The Coleman Foundation Announces Fourth Quarter 2018 Entrepreneurship Education Grants

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the Coleman Foundation approved grants totaling $615,000 to non-profit organizations to advance strategies in the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship-in-Neighborhoods effort. Additionally, the Foundation approved an Education grant of $100,000 to Providence-St. Mel School.

Entrepreneurship-in-Neighborhoods strategies and related awards are:

Strategy 1: Support individual non-profit business service organizations (BSOs) that provide training and other supports to aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs in local communities.


Greater Southwest Development Corporation, IL              

$125,000 – Chicago Lawn Business Academy

The award is general operating support to aid in the establishment of the Chicago Lawn Business Academy which will include a series of classes and workshops for local business owners in finance, business planning and organization, online marketing, and succession planning.


Sunshine Enterprises, IL

$100,000 – Community Business Academy and Business Acceleration Services Support

The award is for renewed support of the organization’s programming which provides opportunity for entrepreneurs in disinvested Chicagoland communities by providing training in business management; coaching them in business development; and connecting them with the marketplace.

Strategy 2: Develop and enhance networks of business service organizations to scale professional and program development across multiple organizations that share best practices


Sunshine Enterprises, IL      

$30,000 – The NextLEVEL Exchange Mentoring Program

The award is to support a jointly operated program between Sunshine Enterprises, the Chicago Urban League, the Jewish-Black Business Alliance, and Butterfield & Sons Construction who together offer to entrepreneurs mentoring services to increase their knowledge, develop skills, and identify actions necessary to strengthen their businesses.

Strategy 3: Build a neighborhood entrepreneurial pathway ecosystem, facilitating transitions based on functional expertise or economic sector specialization.


FamilyFarmed, IL       

$300,000 – Accelerating the Impact of Good Food Businesses in Chicago

The award is general operating support for the organization as it enhances and extends current programming for food entrepreneurs in the Chicago metro area.  New offerings will expand the reach of services to a broader range of entrepreneurs, particularly those in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.


The National Main Street Center, Inc., IL  

$60,000 – Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Urban Chicago Districts

The award is to support the development of an entrepreneurship ecosystem plan in three urban commercial corridors in Chicago and for a workshop to introduce the concept of entrepreneurship ecosystems to a city-wide network of urban revitalization professionals.


Providence St. Mel School, IL         

$100,000 – General operating support

The Coleman Foundation has long recognized the positive influences of community anchors. In 1978, the Archdiocese of Chicago decided to close the merged Providence and St Mel High Schools. Instead, Principal Paul J. Adams and school administrators chose to operate it as an independent school. Since that time, the school has grown and now serves Pre-K through 12th grade students. For almost 40 years, 100 % of graduating seniors have been accepted into 4 year colleges and universities. This grant is in recognition of the decades of dedication and effort given by Paul Adams and staff and the immeasurable impact they have had on so many young lives.