In 2004, Donald W. Hamer, '58, generously provided $2.5 million to establish the Hamer Small Business Initiative at Chicago Booth. The initiative allows the Polsky Center to reach deep into the small business sector, exploring the special set of circumstances that small businesses face. In addition, Chicago Booth faculty and students connect with regional small businesses through programs that add value to the local economy as well as the Chicago Booth community. These activities include:
The half-day Small Business and Alumni Entrepreneurship Conference is designed to assess the real-life needs of small business owners. Open to both alumni entrepreneurs and small business owners, each conference focuses on a different aspects of growing small businesses. The inaugural event in February 2006 was titled Building a Workplace for Growth and featured research presented by several Booth faculty and a panel of practitioners.
Exploring Entrepreneurship is a year-long program designed to explore a specific industry that is key to the economic growth of the region. Students, faculty, and members of the industry are brought together to study both the challenges and opportunities facing an industry's ability to grow and maintain leadership. The series has examined the futures of the trading, food, and education industries.
Through the Entrepreneurial Internship Program students have the opportunity to participate in a subsidized internship with a start-up company or venture capital firm over the summer. The support from the Hamer Small Business Initiative and others eases the monetary burden on the small and sometimes fledgling companies who employ Chicago Booth students.
For more information about the Donald W. Hamer, '58, Small Business Initiative, please contact:
Associate Director, Marketing, Communications, and External Relations