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The Community Business Academy is a 12-week course offering hands-on training in business planning and business management.
The course covers topics like budgeting, marketing, bookkeeping, cash flow, pricing strategies, and credit building in a dynamic learning environment. Classes are held once a week in the evenings at various locations throughout Chicago.
The small business lab is a part of CBA that presents a unique environment where participants gain hands-on experience in running a business under real-world conditions.
Each session simulates a month of business activity in the marketplace, where teams compete for business while striving to earn a profit. Teams track sales, expenses and monitor cash flow, all while sharpening essential marketing and finance skills.
The Business Acceleration Services program provides a yearlong suite of services for those looking to take their business to the next level. These services involve one-on-one and group coaching and advanced workshops.
Coaches help each client in a range of areas, such as developing effective marketing or social media strategies, or identifying target customers. Workshops cover a range of topics such as business planning and obtaining financing, legal assistance, and more.
Through individual consultations, clients are connected with ways to access the capital they need. Sunshine partners with micro lenders and financial institutions as well as debt and credit counseling agencies to help clients work toward sound business growth.
Our co-working facility further supports businesses by providing access to dedicated office space, meeting rooms, and shared workstations. Individuals can purchase memberships by completing a membership application. The space is intended to facilitate a collaborative work environment where members meet with others to share ideas and spark innovative thinking.
In addition to helping clients spur business growth, Sunshine is also working with others in the business community to help restore 61st street as a viable corridor for commerce. This has led to Sunshine’s first startup, Greenline Coffee, which launched in July 2014. Greenline Coffee, LLC is a for-profit business that operates out of Sunshine’s 501 building.
The shop offers locally made coffee and sandwiches to patrons and also provides catering services. Patrons have access to a meeting room inside the shop for scheduling community meetings and events.
On weekends, the shop draws local musical acts in support of the south side’s vibrant arts community. There are many future projects on the docket for Sunshine as we work toward a thriving local economy and providing jobs.