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Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy

Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy (ELP) is a giving group fund established by the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation that brings together business leaders, who contribute $2,500 each, to create a fund of $100,000. ELP seeks big ideas that will have far-reaching and long-term impact on our community.

COVID-19 temporarily paused ELP’s programs. Now that restrictions have eased, ELP has renewed its efforts, and the core committee is currently working with Foundation staff.

Co-founder Laura Maychruk on Comcast Newsmakers

maychruk comcast

 View the full interview. (4:37 min)

ELP has restarted the Business Incubator/Accelerator, a partnership with Oak Park-River Forest High School. It’s a year-long entrepreneurship course for juniors and seniors. Students form teams, create a viable business plan, and eventually pitch it for investment. Community mentors and workshop leaders support the students, and one team has formed an LLC and is planning a late-2021 launch.

The Business Plan Challenge is a partnership with Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business and Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy. Students pitch their ideas to volunteer judges and are awarded cash prizes for their business ideas. The judges also provide valuable feedback to the students. This year’s Challenge took place in the spring, and three teams were awarded monetary prizes. Some ELP members served as judges and mentors and contributed prize money.

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