Advancing the Development Of Minority Entrepreneurship

What is ADME?


Diversity is a competitive advantage and is crucial to Illinois’ economic growth. Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME) is an investment program developed to strengthen Illinois’ start-up and small business community by tapping into the potential of underrepresented communities, including African-American, Latino, Asian-American, women, and veteran entrepreneurs. The pilot program will focus on minority-owned businesses and individuals in the Chicago, Peoria and Rockford metropolitan areas.

Using Gallup’s Entrepreneurial Profile assessment (EP10), a research based talent assessment designed specifically to measure and help develop an individual’s innate entrepreneurial talent, ADME will identify high-potential minority entrepreneurs and provide start to finish support to help them grow their business.  The EP10 is an industry recognized evaluation of entrepreneurial aptitude and preparedness, utilized by start-ups and venture capital firms to make financing and business decisions. ADME pairs the EP10’s predictive power with resources and support to help minority entrepreneurs thrive.

ADME will bring together community organizations, financial institutions, and government to provide participants with access to business training, capital and other tools while building an entrepreneurial ecosystem and network to support the growth of minority entrepreneurs.

What We Offer

ADME will facilitate talent identification, business education, mentorship/advisement and access to capital for minority entrepreneurs and small business owners. The intent is to open the doors to the business ecosystem that is typically unavailable to underserved minorities and provide the necessary training, resources and support to set up companies for long term success and growth.


ADME is partnering with Gallup to use a systematic, evidence-based approach to provide each applicant with an Entrepreneurial Profile assessment (EP10). This personalized talent identification report will provide individuals insight to their entrepreneurial strengths. The EP10 will also provide action items where areas of opportunity are identified. All applicants will receive an EP10 assessment report, and this deliverable may be used as the foundation for ongoing coaching.

Selected applicants will participate in ADME’s Business Experience Boot Camp, a holistic training program with top business educators. The courses will provide the foundational principals necessary to take the non-traditional entrepreneur from idea to prototype.



Participants will be strategically paired with a mentor and adviser to receive one-on- one support; mentors will focus on an individual’s personal growth, while advisers will be from the same industry as the participant and provide advice regarding successful business operations. Strong relationships with mentors and advisers will provide a base to grow a personal and professional network that may not be normally available to the aspiring minority entrepreneur.

Access to capital can be one of the biggest hurdles for any small business owner, especially in underserved communities. ADME has partnered with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), Microlenders along with federal, state and local lenders to assist in coordinating funding opportunities for participants to help start or grow their business.

Criteria for ADME Candidates

Must be 21 years of age or older

Businesses selected for the program must become certified as a Minority Business Enterprise and in “Good Standing” with the State of Illinois


Must be a United States citizen


Business address must be located within the three selected regions Rockford, Chicago or Peoria Illinois

Business annual gross revenue must be less than $1,000,000

Must be qualified as a member of one of the following minority groups: Women, African-American, Latino-American, Asian-American, Disabled-Persons or a Veteran


A.) a business engaged in speculative activities that develop profits from fluctuations in price rather than through normal course of trade, such as wildcatting for oil and dealing in commodities futures, unless those activities are incidental to the regular activities of the business and part of a legitimate risk management strategy to guard against price fluctuations related to the regular activities of the business; or

B.) a business that earns more than half of its annual net revenue from lending activities; unless the business is a non-bank or non-bank holding company Community Development Financial Institutions; or

C.) a business engaged in pyramid sales, where a participant’s primary incentive is based on the sales made by an ever-increasing number of participants; or


D.) a business engaged in activities that are prohibited by federal law or applicable law in the jurisdiction where the business is located or conducted. (Included in these activities is the production, servicing, or distribution of otherwise legal products that are to be used in connection with an illegal activity, such as selling drug paraphernalia or operating a motel that knowingly permits illegal prostitution); or

E.) a business engaged in gambling enterprises, unless the business earns less than 33% of its annual net revenue from lottery sales; or


A.) repay delinquent federal or state income taxes unless the Borrower has a payment plan in place with the relevant taxing authority; or

C.) repay taxes held in trust or escrow, e.g. payroll or sales taxes; or

B.) reimburse funds owed to any owner, including any equity injection or injection of capital for the business’ continuance; or

D.) purchase any portion of the ownership interest of any owner of the business.


To find future business builders early and help them succeed, Gallup created the Entrepreneurial Profile 10 (EP10). EP10 is Gallup’s newest talents-based assessment. In 30 minutes, the EP10 identifies the entrepreneurial talents of individuals. Gallup has studied the best entrepreneurs to understand the actions and decisions that lead to venture creation and growth.

After years of research, Gallup has identified 10 innate talents that define high-potential entrepreneurs that drive business success. The goal is to provide all of our applying entrepreneurs with increased self-awareness and a common language to help accelerate their ongoing development.

Accelerating Your Path To Success

 Thank you for your interest in ADME! Applications for the first cohort have now closed.

Entrepreneurs interested in learning more about available resources for new and small businesses should contact the Illinois Department of Commerce at adme@Illinois.gov.

ADME is always looking for new community partners! If you are a business leader or financial institution interested in working with ADME as a mentor or lender, we want to hear from you!

We will be announcing our first cohort soon, so stay tuned for updates.





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