Monday, December 16, 2013

Green For All, University of Phoenix Hosted Chicago Green Business Academy to Support Area’s Green Businesses #GoGreen

University of Phoenix® and Green For All held a workshop centered on building Chicago’s emerging green entrepreneurs. During the event, small business owners and entrepreneurs learned valuable information on sustainable business resources, working with the government, financing options and The Affordable Care Act’s effect on green businesses. Participants also pitched their business ideas and received constructive feedback from established local professionals.

As the green economy continues to thrive, Chicago is becoming a leader in the field. It ranks third for green jobs among the nation's largest metro areas. According to a Brookings Institution report, the Chicago area enjoyed 79,388 clean economy jobs.

“Chicago is one of the greenest cities in the country,” said Green For All’s Program Manager for Business Engagement, Zakiya Harris. “This business academy supports the city’s green entrepreneurs and small business owners – particularly those coming from low-income areas and communities of color – and arms them with the resources to grow their businesses and a place to interact with local organizations and community stakeholders.”

The Chicago Green Business Academy was Green For All and University of Phoenix’s 14th business academy to support green entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, especially businesses located in underserved communities.

“University of Phoenix is dedicated to being a good corporate citizen by serving communities and individuals across the country in the areas of education, workforce readiness and sustainability,” said Pat Gottfried, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Apollo Education Group, parent company of University of Phoenix. “We are proud to work with Green For All to bring this exciting event to Chicago and help pair Chicago’s green entrepreneurs with resources needed to grow within this industry.”

Chicago Green Business Academy panelists included: Elise Zelechowski, Founder & Executive Director, Rebuilding Exchange; Brenda Palms Barber, CEO, North Lawndale Employment Network and Sweet Beginnings, LLC; Melissa Antone, Director of Sustainability, Apollo Education Group, parent company of University of Phoenix; Zakiya Harris, Program Manager for Business Engagement, Green For All; Charles Sprague, Lead Faculty Area Chair, University of Phoenix Chicago Campus; Mark Ferguson, Public Information Officer, U.S. Small Business Administration; Jumaani Bates, Sustainability Consultant & Green For All Fellow; Walter Bush IV, Operations Manager & Founding Partner, Bronzeville Green Landscaping, LLC; Mary Timmel, Outreach Manager, Small Business Majority; Jon Levey, Executive Vice President & Chief Lending Officer, GreenChoice Bank; and Marc Lane, Founder, The Law Offices of Marc J. Lane.

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