JJC Entrepreneur and Business Center to Host Business Enterprise Program Workshops

The Entrepreneur and Business Center (EBC) at Joliet Junior College (JJC) is partnering with the Joliet Latino Economic Development Association (LEDA) and JJC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department to host Business Enterprise Program (BEP) certification workshops Thursday, Aug. 31. 

The workshops are intended for minority business enterprises (MBE), woman business enterprises, veteran owned enterprises and disadvantaged business enterprises that are looking to take advantage of contracting opportunities. 

“Attendees of this workshop can plan to hear an overview of the program and its benefits, be guided through a detailed walkthrough of the certification application process and receive tips for gathering and presenting the necessary documentation,” said Fatina Sayegh, EBC coordinator and business advisor. “The workshop also presents a networking opportunity with fellow entrepreneurs.” 

Two sessions will be held at JJC’s City Center Campus in downtown Joliet at 235 N. Chicago St. The English session will be at the Renaissance Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. Light lunch will be served. The Spanish session will be in the sixth-floor library at City Center from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are required and can be made by emailing EBC manager Brian Kincaid at brian.kincaid@jjc.edu

“In the EBC, we are always looking for ways to level the playing field in the local business community,” Kincaid said. “Through advising services and relevant seminars, our goal is to help entrepreneurs be more successful. The BEP certification workshop will be a great opportunity for companies to increase access to resources and open doors.” 

By partnering with JJC’s DEI department and LEDA, the EBC “can create custom content that meets the needs of the local business community.” 

“Partnership with DEI and LEDA helps us to be in touch with our community stakeholders by leaning into intentional outreach as opposed to expecting or hoping they will find us,” Sayegh said. 

Working with LEDA specifically allows the EBC to offer the workshop in Spanish, supporting the EBC’s mission and potentially diversifying the business community. 

“We are thrilled to provide this workshop in Spanish, inviting Latino businesses to learn about the State of Illinois BEP Certification,” said Alex Paramo, president of LEDA. “Through a combination of effectuating MBE procurement goals and expanding certification of eligible MBEs, we can support local governments in receiving more bids from MBEs, ultimately expanding access to wealth-building opportunities and strengthening our communities.” 

These BEP workshops align with JJC’s commitment to diversity and two of the College’s goals from the latest strategic plan: value and cultivate diversity and maximize infrastructure. 

“The EBC is an outreach program at its heart,” Kincaid said. “It is our mission to level the playing field for underserved businesses. To get to the businesses and budding entrepreneurs that can benefit from information and nurturing, we depend on the network of community partners to reach these businesses, identify trends and collaborate for the good of businesses and economic growth.”