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Polsky Small Business Growth Program

Polsky Small Business Growth Program

Applications & Eligibility

I’m interested in being a Client

The Polsky Center is looking to partner with small business owners who will act as “clients” and are interested in benefiting from actionable recommendations on ways to grow their business.

What You Will Get:

  • Free consulting services from teams of highly-skilled student consultants
  • supervision by Chicago Booth faculty member Craig Terrill and support by additional experienced business coaches.
  • Opportunity to work on a 3-month project engagement involving in-depth research and analysis, regular touch points between client and team, and the development of a final report
  • Complimentary access to the Polsky Exchange

Who Should Apply //  Businesses that have been in business for at least one year and have annual revenue exceeding $150,000 are eligible to apply. Preference will be given for minority-owned, women-owned, or veteran-owned small businesses that are located on the South and West Side of Chicago. Most projects will focus on helping clients identify, define and pursue a new market with their existing products and services. A new market might mean a new customer segment, a new location, a new related market, a new emerging customer, grow an existing customer base, or other related concept (please see application for more detail).

Application Process // Thanks for your interest in the program. Applications for Spring 2019 have closed, but we will open client applications for the Fall 2019 program in July 2019. To receive program announcements, please complete the following form.

I’m interested in being a Student Consultant

The Polsky Center seeks highly-motivated UChicago graduate and undergraduate students looking to gain experience in business consulting and create positive social impact.

What You Will Get:

  • Work in teams to carry out a full, 11-week consulting project, working closely with small businesses on the South and West Side of Chicago to address challenges related to growth and innovation. Groups will consist of student consultants and a senior-level business coach who will provide expert mentoring and advice. Students will receive a small stipend for their project work.
  • Training on growth marketing and innovation topics, research and analysis approaches, best practices and processes for consulting engagements, and skills for managing successful client relations.
  • Opportunity to work closely with Booth Professor Craig Terrill.

Who Should Apply // Preference will be given to students with interest in business management, entrepreneurship, small businesses, social impact via economic growth in an urban setting, and/or consulting. The program will accept both undergraduate and graduate level students currently enrolled at the University of Chicago.

Application Process // Applications for the Fall 2019 program are now closed. The next application cycle will be available for the Winter/Spring Quarter. To learn more about the program and to receive notification about upcoming information sessions and the application process, please complete the form here.

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