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A Passion for Growth

The Mentorship Program is the backbone of Empower. We search far and wide to gather the most devoted business veterans who are driven to help small businesses prosper in any neighborhood.

Interested in signing up? See below!

The Mentorship Program

Powerful things happen when a respected, experienced person shows interest in and supports the development of another individual. The Empower Mentorship program does exactly that. Our mentees are more than willing to put in the time, effort, and respect needed to help Chicago's small businesses flourish.

“My mentor, Phil [Gafka], is amazing. He has taught me how to create a culture for my business and then be the culture I have created. This [mentor] program has been very impactful, very instrumental in the growth of Resourceful Friends, LLC. And I really appreciate SBAC [Empower] for this platform and this opportunity…”

          - Anjel Brown, Resourceful Friends LLC, Co-Founder http://www.resourcefulfriends.com

The Mentorship Program will pair any willing Mentee - that is, the individual who has requested assistance - with a more than willing Mentor. The Mentor and Mentee will meet monthly where they will discuss business strategies, generate ideas for growth, and remedy any issues or problems that have arisen.

“I appreciate the opportunity to help small business owners. After 26 years of working with business which are primarily very established, I get to be reminded not only of hardships for the new entrepreneur, but also the advice that remains paramount to getting access to capital. The ability to train a company early in their life cycle is selfishly very satisfying. I feel like I’m making a difference."

          - Stephen Ball, Byline Bank, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Banking

Our Mentors are veterans of the Chicago Business world. All of them have experience in the growth of small businesses, and all are happy to watch and help small businesses grow. They come from a diverse range of fields to assist in any manner.

To become a Mentee, your business should be established with a customer base (no matter how small) for at least a year. You must also have a brand, name, image, and/or something tangible associated with your business with your future goals vaguely in mind or fleshed out.

“Having SBAC Empower be exactly what their name means to empower me within such a hard environment….let me give you an example. In the last 60 days, I buried 6 people. In the process I wanted to give up. But you know what I got? Scott [Baskin]. Scott would text me randomly. Scott has an aura about him that can feel when you’re down and out, and that got me back on my ship. I make custom designs, but through my relationship with Scott, I’m doing my own line of blazers and dresses and I’m excited about it!”

       - Dinitia Robinson, Embrace Love Designs, Owner/Founder https://www.facebook.com/EmbraceLoveDesigns8785

Even then, anyone can join.

If you have a small business in the Chicagoland area and need help with growth and development, Empower's Mentorship Program is here for you.

If you want to help small businesses in Chicago's less fortunate neighbourhoods grow, our Mentorship Program is the place to be.

Do you want to better yourself, others, and all those around you - past, present, and future?
Look no further than just below:

“My mentor, Phil [Gafka], is amazing. He has taught me how to create a culture for my business and then be the culture I have created. This [mentor] program has been very impactful, very instrumental in the growth of Resourceful Friends, LLC. And I really appreciate SBAC [Empower] for this platform and this opportunity…”

          - Anjel Brown, Resourceful Friends LLC, Co-Founder http://www.resourcefulfriends.com

“Having SBAC Empower be exactly what their name means to empower me within such a hard environment….let me give you an example. In the last 60 days, I buried 6 people. In the process I wanted to give up. But you know what I got? Scott [Baskin]. Scott would text me randomly. Scott has an aura about him that can feel when you’re down and out, and that got me back on my ship. I make custom designs, but through my relationship with Scott, I’m doing my own line of blazers and dresses and I’m excited about it!”

          - Dinitia Robinson, Embrace Love Designs, Owner/Founder https://www.facebook.com/EmbraceLoveDesigns8785

“A great benefit of attending the SBAC Empower Small Business training sessions held in 2017 at the Waukegan HUB was acquiring a business coach.  My business coach provided me a new view of the vision I originally had of our organization and was a great sounding board of where I wanted to go.  Working with a Business Coach, which was Phillip Gafka, allowed me to stretch my wings and we are now impacting over 300 youth yearly.”

          - Karen Jones, Chocolate Chips Association, President and CEO www.ccassoc.org

Walter was born in Chicago, IL. Walter is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Organizational Leadership, author, consultant, investor and founder of Male Mogul Initiative program which seeks to positively transform the way young men live and lead in their communities through leadership and entrepreneurial training. In 2017, the Male Mogul Initiative provided mentoring services for over 10 Chicago Public Schools and serviced over 200 young men initially. Walter is currently a Mentor and Board member of SBAC Empower.

          http://malemogulinitiative.org/

“I appreciate the opportunity to help small business owners. After 26 years of working with business which are primarily very established, I get to be reminded not only of hardships for the new entrepreneur, but also the advice that remains paramount to getting access to capital. The ability to train a company early in their life cycle is selfishly very satisfying. I feel like I’m making a difference. “

          - Stephen Ball, Byline Bank, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Banking

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