Donate   |   Print Page   |   Sign In
Business Partnerships
Share |



The value of business partnerships is reflected in the success of our Five Forward Initiative. The Mission of Five Forward is to engage the corporate community in our common goal of strengthening our economy and enhance job creation by supporting a stronger Chicagoland MBE Community.


The vision of Five Forward is to increase the number of Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) of scale and to create jobs in communities of color.
The program is strengthened by partnering with other advocacy organization and public sector alliances with similar missions and objectives. This ensures that local minority business growth is an integral part of a larger coordinated regional economic development process and that a collaborative program is developed across nonprofits and governmental agencies for early stage inclusion of minority firms in
regional business opportunities.
The objectives of Five Forward are twofold: 1) Strengthen the regional and local economy; and 2) Support development of minority business of scale.
Chicago United has collected and analyze data to measure the impact of Five Forward since its inception. Here are some highlights:
  • More than double the number of direct and indirect jobs created between 2009 and 2014
  • An increase spend of $171,000,000 in MBEs by participating corporations from 2009 to 2014
  • Total economic impact of nearly $850 million over the five years of the programs existence
Download the initial report and executive summary that led to the creation of Five Forward.



Click to view the 2013 Five Forward Analysis Publication


Click to view the 2014 Analysis of Chicago Minority Businesses


Click to view the Five Forward 20/20 Vision Brochure


Click here to view the Five Forward Minority Business Enterprises Directory. 


Five Forward Committed Corporations:

Advocate Aurora Health
AGB Investigative Services


Aon plc
Ariel Investments
Astellas Pharma US
Baxter Healthcare
BMO Harris
BP America

Fifth Third Bank
Greeley and Hansen
Health Care Services Corporation
KDM Engineering
Mesirow Financial
Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas
Roosevelt University
Rush Medical Center
SDI Presence
University of Chicago Medical
University of IL - Chicago
West Monroe Partners
Wynndalco Enterprises



Updated: 8/15/19


The Chicago United Five Forward Initiative is produced in part through funding provided by:


The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States – communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Learn more at



Program support by: 


Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal