Rachel Bernier-Green

Rachel Bernier-Green is the owner of Laine’s Bake Shop, LLC. She initially started her business using a shared kitchen space, working on the side to get her business off the ground. After a few years of baking part-time, Rachel decided to finally quit her job and start a bake shop full-time with her husband Jaryd.


Lisa Weiss

Lisa Weiss is the founder of Storybeat Studio. As a 3x Emmy Award-winning producer and journalist who worked for Oprah Winfrey and CBS News, Lisa harnesses deep industry knowledge and expertise to help organizations and leaders tell compelling stories. She was named a Forbes Next1000 entrepreneur (December 2021) and a Tory Burch Fellow (2021-2022). Through her 20+ year career, Lisa has created and supervised content viewed and streamed by mass audiences.


Evera Ivy

Evera Ivy of Ivy League Farms LLC works with her family to grow various organic vegetables in Kankakee County. Throughout its time in operation, the farm has grown produce ranging from string beans, okra and watermelon–to eggplant, corn and greens, among others. Additionally, the team has been learning about industrial hemp and growing this versatile crop. 


Defy Ventures

Defy Ventures is a national nonprofit with a vision to cut recidivism in half by leveraging entrepreneurship to increase economic opportunity and transform lives. Defy's programs are helping currently and formerly incarcerated people across the country defy the odds by providing pathways to employment, entrepreneurship, and a successful reentry.

Chicago restaurateur highlights the importance of capital in post-pandemic era

Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic has been a tall order for small businesses, creating financial chaos and instability for all entrepreneurs regardless of how many years they’ve been in business. For Manish Mallick, owner of Bar Goa, an Indian gastropub, and ROOH Chicago, a progressive Indian restaurant and cocktail bar, seeing his once-bustling restaurant turn into an empty eatery has been devastating.  


Tasha Brown

Tasha directs Small Business Majority's outreach, education and policy efforts in the Midwest region from our Chicago office where she focuses on enhancing financial security for small business owners, their employees and their families. 


Partner Spotlight: Greenwood Archer Capital

Erica King is the President of Greenwood Archer Capital, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) organization founded in 2012 to supply micro and small business loans catalyzing small business development throughout the metropolitan Chicago area and its adjacent suburbs, as well as greater Cook County Illinois.


Illinois entrepreneur cooks up gluten-free delicacies for her community

For Lisa Marsh, owner and founder of Ms. P’s Gluten Free, going gluten free changed her health. Her acid reflux and digestive issues went away, and she felt better than she had in years. Yet, this change in diet meant having to explore alternative recipes for treats normally full of gluten, like cakes and cookies. 

Lisa recalled finding triple chocolate chip, gluten-free cookies that can be baked at home. She was so eager to try one, Lisa couldn’t wait long enough for them to cool down. 


Latino business owner expands his social enterprise to increase access to nutritional meals

Owning a small business can be challenging if you don’t have access to resources and tools to help you understand and manage the operational side of your business. For Javier Haro, this came at a high cost when his short debut as a restaurant owner came to a screeching halt after shutting down his business when the 2009 economic downturn hit the market.