Englewood Business Plan Competition Makes Accommodations for Entrepreneurs

The Englewood Quality of Life Plan (EQLP) Jobs and Economic Development (JAED) Taskforce is happy to announce that out of 145 Englewood Business Plan Competition (BPC) applications, 22 entries have been selected to advance to the second phase of the competition. 

In this next phase, all entries will participate in an interview or "mock" pitch. Entrepreneurs will be asked to discuss the contents of their business plan, and most importantly, how their plan will impact jobs and economic development in Englewood. Improving Englewood's economic vitality is paramount to the JAED Taskforce and overall goal of the EQLP, and this business plan competition positions community residents to contribute.

In addition to economic development, the business plan competition provides some community residents with their first hand at entrepreneurship. JAED Taskforce Champion and Business Plan Competition Coordinator, Felicia Slaton-Young, shared that regardless of the applicants' displayed level of technical business acumen, the content of the plans was clear and viable. "According to the guidelines, we asked for submissions to be in a PDF format, however, we received a handwritten plan on notebook paper. The applicant shared that computers give them anxiety. That wouldn't be fair for us to exclude someone based on their needs. This is an opportunity for all to participate."

For the BPC, there were two tracks: established businesses and business ideas. Slaton-Young encouraged all people to apply for future competitions. "Everyone should try, even those who think their idea is so far-fetched that there is no way they would be chosen, they should try anyway. We hope all those people who didn't participate, because they don't know how to write a business plan, or don’t have a computer, will look to next year. The handwritten notebook paper submission is proof that none of that matters. The plan just needs to make sense." 

Making accommodations for entrepreneurs with varying business acumen signals a greater need for more resources to support applicants. "We have to build capacity among our entrepreneurs rather than exclude them." 

After the interviews with the applicants, 10 will be selected to progress on to the final round. They will pitch at the competition on Thursday December 14th at 10AM at Teamwork Englewood 815 W. 63rd Street Chicago, IL 60621. For questions, please contact Felicia Slaton-Young at or Jim Harbin at