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Entrepreneurship Essentials (E2): Leading, Selling, and Surviving in a Post COVID-19 Environment

Operating a business is not easy. Small businesses have been heavily impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two years into the pandemic, some businesses now feel more empowered and even stronger. In this workshop, you will learn how your business can come out of the COVID-19 pandemic more focused, more determined and more successful moving forward.

Speaker: Bill Skeens, Founder, Prairie City Bakery

Bill has a passion for entrepreneurship, mentoring, and helping founders achieve their dreams. He has spoken numerous times to MBA students about “Starting a Business and Lessons Learned Along the Way.” Currently Mentoring Entrepreneurs through the Polsky Center at the University of Chicago, 1871, the Hatchery and NEL (Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab) and several other business incubators and has mentored over 50+ Entrepreneurs. They love his real world, having experience as they start on their journey. Former Founder/CEO Prairie City Bakery in 1994. Sold to McKee Foods (Little Debbie Snacks) in May 2019.

Prairie City Bakery was a bootstrapped start-up that sold award winning, fully baked, frozen, thaw and sell bakery goods to the Food Service, Instore Bakery and C-store markets. Sold over 125 different skus in over 30,000 retail and food service locations nationally. Sold both Branded and Private Brand products. Their first product was Muffin Tops (before Seinfeld.) They were a 9-time winner of industry awarded “Best New Products of the Year ” awards. Was named to the INC Magazine – INC 500 (Fastest Growing Companies in 2000, 2009, 2010 and 2014 ). Bill Skeens was awarded the 2010 Smart Business Smart Leader Award presented by US Bank. Prairie City Bakery was also the “Official Cookie of the Chicago Cubs” from 2009-2018.

Thank you to MUFG Union Bank, N.A., for support of programming to reach small business owners.

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