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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.

For Construction Businesses

What we do 

We have 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.


Now I am confidently bidding more work while almost doubling my margin. I feel a relief knowing I can safely cover my costs and finally earn the profit needed to fuel future growth.


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.

Early 2019:

Formed advisory board with leaders across Chicagoland's construction ecosystem

Summer 2019:

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, 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.

Our Journey

Meet Our Board of Directors


Delmar Gillus, Jr.

COO, Elevate

Board Member


Deon Lucas

President, E.G.Woode

Board Chair


Claudette Soto

President, baso ltd.

Board Member


Nora Sobolov

Founder, The Dividend Project

Chair Emeritus

Mejai Kai Dyson

Chief Estimator

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.

Andrea headshot.png

Andrea Yarbrough

Program Director

Andrea serves as the Program Director for Business Services Collective, working directly with participating construction entrepreneurs to understand their business goals and challenges. She co-creates personalized action plans to overcome barriers and coordinates with our network of professional service providers, including BIPOC accountants, estimators, and other industry leaders. Andrea also leads our back office apprenticeship program, working directly with service providers to train high school and college students in relevant back office skills to provide greater support to construction entrepreneurs. She is dedicated to delivering one-on-one training, mentorship, and support to implement a holistic set of business best practices. Before her current role, she worked as a commercial real estate consultant at a community development financial institution, supporting non-profits through development projects.


Jason Swan

Capital Coach

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.


Kyle Johnson

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. 



Nitika Nautiyal

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. 


Meet Our Program Team

Get Involved


Find out how we can support your growth. Set up an initial call so we can learn more about your business and how we can help.

service providers

Join our network of estimators, bookkeepers and other professionals passionate about supporting local businesses.

community partners

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