According to the Harvard Business School, 70% of Americans believe it’s important for companies to make the world a better place. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is more than a buzz word– it’s a must–have, and many entrepreneurs aspire to balance earning a profit while fulfilling a purpose in their business. Join us for a conversation and networking event about the history and upcoming trends of social entrepreneurship. Hear from a panel of successful Chicago-based social entrepreneurs who will speak to the pros and cons from their experiences, so you can determine if this is the right path for you.
About the Moderator:
Jamie D. Elder is the Manager of the Small Business Development Center at Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC). Jamie is an Army veteran and life-long entrepreneur, he started his first business when he was 21. In his most recent venture, he partnered to form an impact-minded private equity firm called I2J Group LLC resulting in their first acquisition of a small home improvement company. Over the years he has held several roles and was appointed to the Governor’s administration to serve as the Director, Office of Urban Development for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. In 2016, he relocated to Washington, DC to serve as a Director of Strategic Partnership for a national venture philanthropy firm called Stand Together Foundation–serving over five hundred wealthy business leaders across the country. In 2019, he briefly worked as the Director of Urban Development for a legacy-minded private equity firm called Ambassador Enterprises.
About the Presenters:
Brady Gott is the Managing Director of Cara Collective’s flagship social enterprise, Cleanslate. Cleanslate creates over 400 jobs annually for Chicagoans affected by homelessness and poverty. Since 2007, Brady has overseen the financial health of the business, growth strategies, and providing meaningful employment for Cleanslate workers. Brady directed Cleanslate’s expansion to more than 50 communities including outposts in suburban Chicago and NW Indiana. He has a side hustle as an Airbnb Superhost. Brady earned a BA in Urban Ministry from Moody Bible Institute, MBA at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, and was a University of Chicago Civic Leadership Academy Fellow.
Kate Jakubas is the Founder of Meliora Cleaning Products, a Chicago-based manufacturer of people- and planet-friendly household cleaners. Meliora manufactures cleaning products that are free of single use plastic, with ingredients that meet strict criteria to avoid harm to people and planet. Prior to founding Meliora, Kate worked as a research and development engineer of sinks and faucets at Elkay Manufacturing and was the environmental and regulatory manager for bicycle component company SRAM. When she isn’t at Meliora, she is either teaching Operations to mission-focused MBA students at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago or playing music very poorly.
Neil Sullivan is the Founder and CEO of Quari Ice. Neil Sullivan is the soul of this business. An Arkansan by birth, he moved to Japan after college and learned to speak, read and write the language. While there, Neil developed an appreciation for the precision and harmony that are hallmarks of the Japanese culture. His mission with Quari Handcrafted Ice is to bring that same ethic to the ice industry, while helping level the playing field for people in need of a new start. Neil proudly resides in Chicago, which he proclaims is the best city in the world.
The Illinois Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC). Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Please contact the center at (312)421-3941.