Business Services Collective
Your passion to create a better future cannot be ignored.
Where the world sees obstacles, you see potential.
You are creating hope and opportunity for your community.
You are building a better future for yourself and your family.
We see you, we hear you, and we are here to build with you.
We're building an affordable, shared back office for neighborhood contractors in Chicagoland.
What we do
We’ve collaboratively designed our program with the experience and input of over 100 construction entrepreneurs who describe feeling stretched by the constant deadlines of bids and construction schedules in a booming industry.
We help the business owners we work with develop financial health to better capture opportunities and maintain resiliency during shocks. Through a unique blend of coaching, training and direct services from local providers, our program enables entrepreneurs to more effectively plan, manage, and fund their growth, building wealth and opportunities in the communities we serve.
Began as an initiative of The Dividend Project, an incubator to expand wealth-building opportunities for businesses and communities of color.
Small businesses run the world. If you can be an entrepreneur, you can pull somebody else up
with you. It’s a way of helping others — not just yourself. It’s about growth and opportunities —
for women, for minorities, for entire communities.
Building the Future with Neighborhood Entrepreneurs
Formed advisory board with leaders across Chicagoland's construction ecosystem
Raised $140,000 to support the local construction community and expand our outreach
Business Services' pitch earns 2nd place in the University of Chicago's 2019 John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC)
Business Services Collective joins Elevate Energy, Sustainable Options for Urban Living to provide back office support to entrepreneurs of color in construction and clean energy sectors.
Expanding our back office services to support Chicago's diverse construction community.
Helping construction businesses identify and access relief programs in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
Summer 2019: Raising Support
Meet Our Board of Directors
Delmar Gillus, Jr.
Founder, The Dividend Project
President, baso ltd.
Mejai Kai Dyson
Mejai leads our Estimating Program, helping our construction entrepreneurs improve their ability to cost estimate and bid through one-on-one coaching and training.
Mejai began his decades-long career in commercial construction as a Project Engineer, coordinating and delivering built spaces for private and public clients. As Chief Estimator Mejai has assembled cost estimates for a variety of skilled trades and building types. He has represented all sides of the table from contractors and GCs to owners' rep. Mejai is passionate about continuous improvement, ensuring value and margins for all stakeholders.
Trina helps our construction entrepreneurs implement their back office strategies with mentorship and support. She also leads our tech infrastructure.
Trina has nearly 15 years of experience in nonprofit service delivery, program administration, financial services, and project management. Her passion for strengthening the systems that support communities led her to launch Lavender Eucalyptus, LLC, a firm that provides strategic business operations support, program and project management, business process modeling, and operational planning and implementation services to community-based enterprises.
Jason engages our program participants to implement their back office strategies and leads our personal and business credit program.
Jason is a Chicago native with nearly 20 years of community banking, lending and economic development experience. Jason has worked for several financial institutions and non-profits with a specific focus on leveraging capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs in low to moderate income neighborhoods in Chicago and its surrounding communities.
Chief Operations Officer
Kyle works with service providers and contractors on a daily basis to build our shared back office.
Raised in the Northwoods of Minnesota, Kyle left a radical puppet theater in Minneapolis to join a microlender in Chicago, where he used grassroots organizing to extend a small business loan program across the city’s diverse neighborhoods.
Chief Strategy & Development Officer
Nitika directs our strategic partnerships to develop a coordinated ecosystem of supports for Chicagoland contractors.
Nitika previously led the nation’s largest network of local, regional, national and international institutions anchored in the Chicagoland, with upwards of $20B in collective spend, driving inclusive economic growth through place-based strategies.