University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Polsky Small Business Growth Student Consultant Program

A collaboration with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago

The Chicago skyline on a clear day from above.

The Polsky Small Business Growth Student Consultant Program supports small business owners to help them grow and scale their businesses through consulting work completed by top University of Illinois student talent under the direction and support of University of Chicago Booth faculty, Polsky staff, and external coaches. 

The Polsky Small Business Growth Post-COVID-19 program is a collaboration with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Summer 2021 Application

Applications are due Monday, April 5, 2021.

For questions about the application process, please contact Isra Omar at iomar@uchicago.edu.

What Past Polsky Student Consultants Say About the Program

Hannah Brostoff

Master of Architecture Candidate, 2021
Master of Business Administration Candidate, 2021

“My experience at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation gave me new client and project management skills, as well as great friendships and professional connections. I led a team of two consultants to help three small businesses in Chicago and Champaign, Illinois that helped our clients with everything from a full rebrand of the company to a website overhaul to recommendations on how to make their business processes more efficient, all while growing as workers and individuals. Now that our projects have ended, I am still in contact with our clients and my team, and am constantly applying the skills I have learned from the summer program to my everyday life. The Polsky Summer Business Growth Program gave me a purpose during COVID-19 and helped me find my love for helping small businesses.” 

Jacob Rich

“While this pandemic has affected all of us in a major way, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Polsky Center internship. I was able get a lot of valuable experience in real-world consulting and the program had a lot of classes to help us succeed in our work. The biggest take away from my experience was my view on internships in general, as I feel most students want an experience that will help them grow and look good on a resume. I had the same feeling going into this summer, but I completely changed my outlook as I got to spend time helping three small minority-owned businesses combat the battles of COVID. I gained a greater respect for small businesses and got to work closely with these owners who truly wanted out help and implemented so many of our recommendations. It was such a rewarding experience and the moment one of our client was in tears at the end of the project because of how grateful he was is when I realized how lucky I was to be a part of this program where UIUC students have not been before.”

Ron Ellis

“I had the great pleasure to work with the University of Chicago, but more specifically, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation over this past Summer. My role during this Summer’s internship was to lead and manage a team of consultants as part of the Small Business Growth Program. My responsibilities were to function as a project manager – where I managed a team of consultants on engagements for three different small businesses in the Chicago and Champaign areas which represented varying business sectors. I must truly say that the unique experiences and relationships I developed over the 10-week period I was involved in the program, will remain inspirational and valuable both personally and professionally for many years to come. I am utterly grateful for the opportunity to have been a participant.”