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With immigrant mindset, entrepreneurs embrace change, opportunities

By Ann Meyer — Ella Zibitsker has built a business around change through hard work and determination. Zibitsker, a Russian immigrant, launched Computer Systems Institute in 1989 to help adult students transition to technology careers, but shifted the company’s focus to underserved high school graduates a few years ago. Her goal is to help the […]

Organic farmer finds profitable niche in locally grown exotic produce

By Gabriel Silverman Medill News Service — Every year, farmer Henry Brockman plants more than 650 varieties of vegetables and fruits on 12 acres of land in Eureka, Ill., or the equivalent of nine professional football fields. Inspired by his experiences in Japan, Nepal and Israel, Brockman grows exotic varieties, such as burdock, a sweet […]

Incubators help Chicago startups share costs

Incubators help Chicago startups share costs

By Hallie Busta

When Nicolas Ibarzabal isn’t selling empanadas out of his newly launched food truck, he’s preparing his Argentine fare in a shared-used kitchen on the city’s West Side.

As co-owner of 5411 Empanadas, Ibarzabal joins a growing number of Chicago-area entrepreneurs setting up in shared facilities that charge less rent and offer more services than typical office buildings. The facilities run the gamut from traditional business incubators to fashion studios.

Artists add creative twist to entrepreneurship

By Hallie Busta

Robin Monique Rios has been an artist since childhood, but only in recent years has her penchant for art become the basis of several profitable ventures.

From an 11,000-square-foot space at the Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport, Rios runs 4Art Inc., a gallery featuring her work and that of nine other artists. But the location is also home to Rios’ other business ventures, including website and graphic design services and art framing. “I know this is where I’m supposed to be,” she said. “I know that with every fiber of my being.”

Black business leaders blast stubborn stereotypes despite success

By Ann Meyer If you want to change the status quo, don’t give up the fight. That was a recurring theme at the Black Management Association conference that drew hundreds of minority executives Saturday to Northwestern University’s  James Allen Center in Evanston. Despite growing numbers of blacks and black-owned businesses in the United States, African […]