Englewood entrepreneurs get going in a Shark Tank-like business plan competition

CHICAGO (WLS) — Englewood entrepreneurs are getting a much-needed boost in the Quality of Life Business Competition.

Four finalists will take the stage Saturday at Kennedy King College in an event much like ABC’s Shark Tank.

They show off their current business or plans for a new one as they present to a panel of judges.

“They get coaching mentorship, they get support to launch, and then they get support to create a business plan,” said Cecile De Mello, executive director of Teamwork Englewood.

The launches offered a look at a variety of businesses including a daycare center, a luggage service, a boutique and a caterer.

The final four will walk away with a prize of at least $10,000, but Stephanie Harrison will walk away with $25,000, as the judges were so impressed with her plans to expand a daycare at 65th and Halsted.

“We definitely need this,” said Stephanie Harrrison, who runs Children Learn and Play Daycre. “We’ve been needing you for a long time and I thank you for coming out to our community and helping us.”

The money is a good thing, but these entrepreneurs are also leaving with connections in the community that will provide resources in the future to grow their business. That helps a lot as entrepreneurs face the daily obstacles of running a small business.

“I think they’re very helpful with recognition, just getting the word out to the community that local entrepreneurs and businesses are viable and they’re in the community and they’re ready to do business with the community,” said Sandy Mitchell of SanJustins Kitchen.

To register for this free event, click here.

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