The Polsky Small Business Growth Program supports small businesses owners to help them grow and scale their businesses to the next level of success. With funding from JPMorgan Chase, and in partnership with the Office of Civic Engagement, this program is part of the nationwide Ascend program, which partners with top universities and institutions to provide business assistance and opportunities for minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses in major metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Through this program, the Polsky Center works with small businesses located in the South and West Side of Chicago. Small teams of highly-skilled University of Chicago students provide hands-on consulting experience to these companies, helping them address key business challenges and determine new strategies for business growth. Teams are supervised under the direction of a senior-level executive and Chicago Booth faculty member, associate adjunct professor of marketing Craig Terrill. The Polsky Center works with outside partner organizations such as Accion, LISC, CASE, and the Chicago Urban League to find ways to provide additional financing, coaching, and other wrap-around services for these consulting engagements.