L. Brian Jenkins, Founder & President


L. Brian Jenkins, the Founder and President of StartingUp Now has successfully provided entrepreneurship education training and small business development for over 20 years in Chicago, nationally, and abroad. Brian also started and founded Entrenuity, a nationally recognized youth entrepreneurship education organization, focused on infusing values based principles into business operations, particularly with urban youth.

Under Brian’s leadership, both organizations have generated over $3.5 million in revenue. StartingUp Now entrepreneurs have successfully launched over nine business with a combined gross revenue of over $3 million since StartingUp Now launched in 2012. Entrenuity has generated over 2.5 million in gross revenue since 2000, without government funding, and as an independent not-for profit not connected to any specific church.

Brian is one of only a few leaders to have successfully started a not-for-profit organization based on a hybrid ministry model, in which 70% of Entrenuity’s revenue comes from fee-based services, with only 30% being charitable contributions, and without the use of any federal, state or municipal funding. Brian provides a new model of NFP leadership, particular for people of color, which leads to a better system of scale, growth and sustainability.

Brian has trained thousands of youth, adults and organizational leaders in both the US and abroad. Brian has led entrepreneurship training workshops for teachers and youth workers nationally and internationally. He is directly responsible for training thousands of urban young people in the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and financial literacy, in addition to teaching character/integrity based business operations. Brian has also directed on-site program management for schools, youth programs, and community-based organizations.

Brian served as a theology instructor at Moody Bible Institute and also taught entrepreneurship classes there. Brian additionally served as adjunct faculty at Illinois State University’s College of Business, The Urban Ministry Institute in Wichita, KS and currently at North Park University’s School of Adult Learning, focusing on entrepreneurship education.

Brian and his students have been featured in a nationally televised documentary on Public Broadcasting System (PBS) entitled, “These Kids Mean Business”, Today’s Christian, ABC Channel 7 News, Chicago Tribune, Chicagoland Television, New Expressions Youth Magazine, Gospel Today Magazine, Prism Magazine, Chicago Defender, Wheaton College Alumni Magazine, and on CNN's Court TV "You Need to Know." He is a contributing author to the book, Creating True Wealth: Christian Youth Entrepreneurship, and is the author of StartingUp Now: 24 Steps to Launching Your Own Business, which has been used as curriculum for college credit at both Moody Bible Institute and North Park University’s School of Adult Learning.

He is a graduate of the University of Iowa with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Religion; additionally, he earned his Masters of Arts in Theology from Wheaton College Graduate School.

Randi L. Craigen, Administrative Assistant

Randi Craigen serves as Administrative Assistant extraordinaire. Randi has over 20 years of experience in multiple office settings and will help StartingUp Now in several capacities. Randi attended Grace College in Winona Lake, IN where she studied English & Biblical Studies. Randi is married to Clive Craigen and they have 2 adult children and 2 middle-school children. Randi is also an entrepreneur and creates custom jewelry which can be viewed at Randi Lee Jewelry. Randi can be reached at randi.craigen@startingupnow.com.

Lyman Howell, Financial Consultant

Lyman is the President of Regal Oak Financial, LLC, helping clients to achieve their financial goals. He is the President of the U.S. Board of World Renew, a non-profit organization that fights global poverty with approaches that include income generation. He has formally led a non-profit organization that consulted nationally to promote financial literacy. He has worked with others to mobilize small or micro businesses in the United States and in other countries. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Chicago.


Angela Jackson, Facilitator

Angela Jackson has two loves: business and community. Both are intricately tied to one another, so she helps develop businesses that are good and do good for the community. Having received a Bachelor's in Interior Design followed by an MBA, she found her way into the small business world and found the many challenges that entrepreneurs and owners face. After working with several businesses in the South to develop expertise in marketing and business development, she came to Chicago and became a small business growth consultant. You can find her living out her passions around the city: women business groups, anti-trafficking outreaches, swing dancing, biking, and cooking brunch with friends at her home in Lakeview. 

Angela is a StartingUp Now Facilitator and loves to break down large business concepts into bit-size pieces. She is also co-founder of her own start-up, TalentFlood, so she understands the struggles of entrepreneurship and wants to educate her students on best practices and encourage them to never quit!

You can reach Angela at angela.jackson@startingupnow.com.

Shane A. Scott, Trainer

Since 1998, Shane has been helping aspiring entrepreneurs bring their dreams to reality. As a trusted business consultant and international awarding-winning high school math teacher and Principal, Shane has developed a
unique approach to coaching adults and students about starting, growing and operating businesses while integrating character development skills. Being a native of Jamaica, Shane has the entrepreneurial spirit running through his 
blood! He values creating and developing cross-cultural learning environments. Over the years and through his 
global experiences, Shane has taught and spoken to thousands of students and adults on entrepreneurship planning and business operations. Currently, Shane lives with his wife and three young children in Clearwater, FL. Shane enjoys traveling internationally, as well as playing basketball, soccer, and volunteering as a board member for ManUp & Go--an organization committed to reducing the number of orphans around the world by helping men "Man Up" spiritually, physically, socially, and financially.

Our Partners

“When ambitious individuals have an idea that they believe has merit as a product or service, it is difficult to find a road map that helps them get started and carry through to completion. Brian has framed StartingUp Now in such a way that it provides a time-tested, step-by-step process to achieve success. I believe that StartingUp Now will have a significant impact on all who use it it.”
- Donald G. Soderquist, ret., Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Walmart Stores, Inc.

StartingUp Now appreciates the generous support of our partners. We are grateful for the meaningful relationships we have with Media Spark and The Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics, and thank them for their valuable wisdom, leadership and technical support.

Media Spark
The Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics