Member Spotlight: Dwayne Hirsch


Dwayne Hirsch is passionate about advocating for small business and the advancement of entrepreneurship in Illinois. The SBAC is excited to award him the Advocate of the Year Award at our 6th Annual Advocacy Dinner & Awards Ceremony on May 4th.

An active and dedicated SBAC member, Dwayne is part of the Executive Committee, Policy and Membership Committees and also the host of the Hyde Park Happy Hour.

Advocacy is what keeps him engaged in the organization. He has joined the SBAC on trips to Springfield to advocate on behalf of the small business community. Dwayne helps engage with political leaders from both sides of the aisle, discussing important issues impacting entrepreneurs.

“There is a growing need for advocacy, or in other words, always a new battle to fight,” says Dwayne. “The SBAC has given me opportunities to work toward legislation that benefits the entire small business community.”

In many cases, businesses on the South and West sides of Chicago face similar issues as businesses throughout the state and can also receive similar benefits from engaging in the advocacy and activation of these legislative acts. As examples, Equity Crowdfunding, LLC filing fee bills along with the SBAC’s workers compensation and pension reform bills have impacts designed for the entire small business community.

Widely considered to be among Chicago’s best-known and most successful networking professionals, Dwayne has hosted over 150 networking events in the last several years and attended hundreds more with other organizations across a broad spectrum of interests. Through former SBAC Executive Director Amy Masters, he was introduced to CEO & Co-Founder Elliot Richardson in 2011 and has been a part of the SBAC ever since.

Dwayne is a Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker in Chicago, specializing in helping sellers, buyers, investors and renters achieve their goals in real estate. As a licensed realtor, he works mainly with residential properties and clients in Hyde Park, Kenwood, Bronzeville and the South Loop.

Dwayne is on the Advisory Board of Native Sons of Chicago, which makes direct and indirect investments through intrastate equity crowdfunding in local businesses and real estate projects in historically disadvantaged areas.

Dwayne has also been active with youth mentoring programs and is known to be a great friend and supporter of many of Chicago’s new and emerging business owners.


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