Our advocacy focuses on economic liberty. Economic liberty is the right to earn an honest living free from unreasonable government interference. The IJ Clinic advocates for economic liberty, so entrepreneurs from Chicago’s inner city can chart their own courses in life, build up neighborhoods and create jobs. We provide free legal assistance, support, education and advocacy for entrepreneurs in the Chicago area. We strive to make Chicago a city where low-income entrepreneurs can thrive.

The IJ Clinic speaks up on behalf of present and future entrepreneurs when the laws on the books or government bureaucracy threaten to stand in their way. We believe the laws of the land should be a stable foundation on which creative, hard-working entrepreneurs can build businesses, not an obstacle course. Red tape should never be the finish line of the race to make jobs. That is why we write, lobby, rally and testify about unnecessary legal barriers to entrepreneurship.

current Advocacy Projects

Shared Kitchens in the Community

Lots of Chicagoans have the start-up capital for a new food business: a great recipe, experience feeding a crowd and a big dream. But there are not many kitchens where they can start small and legally. We work with community groups to understand the legal requirements for a shared kitchen in Chicago and to identify spaces, teams and financiers for community kitchens. Check out our guide on How to Open and Use A Shared-Use Commercial Kitchen in Chicago!

past Advocacy Projects

Street Vendors Justice Coalition

In 2015, the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship worked as a member of the Street Vendors Justice Coalition to legalize street food in Chicago. Today, thanks to the efforts of many coalition members, street food vendors and aldermen, a license is available to serve food on the sidewalks of Chicago. Our previous advocacy work has moved onward to Shared Kitchens in the Community above.

Barrier Study

Want to create a job in Chicago? It is not that easy. This report by the IJ Clinic documents how government regulations can keep entrepreneurs from doing what they do best—creating jobs and building our communities!