Category Archives: news

Congratulations to the Graduates

Congratulations to the December 2018 Graduate Honorees of West Side Forward programs.

Over 40 program participants were recognized during the Commencement Ceremony for workforce and business development programs, Advanced Manufacturing Career Training,  Business Innovation Technology, Entrepreneurship Training and West Side Business Xcelerator.

Join us in saluting the final cohorts of 2018! 

West Side Forward Chicago

Coleman Foundation Awards Entrepreneurship Training Expansion Grant

The Coleman Foundation has awarded the Entrepreneurship Training Program at Bethel New Life a $145,000 grant to advance new strategies in technology growth solutions for entrepreneurs in alignment with the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship-in-Neighborhoods effort.

The Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurship-in-Neighborhoods strategies and related awards are:

  • Strategy 1: Supporting individual non-profit business service organizations (BSOs) that provide training and other supports to aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs in local communities
  • Strategy 2: Develop and enhance networks of business service organizations to scale professional and program development across multiple organizations that share best practices
  • Strategy 3: Build a neighborhood entrepreneurial pathway ecosystem, facilitating transitions based on functional expertise or economic sector specialization

The Coleman Foundation grant will allow expansion of the Entrepreneurship Training Program.

The Community Entrepreneurship Expansion grant award affords additional opportunities for entrepreneurs in technology-based industries and provides community access for experiential learning while supporting Bethel’s efforts to research technology ecosystems and entrepreneurship systems needed for income generation and job retention to scale in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood and beyond.


Bethel’s Entrepreneurship Training Program is designed for entrepreneurs who have already identified the area of business they want to pursue, but need expert guidance to minimize risk and maximize success. This program is geared toward for-profit enterprises and entrepreneurs who want to start a new business, owners of informally run businesses who want to become licensed and legally structured, and owners of existing businesses less than five years old that want to expand or standardize their business operations. Entrepreneurs selected for this highly competitive program participate in 13 weeks of sessions on business plans, marketing, financing, accounting, risk management, legal issues, and more, followed by a year of personal mentoring from a business leader.

Learn more about the Entrepreneurship Training Program.

Learn more about the Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurship-In-Neighborhoods Efforts.

Applications Open for 30 Entrepreneurs to Join Bethel’s Next Entrepreneurship Training Program Cohort

Today, Bethel New Life and The PrivateBank announced the opening of applications for the seventh cohort of their Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP). This program is designed to help entrepreneurs on Chicago’s West Side operate their businesses successfully. Applications are now being accepted with a deadline of 12:00 noon on Friday, February 12, 2016.

To read the full press release and learn more about the ETP, click here.