The first event in our Access to Financing series will cover various loan options for food & beverage entrepreneurs. Join us for a panel conversation with representatives from Accion Chicago, The Women’s Business Development Center, Rockin Enterprises, Colonial Funding and other institutions to learn about small business lending. Then, interact one-on-one with representatives from various small business loan providers.
About the panelists:
David Johnson of Accion Chicago
Denise Franta (The Women’s Business Development Center) is the Director of Access to Capital where she works with entrepreneurs in identifying and accessing capital to grow their businesses. Denise enjoys seeing people realize their dreams. She has a diverse background in business and economic development. Starting her career in retail banking, she has spent the last nine years running the Small Business Development Centers at ICNC and UIC. Her latest achievement was researching and writing a strategic plan for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity on how to modernize the Small Business Development Center program in the State of Illinois where she was honored with an outstanding achievement award by Deputy Governor, Leslie Munger. Denise holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Master’s in Educational Psychology-Measurement, Evaluation Statistics and Assessment from UIC.
Donna Rockin is a successful small business owner with an M.B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago. She is the Managing Partner of Rockin Enterprises, Inc., a full-service consulting firm specializing in helping start-ups and early stage businesses launch and grow. Previously, she was Executive Director of the Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center at IIT. Ms. Rockin was formerly the Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center/Duman Entrepreneurship Center at JVS Chicago. Today, at Rockin Enterprises, Inc., Ms. Rockin provides technical assistance and access to trusted vetted resources for start-ups and early stage businesses. She has helped many food start-ups find suitable co-packers and packaging experts as their businesses scale. Ms. Rockin works closely with entrepreneurs to help them access capital, and ensure their business plans are realistic and achievable. She has over thirty years of product development, marketing and communications experience in the for-profit sector. Donna received a B.A. from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and is fluent in Spanish as a result of studying a year at the University of Barcelona, Barcelona Spain.
Marty Wayne of Colonial Funding LLC