Big Biz


PEARL is proud to be one of the After School Matters (ASM) partners in the city of Chicago.  Our Big Biz program serves approximately 60 YMEN/PEARL students a year, providing each of them with paid student employment and learning opportunities.

Program Description
Teens work in small groups and various classes at our in-house, student-created and led business incubator, Big Biz. This incubator teaches a broad skill set that, combined with basic business principles, will form the foundation of helping students become successful entrepreneurs and create and implement their own business concepts. Big Biz engages students through building a working knowledge of marketing, budgeting, sales, record keeping, projecting, client engagement, and some legal understanding. Our young entrepreneurs create resumes and email accounts. They also learn to create reports and spreadsheets for a business, such as cost analysis, a marketing plan, and financial records using current technology including Google Apps and MS Office for their work experience.

By engaging in workshops on these subjects, followed by hands-on work at YMEN and exposure to job sites in our network, they learn to understand how the business world works, and how they may fit into that world. Finally, students in Big Biz work on the local level to understand the problems facing businesses in low-income areas and how market-driven solutions can be created through business ownership strategies.

Program Benefits
Students gain basic business principles and real product-driven experience in manufacturing, retail, and service industries.

Classes Offered

  • Big Biz/Entrepreneurship
  • Horticulture
  • Mosaics
  • Print Design
  • Video Production/Editing
  • Event Planning
  • Home Building/Carpentry
  • Basics of Economics in North Lawndale
  • Culinary
  • Creative Writing


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