreneurship class will be encouraged to bring a mentor along as a class participant, perhaps a parent.  This individual is likely to assist with the creation of the enterprise and remain committed to its success.   The attendance of two individuals is covered in the fee, in recognition of the need for committed partners.

This self-employment program came together whan a group of like-minded agencies and individuals came together to explore options.  Dubbed The Lake County Area Entrepreneurship Initiative (LCAEI), the principal organizing agencies include: the College of Lake County (CLC), the Illinois Association of Microboards and Cooperatives (IAMC) , the Lake County Center for Independent Living (LCCIL),   the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL), TheNemoNews.com,  The University of Illinois at Chicago and Vocational Rehabilitation.

The initiative was sparked by the efforts of Dr. Fabricio Balcazar at UIC.  He is working with federal and state agencies to develop other such projects in the Chicago area.

The initiative is expected to announce other activities that are currently in the planning stages.  For more information,  contact the project coordinator,  Mary Curran Rhodes at mary@thenemonews.com.



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Entrepreneurial Jump Start on Saturday, June 8, 2013

JumpStart_FlyerChicagoland entrepreneurs (and wanna-bees) with Disabilities will gather this Saturday, June 8 for a day of education, networking and information.  Titled the “Entrepreneurial Jump Start” it will take place downtown at the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education  (ICRE), 1950 W Roosevelt from 10am – 5pm, near UIC.

The fair will feature workshops, success stories, panels, booths and vendors.  In addition, it will mark the grand re-opening of their Artfully Gifted Retail Center — an consignment outlet for qualified business owners.

TheNemoNews recently toured the ICRE operation and was impressed by the vision and implementation of their goals and operations to promote entrepreneurship among those with disabilities.

For more information about the Entrepreneurial Jump Start contact Therese Manderino, Superintendent of the ICRE at  therese.manderino@illinois.gov, 312-433-3121.


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Nemo’s Business Plan: In Progress

Hoping to become self-sustaining and more robust, TheNemoNews.com started working on it’s business plan this spring.  Part of the process was to attend the Entrepreneurship Class held at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) during March and April.  While the business plan for Nemo  is not yet complete, we made great progress.  We will publish more about our plan as it moves forward.

There were about 10 students in the Business Plan class.  All were adults with disabilities who dreamed of self-employment.  All had an open case with Vocational Rehabilitation.  Their dreams ranged from fashion design to bed-bug control.  Some had dealt with disabilities all their life, others only recently.   And all of us sought to assess the competition, develop a marketing plan, struggled with  our break-even spreadsheets and tried to project earnings as we wrote our business plans.  The company we kept with each other was great.

Did you know that self-employment hovers around 11% among the disabled community?  That is somewhat more than the 7% in the general population.   It is good to see UIC and VR take a leadership role in promoting entrepreneurship among those with disabilities.   Dr. Fabricio  Balcazar should be lauded for leading these efforts at UIC.

For more information about the UIC Business Plan Program, contact Shawn Dimfl, sdimpf1@uic.edu, at 312-413-8993.

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Business Plan Class at UIC

The University of Illinois Chicago is offering a free business plan writing class for adults with disabilities that have open vocational rehabilitation cases with the Department of Rehabilitation Services.  The class is free of charge to those that meet these requirements.

Classes will begin on Monday, March 4th.  They will meet every Monday and Thursday fr0m 10am-12pm for eight weeks.  (March 4 – April 25, 2013)

The book for the class is “Business Plan in a Day” by Rhonda Abrams, Second Edition.  Students will have to buy the book which costs about $15.  (Nemo found some on-line .pdf files.)

If you are interested  or know somebody that is interested please complete the form that is attached to this article.  Complete and return the application to the instructor, Varun Saripella, vsarip2@uic.edu by February 25th.  For more information about the UIC Business Plan Program, contact Shawn Dimfl, sdimpf1@uic.edu, at 312-413-8993.

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Disability and Entrepreneurship Workshop – UIC

People with disabilities often start their own business according to speakers at the Participation Through Innovation Workshop (PTI). The day-long workshop was co-sponsored by UIC Departments of Disability and Human Development and the Department of Managerial Studies. Access Living in Chicago hosted the event on Saturday, October 29.

About 30 participants attended small group workshops in Business Development, Marketing and Social Networking. The Plenary Sessions featured Christine Hess from the Abilities Fund and Karen Harris from the Shriver Center.  A networking social ended the session.

Materials from the program are available on-line at the PTI website.

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