Northeastern Illinois University's Business Innovation & Growth Center (BIG Center) aids start-ups and existing businesses to fuel their entrepreneurial growth.
The BIG Center supports businesses from pre-launch to exit:
- Entrepreneurial mindset, ideation and proof of concept
- Commercialization and financing
- Rapid growth through new products, new markets, sales and marketing channels with a focus on technology and digital marketing
- Scaling of operations
- Non-organic growth such as vertical integration, acquisitions, and joint ventures
NEIU's BIG Center also paves a path for students, alumni and the area's local start-ups into Chicago's entrepreneurship pipelines, educational programs and mentoring.
- Entrepreneurial new venture launches (both for-profit and not-for-profit)
- New jobs, internships and apprenticeships
- Customer revenue gains
- Financing secured (debt, equity and grants)
- Business growth projects with measurable results (tech commercialization, proof of concept, digital marketing, new product, new market, acquisition, generational transfer)
- NEIU revenue (tuition, grants, ROI-seed money, business project fees, incubator fees, finance and vendor lead generation commissions)
Business Planning for Entrepreneurs
Thinking about starting your own business or nonprofit? With a plan, your start-up is more likely to succeed. In this 12-week noncredit mini-course, you will create your own pitch-ready business plan. Your course instructor will guide you through four main components: researching your industry and competitors; developing your marketing and sales plan; devising your income statement for an ideal year; and preparing your pitch presentation.
Benefits to preparing a business plan for your entrepreneurial venture:
- Double your chances for success!
- Necessary to attract financing (grants, loans, equity investments);
- Gain clarity about what has to be done to achieve success (financial results and impact).
Benefits of completing Entrepreneurial Business Planning training at NEIU’s BIG Center:
- Focus on financial forecasting;
- Make profit-enhancing entrepreneurial pivots prior to launch and/or before scaling;
- Certificate of completion from NEIU’s AACSB-accredited College of Business Management (adds credibility when seeking financing);
- One-to-one coaching sessions with instructors between classes to work specifically on your entrepreneurial venture (we don’t grade you, and we get to work with you on your homework!);
- Publicity opportunities: In the past year, BIG Center entrepreneurs were featured in NEIU press releases, on CBS News, in AARP’s national monthly magazine, in Negocios Now, and in the BIG Center newsletter!
- As with last year, the classes will culminate with a New Venture Pitch Night, to which family, friends, angel investors, local government officials, community leaders, and the press are invited;
- After successful completion of the business plan non-credit courses, NEIU’s BIG Center continues to work with you to find regular opportunities to feature you and your entrepreneurial venture in publicity and other marketing opportunities.
- Opportunities to work with NEIU faculty and students on projects focused on the growth of your entrepreneurial ventures.
- Free to the entrepreneurs, student projects have included logo design, branding consultations, Pitch Night videos, and business highlight videos;
- In partnership with the University of Illinois – Champaign, funded by a federal grant, a few entrepreneurs are having free websites built in WordPress!
Business Planning Online
6-8 p.m. Mondays starting April 20, 2020
Entrepreneurship for Creative and Performing Artists
6-8 p.m. April 23
Facebook for Business
6-8 p.m. on the first, third and fourth Wednesday of each month starting April 22
For more information contact the BIG Center.