$10 Million Chicago Prize for Entrepreneurs Opening Applications In February
SOUTH CHICAGO — A contest to win $10 million from a charitable foundation is returning in 2022, giving South and West side entrepreneurs the chance to score big on their dream projects.
The Chicago Prize, granted by the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, is a community-led initiative that supports Black and Brown Chicagoans by turning real estate development projects into spaces for economic growth in the community. The application portal opens Feb. 15 and closes March 1.
Creating quality jobs, growing businesses and boosting wealth on the South and West sides are all objectives of the prize.
“The Chicago Prize is designed to meet communities where they are; provide access to networks, grants and feedback to advance their vision that is customized to their needs; and infuse initiatives with significant resources,” Cindy Moelis, president of the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, said in a statement.
The foundation gave its first $10 million prize in August 2020, awarding the money to an Auburn Gresham initiative centered around sustainable industry and health services.
The project — created by the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation and nonprofits Urban Growers Collective and Green Era Partner — aimed to bring a “healthy lifestyle hub” and renewable energy and urban farm to Auburn Gresham.
The healthy lifestyle hub, 839-845 W. 79th St., will have a health center, digital community center, green roof, minority-owned pharmacy and restaurant and a space for social service providers. Construction on the hub started in March. The project will be complete in late 2022, the development corporation said.
Construction on the renewable energy and urban farm campus, 650 W. 83rd St., is scheduled to finish in 2022.
“Those of us who have been in this community have worked really hard and maintained hope that transformation … was on the horizon,” Carlos Nelson, CEO of the development corporation, said after the win.
The foundation will invest up to an additional $5 million in planning, capacity-building and assisting other teams across the city to move forward with their projects.
In the time of COVID-19, a need for community-led investment “has never been greater,” Moelis said.
“… We know that philanthropy can provide the immediate, flexible and impactful risk capital that is needed in this moment– and that’s what the Chicago Prize is all about,” Moelis said.
Questions about next year’s prize can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Chicago Prize 2022 Application Questions”.
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