Margaret Johnsson

Entrepreneurship as STEM-Ed Stimulus

    Clinical Faculty and Academic Experience: Clinical faculty for face-to-face, online and hybrid courses in the fields of strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship, management, leadership, and global marketing in the MBA programs at Northeastern Illinois University, Roosevelt University and Concordia University Chicago. Also consultant to university deans, community college presidents, and economic development officers, regarding entrepreneurship initiatives, including curriculum design, launch and management of centers for entrepreneurship, innovation and social entrepreneurship, accelerator and incubator launch and management, grant awards and corporate sponsorships.  Prior to her current faculty positions, Ms. Johnsson taught entrepreneurship courses at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Loyola University’s Quinlan School of Business and Illinois State University.

    Entrepreneurship and Corporate Experience: Over the past twenty-five years, Marge Johnsson has founded and grown seven professional services ventures each of which combined both high-growth and social agendas.

    • Sold to a publicly traded corporation: The Johnsson Group, Inc. – a specialty finance and accounting consultancy using a mission of work-life balance to provide superior service to global Fortune 100 corporations.
    • Sold to a strategic industry buyer: Magnolia Restorations LLC—a national award-winning historic restoration and home renovation business focused exclusively on Chicago’s North Shore suburbs.
    • Current: Founder and Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Education Institute, dedicated to entrepreneurship education on a national basis. Her clients are universities, community colleges, including the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, (300 member community colleges across the U.S.), not-for-profit organizations and individual, high-growth and/or social entrepreneurs.
    • Founder and CEO of Silver Lining Corporation, a start-up dedicated to helping persons age 50+ navigate the gig economy and transform their decades of industry experience into a legacy building, post-retirement career.

    Board Experience:

    Ms. Johnsson serves as a Board Director for the Economic Advisory Council, is a member of the Private Directors Association,  a lifetime member of Boardroom Bound (dedicated to placing women and minorities on public and private boards), and a founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the Women Presidents Organization . Past board service includes Chicago Finance Exchange, Financial Executives International, National Assn. of Women Business Owners, Community TV Network, Joffrey Ballet/Ballet Chicago merger transition board, two Dean’s Advisory Boards-Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and University of Chicago’s Women’s Business Group Advisory Board.



    • AARP Foundation’s Work for Yourself @50+ — only grantee in the State of Illinois to be awarded this national grant (32 grantees nation-wide) to conduct entrepreneurship preparedness workshops. Two grants awarded: 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.  
    • Northeastern Illinois University – 2018 Faculty Award: Grant Writing, December, 2018.
    • Economic Awareness Council – recognized at the Federal Reserve Board of Chicago annual graduation ceremony for entrepreneurship proof-of-concept train-the-trainer programs, May, 2017, (work funded by a Coleman Foundation grant).
    • Peter Henderson Alumni Award – Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
    • UIC Alumni Leadership Academy inducted 2015 – University of Illinois, Chicago
    • National Historic Association – Awarded National Landmark status for restoration of 100-year old Howard Van Doren Shaw home in Winnetka, Illinois, 2004.
    • Village of Glencoe, Illinois – Renovation of the Year Award, 2004.
    • The American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) – 2002 Balance Award.
    • Today’s Chicago Woman magazine, 100 Women Making a Difference, July 2001.
    • The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) – Named 2001 Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Illinois, March 2001.
    • Governor’s Commission on The Status of Women in Illinois – Awarded First Annual Family Investment Award, May 2000.
    • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) – Named Chicago Chapter’s Woman Business Owner of the Year, April 2000.
    • Working Women Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards – Named Midwest Regional Winner and National Finalist, Best Employer Category, 2000.
    • University of Illinois at Chicago–Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, Inducted February 2000.
    • Ranked #218 on the 1999 INC. 500 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Privately Held Companies.
    • Financial Management Association, DePaul University Chapter, Outstanding Financial Executive Award, 1993
    • Kraft Foods, Inc. – Kraft Financial Person of the Year, 1990.



    • United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) 2019 annual conference, “Composition of Occupation and Industry in Senior Entrepreneurship,” January 26, 2019, St. Pete Beach, FL
    • National Association of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship (NACCE) – Webinar: Senior Entrepreneurship and the New Longevity, co-lead with Dr. Lisa Hollis-Sawyer, Assistant Professor Psychology and Coordinator Center for Gerontology, October 31, 2018
    • National Association of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Annual Conference, co-hosted with the national office of the AARP Foundation, “Senior Entrepreneurship & Economic Development,” (session for directors of economic development programs), October 9, 2018 in Fort Worth, TX.
    • Northeastern Illinois University, Funded by an AARP Foundation grant, “Work for Yourself @50+” workshop, October 1, 2018, in Chicago, IL.
    • Northeastern Illinois University – Interactive presentation to 35 students and 3 faculty from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) (in English: Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education), “Introduction to Entrepreneurship Education,” September 26, 2018, in Chicago, IL.
    • Concordia University Chicago – Live demonstration, July 26, 2018, of experiential “flipped classroom” teaching techniques through collaborative design of innovative new businesses with MBA students from seven countries (U.S., China, Russia, India, Egypt, Lebanon and Uzbekistan) for 25 professors visiting from Hebei University of Economics of Business (HUEB). HUEB is located in Hebei Province’s capital, Shijiazhuang, China, close to Beijing, and is the leading business university in the Hebei Province.
    • Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) National Microbusiness Conference, April 30, 2018, presentation of Chicago area 2017/2018 grant results AARP Foundation 50+ Entrepreneurship Grantee Meeting, in Detroit, MI.
    • Concordia University Chicago – Gender and Gerontology Summit, “Women Entrepreneurs – Starting Businesses at Age 50+,” research presentation, April 21, 2018, in River Forest, IL.
    • Concordia University Chicago, Funded by an AARP Foundation and Hartford Insurance grant, “Work for Yourself @50+” workshop, March 29, 2018, in River Forest, IL.
    • Concordia University Chicago, Funded by an AARP Foundation and Hartford Insurance grant, “Work for Yourself @50+” workshop, November 4, and December 12, 2017, in River Forest, IL.
    • Chicago Public Library – Sulzer Regional Library, Funded by an AARP Foundation and Hartford Insurance grant, “Work for Yourself @50+” workshop, October 23, 2017 in Chicago, IL.
    • National Association of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Annual Conference, sponsored by Convergent Nonprofit Solutions, “Establishing Your College as the Community’s Entrepreneurship Impact Investment,” (session for college presidents economic development officers), October 9, 2017 in Tampa, FL.
    • Mather Life Ways, Funded by an AARP Foundation and Hartford Insurance grant, “Work for Yourself @50+” workshop, September 23, 2017 in Chicago, IL.
    • Concordia University Chicago, Funded by an AARP Foundation and Hartford Insurance grant, “Work for Yourself @50+” workshop, July 31, 2017, in River Forest, IL.
    • Economic Awareness Council (EAC), “Making the Case for Your Business Proposition,” May 9, 2017 in Chicago, IL.
    • Financial Executives International (FEI), Career Management Group – “So You’ve Decided to Become an Entrepreneur, How To Make Sure Your New Business Venture Is a Success,” March 2, 2017 in Rosemont, IL.
    • University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC), UIC Business Scholars Speaker Series, “Business Technology and Information and Decision Sciences,” March 1, 2017 in Chicago, IL.
    • Economic Awareness Council (EAC), Funded by a Coleman Foundation grant – “Entrepreneurship Proof of Concept and Unit Economics” Train-the-Trainer training, February 23, 2017 in River Forest, IL.
    • National Association of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Annual Conference, “The Community College as the Entrepreneurship Impact Investment Hub of the Community,” (session for college board directors and presidents), October 9, 2016 in Sacramento, CA.
    • National Association of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Annual Conference, Pre-conference workshop, “Proof of Concept Curriculum,” October 8, 2016 in Sacramento, CA.
    • Economic Awareness Council, “Start-Up Sales Cycles and Financial Metrics,” May 2016, in Chicago, IL.
    • Loyola Family Business Center, “Nurturing the Next-Gen Entrepreneur,” October 2015 in Chicago, IL.
    • Canadian Lumber Council, September, 2007, “Marketing Trends For the Construction Industry.”
    • Financial Women’s Association of New York, November 2003, “Demands of Leadership: Expectations, Choices and Tradeoffs.”
    • Kellogg Alumni Entrepreneurial Conference, Northwestern University, June 2001, “Is There Such a Thing as an Entrepreneurial Instinct?”
    • University of Chicago Speaker Series, 2001, “The Importance of Human Capital in a Professional Services Firm.”