It’s that time of the year again for Oak Parkers and River Foresters to put on their thinking caps for the next Big Idea contest.

It’s the third year for the contest put on by the Oak Park Community Foundation’s Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy group, which awards a $50,000 grant to a company that proposes the best business idea “that positively impacts Oak Park and/or River Forest, that transforms the community, and that could put Oak Park and/or River Forest on the map as a national leader in some way,” according to a news release on the contest.

Contestants can submit ideas through the end of November through the Oak Park Community Foundation website ( or via email to

Past winners include The Rescue Foundation, which aims to connect prospective employers with ex-offenders, and The Surplus Project, which preserves surplus food from Rush Oak Park Hospital and five other area cafeterias and distributes it to six recipient organizations such as the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry.

The winner will be chosen at the 3rd Annual Big Idea Competition and Reception on Wednesday, March 7 at Wire, 6815 Roosevelt Rd. in Berwyn.

Join the discussion on social media!

One reply on “What’s the Big Idea?”