A New Women’s Entrepreneurship Program in Chicago

Women's Entrepreneurship Program Community Connect Herstory Event

The Idea to Help Women Entrepreneurs

It started off as an idea, that quickly formed into an online women’s entrepreneurship group. These women had an idea but didn’t know how to make it happen. It was for women who were at the beginning of launching a business and wanted to have the steps, guidance and structure to make it happen. The program was also for women who were running a business but want to take 3 months to step back, refocus and pivot.

Community Connect’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Program

In just three months, the seven women in Community Connect’s women’s entrepreneurship program, have met bimonthly online with various presenters, learning about topics such as visioning, environmental scanning, and marketing. Other topics have included prototyping, budgeting, legal, scaling your business and more, while working on a pitch and business plan.

All of these incredible women entrepreneurs have heard from amazing local female experts and entrepreneurs on these various topics.  Also, they regularly met with the Community Connect entrepreneurship cohort founder, Becky Adelberg, on the steps they need to take to move their businesses ahead. A Facebook group helped form community in the process with a place to communicate and share ideas.

There will be two entrepreneurship cohorts kicking off in March 2019!  

An early stage group for men and women and a later stage cohort for women. Some of the women in the early stage group now will go on to join the later stage cohort. More information is here. Space if limited to 10 participants per cohort!

Learn more at a Live Event

On Monday, February 11, from 6-8pm at Merchant Chicago, these women will be sharing what they have been working on with a fast paced pitch at HerStory. Her Company: An evening of networking and celebration


Who are the women entrepreneurs and what are their businesses?

Shaily Hakimian, Your Social Media Teacher

women entraepeaurs chitribe

Shaily combines her teaching, social media, speaking, and motivation skills as Your Social Media Teacher. She sits down 1-1 with business owners to help them develop their own social media plans to make sure they get off on the right foot. Shaily provides a mini-audit of your LinkedIn and throws some easy tips your way to show off to your future leads just how cool you are.

“When I signed up for the program, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that Becky had killed it running another major (entrepreneurship) program in the past. But what was this one going to look like. I didn’t know what it was going to answer for me. First off, the speakers she introduced to were fantastic. I would not have heard of their awesomeness otherwise. Second, the first intro session gave me clarity that I never had before. I don’t always ask for help but Becky offering it so willingly let me work on stuff that was long overdue, leaving that session with a roadmap to organize my own business. Also, I got 2 key intros to people I would later collaborate with. I started my year with a whole new lens on everything. This program gave me the resources and clarity that I never knew I needed. Becky is a great support to have around. It has been amazing spending more time with her through this program. Her heart is filled with generosity and support. I cannot wait to see how she grows this program for cohorts to come.”

Rebecca Joey Schwab, ChiTribe

women entraepeaurs chitribe

Rebecca is committed to the Jewish people and inspiring others to make the difference we all want to see in this world. She can’t wait to help more Chicagoans find their tribe in Chi-city. She founded ChiTribe to make it simple for Jews in Chicago to find their tribe-within-a-tribe. Through a central community calendar and filterable organizational directory, ChiTribe is a pluralistic grassroots effort to help post-college/pre-family navigate Jewish Chicago and find the events and communities they are looking for. ChiTribe empowers Jewish young adults to create the opportunities for community they want to see such as sold out monthly Happy Hours and Shabbat clusters.

Yelena Finkel, Tree of Light

Yelena has combined her love for arts, Judaism and producing incredible events to form Tree of Light. As she states,there is a need for Jews, Jewish Artists and Jewish Art lovers to connect. Art buyers need an avenue to discover Jewish Art while artists need assistance connecting with potential patrons”.  Through an online platform for artists to sell their art and by holding events for people to connect over Jewish Arts, Tree of Light will enable Artists to connect with their community and for community to come together around sharing in creative expression

Sara Lampear, SDL Premium Events & Concierge

Sara has over 17 years experience planning banquets, bridal showers, wine parties, and engagement parties, along with a culinary background. She created SDL Premium Events & Concierge, a business focused event planning and virtual assistance. As Sara states, “Most people cringe at the thought of having to worry about booking the DJ, finding a florist, let alone meeting all the deadlines that have to be met to ensure a smooth-running event. SDL Premium Events & Concierge takes on all the small details of an event, as well as being your liaison for all the vendors involved in planning an event”.

Erin Ross, Home Sweet Home Foundation

women entraepeaurs chitribe

When Erin was in kindergarten, she met her best friend Justin, who has special needs. As Justin and Erin grew up together, Erin learned about the challenges he faced at every milestone of his life. Thus she founded, Home Sweet Home Foundation, which provides adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, living in supportive housing, with new and gently used household and other basic necessities on a seasonal basis. HSHF coordinates the items to be picked up for donation, ensures in kind donations are used to purchase these items and partners with places such as TJ Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory to donate to places like El Valor and Clearbrook.

Paula Cherkasky, Memory Care Journey

women entraepeaurs chitribe

Paula has been working with seniors who have Alzheimer’s and Dementia, along with their families, for the past 10 years. She created Memory Care Journey, a venture directed at easing the challenges that arise with individuals who have dementia and Alzheimers. Often times in memory care facilities, family members are not included in the memory loss education and training.  Memory Care Journey’s solution for their clients is helping them to learn how to better communicate with their loved ones, understand their illness and what they are going through in every step of their memory loss, as well as to provide specific techniques, tools and resources to support them in order to make the journey as stress free as possible

Elizabeth Gossage, Bridges 613

women entraepeaurs chitribe

Elizabeth is committed to the continuity of Jewish life and helping build and renew strong and innovative Jewish relationships. Elizabeth’s passion and involvement in the Jewish community, led her to found Bridges 613. Bridges 613 is a social media platform that curates a Jewish life that is meaningful, relevant and fulfilling by showcasing and connecting individuals, families, and communities to the numerous innovative and engaging organizations that exist in Jewish life. Through podcasts, website and consulting services, Bridges613 is a concierge for your Jewish experience.

Being a part of the Community Connect Women’s Entrepreneur Network has been very enlightening for me. Becky has helped me get focused and clear on the vision for my new business and has been a supportive accountability leader. The Women’s group is diverse and has a range of women with whom to connect. The workshops have been well organized by pertinent and relevant topics for those starting a new venture. Becky has supplied plenty of resources, opportunities to network, and support to push the participants to get out of their comfort zone. She had a true desire help people succeed.”

Becky Adelberg, Founder, Community Connect Consulting

Women's Entrepreneurship Program Community Connect Founder Becky Adelberg

Becky Adelberg has always been an entrepreneur but didn’t always realize it. She has worked with many nonprofit organizations, helping them grow the number of engaged participants, along with their brand through creative events and initiatives that bring community together.

For four years she oversaw JCC Chicago’s Seed613 (formerly PresenTense) social entrepreneurship program. On top of that, she also was in the first cohort. In addition, she taught two semesters of entrepreneurship to new immigrants, as well as coordinated BBYO Passport’s Stand Up Chicago teen program,  where teenagers from around the country spend 10 days learning about entrepreneurship and testing out an idea, in addition to touring Chicago and volunteering. She also is a mentor at 1871.

Becky did a soft launch of her business, Community Connect Consulting, in January 2017.  She decided to take the plunge and work on her business full-time in November 2017. One of the things she realized she missed was working with entrepreneurs and helping them bring their vision to life. She loves being around the passion of entrepreneurs who are working to make a change in the world. Individuals also come to Becky often asking her for help in creating a business, connecting them to various resources and how to scale- thus she formed, the first ever Community Connect Women’s entrepreneurship program in November 2018!

You can read a recent interview with her in the Skokie Chamber’s blog here.

HerStory. Her Company: An Evening of Networking & Celebration.

On Monday, February 11, from 6-8pm at Merchant Chicago, these women will be sharing what they have been working on with a fast paced pitch at HerStory. Her Company: An evening of networking and celebration!

The evening includes interactive networking, facilitated by
Dr. Benjamin Ritter (known for his amazing monthly networking events) appetizers and a drink ticket.  Men and women are encouraged to attend. Event is free to attend; register here.

Josh Gibbs

Josh Gibbs