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Illinois names Jackie Jackson Small Business Person of the Year

"Jackson Business Award"
“Jackson Business Award”

Jackie Jackson, proprietor of Kilwins, has been recognized as Illinois Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Great Lakes region due to her resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. Starting her journey as a humble chocolate and ice cream parlour owner, Jackson’s Kilwins has grown into a regional favorite with a large following and impressive sales.

Undeterred by the challenges presented by the global pandemic, Jackson implemented innovative strategies such as curbside pickups and home deliveries, preserving and growing her business amidst a crisis. Her story serves as an inspiration and testament to the critical role small businesses plays in any country’s economy.

Throughout her journey, Jackson faced numerous personal and professional challenges, but remained resilient, viewing each hardship as an opportunity to grow and strengthen her character.

Jackie Jackson’s successful journey as Illinois’ business person

Jackson’s story of overcoming adversity demonstrates the potential to rise above any challenge with determination and hope.

Following the footsteps of previous SBA honorees like Ben and Jerry’s and Callaway Golf, Jackson currently manages five successful Kilwins outlets in the Chicago region. Under her leadership, these outlets have experienced significant growth and have become beloved staples in local communities.

With a plan to expand her business ventures by opening a Fatburger franchise in Chatham expected to launch in June, Jackson exemplifies unwavering commitment to her brands. As the launch date nears closer, Jackson is rallying her team’s efforts to ensure a seamless launch.

Prior to venturing into entrepreneurship, Jackie worked as a teacher and invested in properties. After her mother’s passing in 2006, she developed a passion for sweets, which led her to Kilwins where she perfected her craft in making high-quality chocolates and ice creams.

Despite initial setbacks, Jackson has successfully turned the Kilwins franchise into a prosperous operation. Today, her Kilwins franchise stands as a testament to her business acumen and dedication, attracting large numbers of customers daily and marking her as an inspiring figure in the field of business.

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