IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship

The IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship provides free legal assistance, support and advocacy for low-income entrepreneurs in Chicago. The IJ Clinic also trains the next generation of attorneys to be fierce and creative advocates for entrepreneurs.

Chicagoans are staking their claim in the American dream through entrepreneurship, which allows them to make a better life for themselves, their families and their neighbors. They have discovered that their unique talents and perspectives allow them to innovate—by bringing an old-fashioned business to a neighborhood that other businesses overlook or by inventing an entirely new product or service. Their entrepreneurship has the power to inspire entire communities, create jobs and even shake up an industry.

But starting a new business can be daunting. It can be difficult to find emotional support, training, financing, good employees, loyal customers and protection from crime and liability. The law is supposed to help, but often it serves as more of an obstacle than a solution. Small business owners need to navigate a mind-boggling web of laws, rules, regulations and contracts to survive. They also need to know how to make it through City Hall and come out with licenses and permits. Sometimes, entrepreneurs even need to fight City Hall. This is where the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship comes in.

Legal complexities should never hold back an entrepreneur who has a great idea for a business that could lift up a family, a neighborhood or a whole industry.

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