Business Resources

1. Sunshine Enterprises

(Chicagoland Entrepreneur Workshops)

P: 312-868-0040

www.sunshineenterprises.com

2. U.S. Small Business Administration

(Funding programs, business assistance, business planning)

www.sba.gov

3. Ladder Up

(tax assistance, financial education)

goladderup.org

4. The John Marshall Law School

(Community enterprise & solidarity economy clinic) 

https://jmls.uic.edu/experiential-education/clinics/community-enterprise/

5. Google Cloud Startup Program

cloud.startups@google.com

6. Department of Commerce

(Specific to your state)

7. Chi Biz Hub (Illinois businesses)

chibizhub.com

8. CASE

(connecting local businesses to anchor institutions)

chicagoanchors.com

9. Community Law Project (Chicago legal assistance for nonprofit & small business)

www.clccrul.org

10. North Lawndale Legal Clinic

(Free legal help)

Email: adear@clccrul.org

11. Google Ads (Promote your business)

ads.google.com

12. Google Digital Coaches Program (Digital skills training & coaching to help black and latino small business)

grow.google/digitalcoaches/

13. Bloom (business funding)

www.bloomfund.org

14. Kiva

(0% mission driven small business loans)

kiva.org/borrow

15. Accion

(Small low interest business loans)

www.accion.org

16. CIBC 

(Entrepreneur loan program)

www.cibc.com/us

17. SCORE

(Workshops, mentors , startup resources)

www.score.org

18. National Women's Business Council

(Webinars, meetings, business resources)

www.nwbc.gov

19. Blue Lacuna (co-working technology and innovation space)

www.thebluelacuna.com

20.International Franchise Association

https://www.franchise.org

21. Listings nationwide and helps you find businesses for sale as well as business brokers in your area.

https://www.bizbuysell.com/

22. Financial Literacy

Email: contact@annuity.org Phone: (855) 972-5895

Annuity.org

23. Entrepreneurship Program

http://www.thisismission.org/shift

24. Reparations Inc.

Anonymous free online service for people of color

Graphic design, Photography, videography,  editing & more

http://www.reparationsinc.org

Do you know of any business resources not listed above? Please add them to our comment section below.

ABOUT US 

Aaron Smith, founder of Escaping The Odds, grew up in public housing on the south side of Chicago. It was there that he got involved in a heroin drug operation that produced up to $15,000 a day. As a result of his crimes, he was later indicted for conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl resulting in death. He was sentenced 12 years in federal prison. While serving nearly a decade in jail, Aaron had a drastic mindset shift. He decided, with God's help, that it was time to switch hustles from selling dope to chasing dreams. As an entrepreneur, podcast producer, and mentor, Aaron continues to contribute to the ever changing narrative of the formerly incarcerated. He escaped the odds and seeks to empower anyone who desires to do the same. Together we can change lives by switching mindsets and hustles. Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Formerly incarcerated? Looking to invest in innovative startups? Searching for dope fits to rock? Struggling to start or grow your business? At Escaping The Odds we want to tap into the next level of freedom with you. Check out everything we have to offer.

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Photo taken while in prison.

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