Start your own social enterprise, and make a difference!

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By Oak Park Public Library

As enterprises like Tom's Shoes, Ashoka, Ten Thousand Villages, Warby Parker and others are solving problems and changing the system, you too can learn how to create an entrepreneurial business with social impact.

Running three consecutive Wednesdays in October, weekly gatherings are bringing presenters from the Small Business Association (SBA) to the Oak Park Public Library Lobby Community Space, enabling business experts and entrepreneurs to talk, listen and connect.

SBA presenters plan to cover funding, grants, loans as well as information on how to set up and structure corporations and find locations for your business. They will also talk about businesses that focus on meeting social needs through innovative methods. Learn firsthand about how initiatives like NIU Social Venture Competition's class, Light Up Africa and the Chicago Chapter of Social Enterprise Alliance (where mission meets the marketplace) are using business to implementing social change.

At the Main Library on Oct. 15, meet Melissa Brown, Executive Director, Joseph Center, Illinois Small Business Development Center, who will cover the nuts and bolts of starting a business in Illinois. On Oct. 22, presenter Mark Ferguson, Lead SBA Economic Development Specialist, will show attendees how to access capital. On the evening of Oct. 29, attendees can learn new ways to leverage social media to expand and support their efforts. Learn more at

These workshops are free and open to the public. Join us, find your business niche and make a difference!

Email: Twitter: @OakParkLibrary

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