—Turning a novel idea into a successful business—Turning a novel idea into a successful business
Jessica Zweig and Erica Bethe Levin saw a need in the Chicago marketplace for an online female-oriented resource which highlights restaurants, nightlife, music, theatre, health and fitness, fashion and a myriad other topics of interest to women.

What they wanted was a comprehensive look at the city’s eateries, culture and lifestyle. They felt that if they desired such a source, then “so did the 881,000 other women in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.”

But launching such a venture required sound business advice, which Jessica and Erica received from SCORE counselors Don Crossett and Peg Corwin. Over the course of many months, Don and Peg helped them develop a business plan and marketing strategies, and rendered invaluable advice regarding budget, online marketing, branding and obtaining investment capital. The business was launched in October 2008 and has since then more than quadrupled its readership with a targeted mailing list of approximately 12,000 people. Moreover, NBC took note of Jessica and Erica’s talent and hired them as correspondents and content sharers for

As Jessica and Erica described SCORE’s role in their success:

“SCORE Chicago aided us in creating a business from absolute scratch during one of America’s greatest economic downfalls. From our business plan to our marketing strategies to our profit and loss projections, SCORE was paramount in getting our company off the ground. Because of the conservative nature of the way we approached our business (thanks to SCORE), Cheeky is thriving, overshooting our projections and our wildest dreams. The value of SCORE’s assistance in building CheekyChcago’s business model is immeasurable. Much of our success is due to our wonderful SCORE counselors.”

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