October 29, 2019

BACP Announces Che “Rhymefest” Smith As Keynote Speaker For Final Small Business Center “On The Road” Expo Of 2019

November 2nd Expo at Malcolm X College Will Provide Free Resources to Entrepreneurs and Feature Chicago Native and Grammy Award Winner

Isaac Reichman (O) 312.744.2523 (C) 312.805.9385    isaac.reichman@cityofchicago.org

Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced today that the Small Business Center will conclude its 2019 “On the Road” Expo Series with Grammy Award-Winning Hip-Hop Artist and Chicago native Che “Rhymefest” Smith as the keynote speaker. Che will headline the free expo on Saturday, November 2 at 11 a.m. at Malcolm X College on Chicago’s Near West Side. Designed to provide resources to all types of entrepreneurs and business owners, this expo will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature exhibitors and workshops targeted to entrepreneurs looking to launch or grow their business in the creative arts.

“This is our final expo of the year and we wanted to focus on the creative entrepreneur,” said Rosa Escareno, BACP Commissioner. “These are individuals whose business is an extension of their personality and art, turning their talents into a thriving business. Che is the perfect example of being a creative entrepreneur and I am proud to welcome him as our keynote speaker.”

As a writer, artist, entertainer, humanitarian and Chicago native, Che “Rhymefest” Smith is the ultimate creative entrepreneur. He won a Grammy for co-writing the mega-hit “Jesus Walks” in 2005 along with a Critics Choice award, Golden Globe, Academy Award and Grammy for “Glory,” his 2015 collaboration with John Legend and Common for the film “Selma.” Che is committed to using his success to further humanitarian efforts and will look to inspire hundreds of entrepreneurs as the keynote speaker at this expo.

“As a Chicagoan, I believe it is so important to inspire the next generation of creative artists from my community,” said Smith. “This city is filled with so many creative people, especially among the youth, and I look forward to the opportunity to share my story with expo attendees.”

Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank and Western Union, the Small Business Center ”On the Road” Expo series provides free, expert advice to entrepreneurs throughout the city on topics such as licensing, financing and business planning. In addition to Smith’s keynote address, the expo will feature 35 exhibitors, free mini-makeovers and headshots, tax and legal clinics, three workshops and a networking hour.

“Bloggers, YouTubers, Podcasters, freelancers and all sorts of creative artists are a fundamental part of our business landscape,” said Kenya Merritt, Chicago’s Chief Small Business Officer. “They are practical and their ideas enhance our lives every day. This expo is the perfect opportunity for creative entrepreneurs and all burgeoning business owners to connect with the resources and inspiration they need to be successful.”

To register for the expo or for more information, visit www.chismallbizexpo.com, call (312) 744-2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. For more information about the City of Chicago’s Small Business Center visit: www.chicago.gov/bacp.




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