Joliet Chamber and USF sponsor Student Entrepreneurship Expo

More than 100 Joliet area sixth through eighth graders will participate in the Student Entrepreneur Expo, sponsored by the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The expo will be Tuesday, April 29 at the University of St. Francis (USF).

Students will display their business ideas for parents, teachers, business members and community sponsors. “Real-world” young entrepreneurs will speak at the expo. “This will show that inspiring ideas are often born in middle school,” Bonnie Covelli, co-chair of the expo committee and director of USF’s School of Professional Studies.

In its third year, the expo is presented by the chamber’s Education Committee’s Entrepreneurship Club. The club won the 2013 Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education (ICCHE) Innovation Award for the program.

The Entrepreneurship Club is an innovative partnership between local businesses and schools. Students propose an entrepreneurial business concept or provide a solution to a community problem, said Russ Slinkard, CEO of the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Students get to learn the fundamentals of small business in a fun, hands-on program,” he said.

The following schools will participate: Cathedral of St. Raymond Parish School, Dirksen Junior High School, Elwood School, Gompers Junior High School, Holy Family Parish School,
Hufford Junior High School, Laraway School, Rockdale School, Troy Middle School, Washington Junior High & Academy and William B. Orenic Intermediate School.

The Student Entrepreneur Expo will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in USF’s Sullivan Recreation Center on the main Joliet campus, 500 Wilcox St.

The University of St. Francis serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit

Media Inquiries:
Nancy Pohlman, Executive Director of Community Relations
(815) 740-3379 |