Started in 2013 as part of the University of Chicago Microfinance Initiative with the mission of gathering the brightest minds on campus and putting them to use solving pressing real-world issues, Phoenix Development Fund (PDF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization at the University of Chicago that provides pro-bono consulting services to small businesses in the South Side of Chicago.
Our mission: to catalyze economic change in socioeconomically disadvantaged Chicago neighborhoods.
What We Do
Phoenix Development Fund (PDF) is a strategy consulting and business development group at the University of Chicago. We provide independent, pro bono service to small businesses and non-profits on the South Side of Chicago. PDF associates develop custom-tailored performance improvement and growth strategies for our clients, drawing on our strategy portfolio of best practices within our clients’ respective industries.
Through PDF's services, clients will gain planning support when structuring their business for growth or performance improvement.
As a part of the University of Chicago infrastructure, PDF has access to a vast network of business professionals. We leverage this position to provide our clients with expert insights and best practices.
PDF will identify South Side small business owners and non-profit directors who are looking to:
Introduce a new product or business to the market and/ or improve or expand their current business or organizational operations.
PDF associates, comprising select undergraduates at the University of Chicago, will then provide those businesses and individuals with free, custom-tailored skills training and consulting services.
We will equip you with skills in Microsoft Office and Finance Software to help you manage your business, establish a digital presence, and develop professional presentations
We will map out the competitive landscape and customer base of your business, including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
We will identify opportunities to expand the market share of your business through branding, advertising, and product and customer segmentation
Business Plan Revisions
We will provide greater structure to your start-up through the creation or revision of a business plan, including goals and strategies