Entrepreneur Drop-In Center

The Entrepreneur Drop-In Center is a public engagement initiative that leverages community-university partnerships and the resources and network of the Illinois Entrepreneurship Ecosystem to support inclusive entrepreneurship and economic development in the local community. In particular, the Entrepreneur Drop-In Center is designed to support MSMEs (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises) and social enterprises created by women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), Veterans, and other underserved entrepreneurs.

In collaboration with entrepreneurship support organizations and community and campus partners, the Entrepreneur Drop-in Center at Gies Business is a place where entrepreneurs can

  • Make connections, build community, and provide mutual support to local entrepreneurs
  • Access free resources and educational programs
  • Gain insights from one-on-one consulting with entrepreneurship coaches
  • Tap into talent of UIUC students with free business consulting projects (e.g., market research, growth strategy, marketing) and specialist projects (e.g., social media, web development, graphic design, multimedia, software development).

UIUC students in the Illinois Economic Justice Project host the Entrepreneur Drop-in Center and serve as ambassadors and connectors to help entrepreneurs navigate and access entrepreneurship resources provided by our partners.

Drop by to chat with Gies staff, UIUC students, and representatives from the Champaign County Black Chamber of Commerce and Business Elevator: Elevating Microbusiness to explore how we can be helpful in supporting your entrepreneurial pursuits.

Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 pm (Fall 2022 schedule: TBD)

[TBD] Business Instructional Facility, 515 E. Gregory

The Entrepreneur Coaching Academy will also be hosted at the drop-in center, with featured coaches Mark Pelmore & James Corbin, from Business Elevator: Elevating Microbusiness. Workshops run on Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 pm  in the adjacent room ([TBD] Business Instructional Facility). Free, but registration is required: https://go.gies.illinois.edu/ECA

If you have questions or would like to explore partnerships to provide entrepreneurship programs or services through the Entrepreneur Drop-in Center at Gies Business, contact Valeri Werpetinski at werpetin@illinois.edu.