This summer, the Chamber’s Roadmap for Growth Action Team has undertaken an important initiative to go out into Philadelphia’s neighborhoods for specialized entrepreneur workshops.

We have been fortunate to partner with offices of councilmembers for each program, which has taken place at community organizations. Attendees heard perspectives from attorneys, franchisees, marketing professionals, and entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their existing business.

A special thanks to our title sponsor, PIDC, our co-sponsors Fulton Bank, Griesing Law, and Bossible, and promotional partners:

  • Office of Councilwoman Cindy Bass, 8th Council District
  • Office of Councilman Bobby Henon, 6th Council District
  • Office of Councilman Mark Squilla, 1st Council District
  • Office of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, 2nd Council District
  • Office of Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, 9th Council District
  • Christian Street YMCA
  • LaSalle University
  • Mayfair Business Improvement District
  • Mt. Airy Community Council
  • Temple University
  • Universal Muslim Business Association
  • West Oak Lane Business Association

June 12: Mayfair

Kicking off the entrepreneur series, attendees heard from panelists Justine Bolkus (City of Philadelphia), Aimee Cicero (Brownstein Group), Joseph Maniaci (Ciccotta & Schweizer), Naveen Mohiuddin (The Halal Guys of King of Prussia), Jay Pross (Art History 101), David Restituto (Factory Donuts and Rita’s Water Ice), and Vaughn Taylor (PIDC) at Mayfair Community Center.

Scott Mirkin (ESM Productions) joined panelists that night as he shared how he went from growing up in Northeast Philadelphia to start a small production company and ultimately partner with Jay-Z through Roc Nation.

July 18: West Oak Lane

After a warm welcome from our President & CEO Rob Wonderling and Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, a full room of attendees at Masjidullah Inc. heard a panel discussion from Mumin Islam (attorney-at-law), Jasmine Sessoms (Rita’s Water Ice), David D. Simons (Kingdom Social Media), Vaughn Taylor (PIDC), Victoria Tyson (Victoria’s Kitchen) and Saleem Wilson (City of Philadelphia, Department of Commerce).

Hear what this aspiring entrepreneur had to say about her experience:

July 25: South Philadelphia

On a rainy night at the Christian Street YMCA, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson welcomed aspiring and growing business owners, who heard Anna Solomon recount the success story of NextFab, a network of makerspaces spanning from South and North Philadelphia to Wilmington, Delaware. Solomon then joined a panel of experts as they shared business tips for entrepreneurs: Arthur Gimenez (PIDC), David D. Simons (Kingdom Social Media), and Tina Wang (City of Philadelphia).

Later, panelists were joined by Latasha Sampson (Chocolate City Hair Studio & Spa) as she shared her success story as a small business owner.

August 1: Port Richmond

Our President & CEO Rob Wonderling kicked off the night at Columbia Social Club, followed by Joseph Livewell (Riverwards Cafe), who shared the story behind his business, which opened in 2016 as a part of the Richmond Street Revival.

Councilman Bobby Henon then took the stage, stressing the importance of small business support to ensure neighborhood-level growth.

Livewell then joined panelists Justin Chapman (Litchfield Cavo LLP), Dr. Curtis Gregory (City of Philadelphia, Department of Commerce), Hannah Hanowitz (PIDC), Steve Mealy (Philadelphia Pretzel Factory), and David D. Simons (Kingdom Social Media), who shared marketing, business, and legal tips for the entrepreneurs in the room.

Up Next

Roadmap will continue to host these conversations in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods for the remainder of the summer. See details below for the remaining two workshops and other upcoming Roadmap opportunities.

Upcoming Roadmap Events

A Map to Thriving Business (Germantown)
Thursday, August 23
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Panelists (to date): Francine Friedman Griesing (Griesing Law)
Register »

A Map to Thriving Business (North Philadelphia)
Tuesday, August 28
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Panelists (to date): Fulton Bank
Register »

Enhancing Philadelphia’s Commercial Corridors
Thursday, September 20
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Speakers (to date): Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Karen Lockhart Fegely (Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia), Monique Greenwood (Akwaaba Bed and Breakfast Inns), Ryan Spak (University City District)
Register »

Save the Date
With Growth & Prosperity for All
A Roadmap for Growth Conference
Tuesday, November 6
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM