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The Chicago Small Business Entrepreneur Expo

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Small Business Logo
Small Business Expo

The Chicago Small Business Entrepreneur Expo boasts over 3,000 small business owners, over 100 exhibitors and over 30 workshops. The annual event is hosted by the Office of the City of Chicago Treasurer, Stephanie Neely. It is a one day expo, that will convene on October 3, 2014 at the UIC forum. The speakers are selected from diverse backgrounds and areas of business expertise.

There are several ways to participate in the expo. Registration is free and includes all of the workshops, access to the exhibition hall and registration materials. There are also sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities available. The ambassador opportunity is designed to partner with small businesses to spread the word about the expo via business websites and social media.

During the months leading up to the event, the Office of the City of Chicago Treasurer, conducted 3 contests:

  • The Business Plan Contest: Three winners will be selected based on their ability to clearly and concisely articulate their business idea, the creativity and practicability of their marketing and sales strategy, and the overall viability of their business.
  • The Elevator Pitch Contest: Contestants showcase their business by developing an innovative, creative, and professional elevator pitch. View this year's 7 finalist.
  • Small Business Online Marketing Contest: Recognizes Chicago businesses with the best e-mail and social media campaigns. This contest is sponsored by Constant Contact.

Winners will be announced during the Small Business Entrepreneur Expo on October 3rd. The Chicago Small Business Entrepreneur Expo website will provide updated information, as we count down to the Expo. Speakers, workshops, schedules and the final exhibitor list will be posted on the site. Here is a preliminary list of exhibitors:


BoBo Strategy
BookKeeping Express
Brilliant Solutions Group, Inc
Carol Ann Marketing
Constant Contact
Crain’s Chicago Business
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
IIT Knapp Entrepreneurship Center
Jorge Took Your Picture
Minuteman Press Chicago
Perfect Cut Productions
Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP
The Board Room, Inc
Tribeca Flashpoint Academy

Banking and Financial Services

BMO Harris Bank
Fifth Third Bank

Government Agencies

City of Chicago
Chicago Public Library
Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection
Department of Housing and Economic Development
Department of Procurement Services
Office of Emergency Management and Communications

State of Illinois
CMS/Business Enterprise Program
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

U.S. Department of Labor- EBSA
Small Business Association

Chambers of Commerce and Nonprofits

ACCION Chicago
Better Business Bureau
Business Marketing Association
Central Lakeview Merchants Association
Chatham Business Association
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Community Media Workshop
Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Illinois Institute of Technology Knapp Entrepreneurship Center
Illinois SBDC/Duman Entrepreneurship Center at JVS Chicago
Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship
Instituto Del Progreso Latino
Six Corners Association
SCORE Chicago
Small Business Advocacy Council
The John Marshall Law School
UIC Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
Women’s Business Development Center
Women’s Innovation Network- WIN

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