Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment

The Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) is committed to providing minority-, women-, persons with disabilities and veteran-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs across the state with equitable access to opportunities and resources. Through dynamic partnerships, targeted outreach, and tailored programs and initiatives, OMEE aims to create an inclusive business ecosystem for communities that have traditionally faced systemic barriers to entry and growth. This investment spurs local economic development in underserved areas resulting in a revitalized and thriving Illinois economy.

The State of Illinois is committed to ensuring that communities historically impacted by the criminalization of cannabis have an opportunity to participate in the legal cannabis industry. Visit Cannabis Social Equity for more information.

What do we do?

  • Provide businesses assistance and one-on-one support
  • Connect individuals to business resources and opportunities
  • Developed strategic partnerships to support the business ecosystem
  • Celebrate and amplify our cultural diversity
  • Drive equity-centered programs and policies

OMEE-led Initiatives

  • Latinx Business Colectivo and Black Business Collective are coalitions of business-serving community organizations that support the business ecosystem and help develop priorities that support Latinx and Black businesses using a culturally competent and equity-driven lens.
  • “Online with OMEE” office hours take place every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month and are open to all racial/ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veteran owned businesses. The OMEE team provides the latest updates on state and federal business programs, shares information about local opportunities available, and answers questions you may have about your business. Visit our events page to register.
  • Advancement of Minority Entrepreneurs (ADME) takes place every 4th Wednesday of the month. ADME is a workshop series in partnership with the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network that shares best practices from Illinois entrepreneurs in order to help them be successful. Each month, we partner with Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to offer a dynamic discussion on a business topic and highlight one of OMEE's focus communities. 
  • Meet & Greets occur monthly as an opportunity to connect with DCEO’s Regional Economic Development and OMEE teams and learn about upcoming opportunities that are specific to your region.


OMEE Business Community Database: The Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) is gathering contact and business information for an internal database to support our businesses and stakeholders more effectively.  Submit your information to us or email us at with any questions.


(español) Base de datos de la comunidad empresarial de OMEE: La Oficina de Empoderamiento Económico para Minorías (OMEE por sus siglas en inglés) está recopilando información de contacto para desarrollar una base de datos interna para apoyar a nuestros negocios y socios de manera más efectiva. Haga clic aquí para enviar su información. No dude en comunicarse con nosotros en con cualquier pregunta.

Black Business Feedback Survey

Calling all Illinois Black business owners!  To help strengthen the programs and resources offered through DCEO, we have launched the first Black Business Survey designed to gain perspective directly from business owners across the state.  Together with our partners at Chicago State University and the Chicago Urban League we want to hear about ongoing challenges, pandemic resources that have helped, and how to improve future resource allocation, outreach and deliver business-related programs and services.  It's easy, confidential and will help us shape future initiatives.  Take the survey or view the FAQ's