The University of Chicago is receiving an additional investment from JP Morgan Chase to expand a Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s program supporting minority-owned businesses on the south and west sides of Chicago.
Announced by Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, at a July 19 event held at the Polsky Exchange, the Ascend 2020 program at UChicago and Northwestern University is receiving an additional $1 million as part of JP Morgan Chase’s overall $6.5 million expanded investment to support minority entrepreneurs in Chicago. Ascend 2020 is a nationwide program in which top universities across the country connect minority entrepreneurs to mentoring, supplier networks and community partners to improve access to the 3-Ms: management strength, market and money.
In 2017, the University of Chicago and Northwestern University each received $200,000 through Ascend 2020 to launch new programs to support those living in underserved neighborhoods. With this funding, the Polsky Center, in partnership with the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, launched the Polsky Small Business Growth Program. With this program, 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.
“Providing education and preparation for entrepreneurs is an important part of the University’s positive impact in Chicago and beyond, and doing that effectively requires seeking out people of all backgrounds who can apply their talents toward venture creation and economic development,” said President Robert J. Zimmer at Thursday’s event. “We are grateful to JPMorgan Chase for its support of this partnership, which will enhance our existing commitment to supporting diversity and local economic growth, contributing to economic activity that benefits our communities.”