ENTERpreneur is an innovative and unique summer program that provides a hands-on, comprehensive overview of entrepreneurship and business planning to high school students.


The program strives to diversify the business community by encouraging and supporting Latino students to attend and succeed in college and in business. 

Join us and support our work.


To get involved as a partner, donor, mentor and/or advocate, please contact or call 312-425-9500. 

IHCC thanks Fifth Third Bank for their generous support as the 2017 title sponsor of ENTERpreneur!


Students learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and business development.


Topics included: 

  • Business Planning

  • How to Lead a Team

  • Networking for success

  • Business Financing

  • Marketing

  • Technology




Students learn about the principles of business, while fostering their leadership skills. Each student develops his/her own business in response to real life problems.


The program culminates in a graduation ceremony in which each student presents his/her business pitch.



Students are exposed to 

technology through presentations, demos, and working sessions by Hispanic entrepreneurs and tech mentors; field trips to industry leading corporations


Each week, prominent local business owners, entrepreneurs and tech executives visit with students to share their stories, and provide students both career and academic advice.


Students also visit 1871 to see how Chicago's tech companies are working in shared spaces.


The program is built on exposure to college-style learning,

incorporating exposure to local academic institutions & 

universities. Students learn about the college admissions process and how to position themselves for success in college.


Each student also drafts a college admissions essay and receives feedback.



Open to all Chicago-area high school students in good academic standing, motivated to make a meaningful contribution to the community through entrepreneurship.

Program History

We continue to engage with our ENTERpreneur graduates, organizing college visits throughout the school year, providing college essay feedback and encouraging job shadow opportunities with local business leaders.


ENTERpreneur began the summer of 2014 in partnership with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.


In 2016, ENTERpreneur expanded to include more students from schools across the Chicagoland area and sessions were held at 1871. 1871 is the home of more than 325 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. 1871 is located on the 12th & 13th floor of the historic Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, easily accessible by public transportation.  Find out more here.

A total of 51 students have graduated from the program!

ENTERpreneur FAQ's

Q: What is the cost of the ENTERpreneur Program? 

A: Scholarships to cover the full tuition cost of $2500 will be available to accepted program scholars (Applicants must select the interest on the application). 

Q: Who is eligible to apply for the ENTERpreneur Program?

A: Applicants must:

  • Be current high school students in the Chicagoland area.

  • Be in good academic standing with minimum 2.5 GPA.

  • Possess an Illinois address and access to transportation to commute to and from the program every day.

  • Commit to attending the full  program. We are unable to make exceptions due to the high interest in the program

  • We value a diverse and inclusive classroom and strongly encourage applications from:

    • All ethnic, racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The programs are free for all participants. Transportation stipends will be made available for students with limited financial resources.

  • Optional: Obtain 1-2 recommendations from work mentors or school advisors/teachers. Submit to Kelley Francis at


Q: I am going to be out of town during the some of the ENTERpreneur Program dates. Should I still apply?

A: All program participants must be able to make a full commitment to attending the entire program. We hope you’ll choose to spend your summer with us. It’s worth it!

Q: How do I apply for the ENTERpreneur Program?

A: The Summer 2018 program is currently on hold. If you are interested in similar business programs for high school students please contact Kelley Francis at 


As we continue to operate and expand the ENTERpreneur program to youth throughout the City of Chicago, we need your support. Our success depends on dedicated partners and mentors that can provide capital, resources and knowledge to highly motivated, young entrepreneurs.


Join us as we build the next generation of Hispanic business leaders.


To get involved, please contact Kelley Francis, Program Director at or 312-425-9500.

Call us: 312-425-9500

Center for Hispanic Entrepreneurship

Find us at:  222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212 c/o 1871, Chicago, IL 60654