Brian Jenkins, the Founder and President of StartingUp Now as well as the nonprofit, Entrenuity, has successfully provided entrepreneurship training to youth and adults for over 17 years in Chicago, nationally, and abroad.
Under Brian’s leadership, Entrenuity-trained student businesses have generated
$125,000 in combined gross sales, trained over 700 adult instructors nationally and internationally, and generated over $1.8 million in organizational revenue since Entrenuity’s inception in 2000.
For more than 17 years, 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 as adjunct faculty at both Illinois State University’s College of Business and The Urban Ministry Institute in Wichita, KS where his focus was 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.
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.
Grace Yi has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2006, focusing on issues ranging from homelessness and affordable housing to human trafficking. She received her MA at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management and policy. While at the university, Grace participated in the Booth Business School’s Social New Ventures Challenge, developing the marketing and social media strategy for Hand and Cloth, a Chicago-based social enterprise providing earned income and support services to women at risk of prostitution and trafficking in Bangladesh and India.
Before moving to Chicago for graduate school, Grace worked in Los Angeles with an innovative homeless organization, overseeing advocacy projects, communications and marketing, as well as resource development efforts to strategically engage community stakeholders and faith-based groups around issues involving affordable housing and homelessness. Outside her professional work, Grace supervised and coordinated initiatives with JustOne, a nonprofit organization raising awareness and facilitating projects around human trafficking, poverty and orphans.
With a keen interest in social enterprise work and social entrepreneurship programs, Grace continues to reconceptualize and promote innovative solutions to society’s growing problems. She is passionate about online relationships as much as the ones developed offline, embracing new, cutting-edge technology that facilitates enhanced communications and networking opportunities. You can follow her actively sharing information and connecting with like-minded changemakers on Twitter at @hungrygrace.
Originally from the west side of Chicago, Shawn's decorated experience includes working as a law enforcement officer and detective. Shawn holds Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's degrees in areas of Business Administration and Human Resources. He has also held positions as an Assistant Director of Human Resources for the Board of Education as well as an Investigator for the Office of the Executive Inspector General for the State of Illinois.
In 2005, Shawn developed his own Real Estate Investment and Property Management Company. With very little capital to fund his plan and a below average credit score, Shawn's business strategy, leadership and drive has allowed him to acquire nearly 60 properties in various states.
Q. Scott Riley is CEO and founder
of Teen Wealth Group, Inc. and CEO of New Guard Multimedia, Inc. Prior, he
worked as Senior Manager of Financial Education for the Chicago Urban League
and within that capacity was director for the agency's National-award winning
Youth Investor/Entrepreneur Project. He is certified by the National Foundation
for Teaching Entrepreneurship. He has written several books under the Teen
Wealth Group and New Guard brands including: Ten Secrets of Successful Teen Entrepreneurship and Character & Charisma: How to Network
Your Way to Greatness.
Quinn has gained national recognition as a reputable motivational speaker and seminar facilitator. He has facilitated seminars and lectures for business, faith-based, collegiate, and civic organizations including Rainbow PUSH Coalition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Howard University, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Junior Achievement, Illinois Institute for Entrepreneurship Education, Boys and Girls Club of America, The National Urban League, Battle Creek Public School District (Mich.), Tampa Public School District (Fla.), Chicago Public Schools (IL.), Salem Baptist Church of Chicago, and Apostolic Church of God-Chicago.
He has been featured in several national publications including The Chicago Defender, Diversity Inc. magazine, and Black M.B.A. magazine. Riley has served on the board of directors for Jump Start Illinois Coalition; he is a licensed Baptist minister and holds a B.A. in Public Relations.
For over 12 years, Shane Scott has provided consulting in the areas of educational teaching, administration, and small business operations. Shane served three years as the high school Principal at a Christian American School in Jerusalem that serves predominately Palestinian Muslims, and learned to speak Arabic during his time abroad. He values cross-cultural learning environments and has developed a unique approach to teaching students about starting, growing and operating a small business while integrating character development skills. Through these experiences, Shane has taught and spoken to thousands of students on entrepreneurship and business planning.
Shane lives in Clearwater, FL with his wife and two children where he oversees his educational consulting firm, Build A Better School.
- 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.
The Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics