It’s back to school season. Where can you study business or entrepreneurship in Chicago? There are about 28 business schools in the city — DeVry, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University, have the highest enrollment in their MBA programs. DePaul, Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, all have programs for entrepreneurship within their business schools.
[Photo: MBA students await the start of a business class taught by TechStars Chicago managing director, Troy Henikoff. © Blackline Review]
If you are looking for a technical, and less formal education, there’s The Starter League, a code school at 1871 that will teach you to code within an entrepreneurial tech community. You may also want to check out The Designation, a new school for digital design with classes at Manifest Digital in the Loop. Last, but not least, Illinois SBA, the Women’s Business Development Center, and Chicago Public Library all offer workshops on running a business.
Education is part of the City of Chicago’s plans to grow the city’s technology sector and Chicago’s economy. World Business Chicago (WBC), for example, adheres to the idea that a skilled workforce grows an economy.
The WBC was under heavy fire in 2011 from community groups and the city inspector general over its closed-off dealmaking and TIF allocations. After a reorganization, new policies on ethics and conflicts of interests, and a new website and data portal, World Business Chicago is now tasked with leading the City of Chicago’s business retention, attraction, and expansion initiatives. Information on Chicago’s education opportunities are included in the WBC data portal on Chicago’s economic strengths and business climate. The WBC ‘Plan for Economic Growth’ includes strategies for education and workforce development.
The State of Illinois is also focusing on education in order to grow the economy. This summer, as part of the Illinois Jobs Now! program, the State invested $54.8 million in Chicagoland colleges and universities. Governor Pat Quinn praised the investment, saying “jobs follow brains.” ❒