Program for Illinois will provide minority entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses with tools for success.
Governor Bruce Rauner announced today the creation of the Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (A.D.M.E) program to improve the economic climate for minority and women-owned businesses in Illinois.
“We need to lift up minorities and women who have been overlooked within our society and are underrepresented in our economy,” Governor Rauner said in a written statement. “Illinois is one of the most diverse states in the country and everyone benefits by cultivating and celebrating that diversity. A.D.M.E is a step forward in creating an economy where minority entrepreneurs are supported at the highest level.”
Illinois is home to a thriving start-up and small business ecosystem. A.D.M.E builds on that by tapping into the potential of underrepresented communities. A.D.M.E will identify high-potential minority entrepreneurs and provide them with resources from start to finish to grow their business. The program will ensure these individuals and companies have the knowledge, tools, resources and support system they need to flourish.
“I applaud the Governor for the executive order,” said State Rep. Grant Wehrli, representing District 41. “This sends a signal from our state leadership that our small businesses and entrepreneurs are important job creators and are important no matter who they are or where they live. This opens opportunities for everyone. I’m really happy to hear about it.”
First-year focus on Chicago, Peoria & Rockford
The first year of the program will focus on minority communities in Chicago, Peoria and Rockford with the goal of expanding statewide. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will oversee A.D.M.E. by creating an ecosystem of community partners for a tailored experience leading to long-term results.
“Illinois is creating a trail for minority entrepreneurs to succeed,” Jimmy Odom, Senior Policy Adviser at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said in the news release. “A.D.M.E will open doors for these innovative individuals by supporting them at every level and providing them with additional knowledge and resources. We can give these innovative individuals and companies a better chance at success in a long-term and meaningful way, which will create a positive ripple effect in their community and across the state.”
A.D.M.E is a direct result of Governor Rauner’s Executive Order to identify ways to increase diversity in business and the economy. It is one of many steps the Administration is taking to support minority and women-owned businesses.
Minority Economic Development Council / Community Partners
- Jimmy Odom, DCEO Senior Policy Adviser of Minority Business Development
- Julio Rodriguez, DCEO Office of Employment Training Deputy Director
- State Representative Ken Dunkin – 5th District
- Emilia Deminco, Women’s Business Development Center President and CEO
- Terrance Hall, Metropolitan Planner at Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning
- Eva Brown, U.S. Bank, Vice President and Regional Community Development Manager
- Steve Hall, Accion, Vice President of Small Business Development
- Erica King, Vice President of Lending, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group
- George Burciaga, Elevate Digital, Founder and CEO
- Denise Moore, Peoria City Council
- William Busch III, Gallup, Inc.
News released from Catherine Kelly for the Office of the Governor
Editor’s Note: In a recently-released survey posted by analysts at WalletHub, it’s interesting to note Peoria ranked 119, Rockford ranked 149 and Chicago ranked 154 on a comparative list of 2016 Best and Worst Cities for Illinois Families. The list included 162 cities.
Morton, Illinois, located east of Peoria with a population of almost 17,000, was selected first choice. Morton is known for its pumpkins and annual Pumpkin Festival.
Naperville, located west of Chicago with a population of nearly 145,000, was listed tenth. Naperville is known for its Riverwalk, North Central College, Naper Settlement, DuPage Children’s Museum and other family-friendly events and traditions.
According to the WalletHug website, the comparisons were based on Family Life & Fun, Education, Health & Safety, Affordability and Socioeconomic Environment in the Prairie State where pumpkin pie is the State Pie.