4010 E State Street, Suite 204, Rockford, IL 61108 info@emergingwin.org 815 608-0778


Rockford, Illinois and surrounding cities and towns in northern Illinois are home to many energetic, hard-working businesspeople whose primary language is not English. Some came as refugees fleeing war-torn countries. Others arrived here searching for their piece of the American dream. They want to restart their lives utilizing the expertise they had in their home country. 

Winnebago Emerging Small Business Services is committed to helping bilingual entrepreneurs do great things the right way. 

Our clients are small companies that service specific market segments in Winnebago County. By capitalizing on the multicultural makeup within the city of Rockford and its surrounding area, we provide support in navigating the following: 

  • Financing:  Seek out and apply for loans that they need to start their business.  This include working with the Small Business Administration loan program.  We also negotiate with lending sources on behalf of the client. 
  • Social media and advertising: Provide guidance and help implement effective social media presence that attracts customers.
  • Goal setting: Work with client in creating a realistic business plan.  This includes budgeting, SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), staffing, and product procurement when applicable.
  • Application filings: Assist with applying for federal, state, and local government business licenses.
  • Coordination with local government resources: Be the liaison between the client and local government to ensure there are no language barriers that would prevent clients from adhering with the requirements they must meet in establishing a business.
  • Startup support: Help in getting the needed resources to get their business open. This might include working with contractors for any work that needs to be done. Another element is working with local government inspectors to ensure clients follow all regulations.
  • Post-startup support: Follow-up with face-to-face meetings in understanding and overcoming the new challenges facing a typical startup. Make sure the client continues to work toward their goal.
  • Mentoring: Match clients with other business owners in order to facilitate a mutual learning experience. A requirement of becoming a client is that they will participate in this ongoing mentoring program and become a mentor themselves.
  • Continuing guidance: Provide immigrant communities in Winnebago County with guidance in establishing, licensing, and operating a business. 
  • Language support: Assist in overcoming the language challenges these emerging entrepreneurs have when facing local government entities.   

We help ensure that newcomer entrepreneurs understand the legal guidelines they must maintain in doing business in the United States. Many of these business owners had businesses in their home countries and do not understand the new requirements in this country. We help them overcome their hesitation in dealing with government entities while fostering a positive attitude for compliance.  

Many of these businesses are started on limited budgets with sweat equity being the main asset contributed by these entrepreneurs. We want to capitalize on their aspirations and help them succeed in creating profitable businesses that make up the backbone of our community.

Mission Statement

“We are committed to creating good citizens by providing our immigrants with a respectful experience that challenges them to reach for their dreams while not allowing language barriers to prevent them from achieving their goals.  We help in bridging cultural barriers that prevent  our new arrivals from becoming productive members of our community.”