Presented by the City of Philadelphia, Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week highlights minority businesses and resources to help them grow. Throughout the first week of October, organizations from across the region hosted events focused on this year’s theme, Elevating Equity.
A week before MED Week festivities kicked off, PIDC served as one of many vendors at the Philadelphia International Airport Business Opportunity Forum. For this featured MED Week prelude event, attendees had a chance to hear about small business initiatives, learn about procurement methods, and network with PHL Airport executives and business leaders.
The following week after the Forum, the 34th Annual MED Week Kick-off program took place at Fairmount Park Horticulture Center. PIDC’s Vice President of Client Engagement, Marla Hamilton was awarded the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) Champion Award at the event. The OEO Award recognizes a person who has steadfastly championed diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and economic progress in our communities, workplaces, and businesses for Philadelphians as well as our broader diverse communities.
Following the kick-off program, MED Week 2018 featured more than 30 events, including educational workshops, interactive panel discussions, one-on-one coaching, and more. PIDC had the honor of partnering with others on a few of the festivities. First, PIDC joined the Office of Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown for the “Owning the RFP Process: How to Submit and Win” workshop hosted at the Marriott Courtyard in the Navy Yard. This workshop included an engaging series of 10-minute expert presentations on best practices for how to best respond to RFQS, RFPs, and contracting opportunities with the Navy Yard, Rebuild, and other development projects across Philadelphia. Panelists included Prema Gupta, Senior Vice President of Navy Yard Planning & Development
Prema Gupta, senior vice president of Navy Yard planning & development; Iola Harper, deputy commerce director for the City of Philadelphia Office of Economic Opportunity; Mark Seltzer, senior vice president of Liberty Property Trust; and Michael Pearson, owner and president of Union Packaging. Additionally, Megan Smith, owner of Brownstone Public Relations, joined us as the keynote speaker. Participants were also treated to a tour of the Navy Yard at the conclusion of the panel to get a firsthand glimpse of all of the exciting projects both planned and underway!
Secondly, PIDC joined the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, African-American Chamber of Commerce, and the Community College of Philadelphia for an engaging panel discussion titled “TrailBLASIAN: Blended Families, Identity and Navigating Business Barriers.” The panel shared their mixed-racial upbringings around the intersections between African-American and Asian-American identities, personally and professionally. Panelists included Christie Ileto, reporter from the 6ABC Action News team; Jimmy Mills, The Spicy Belly restaurateur; and Kenny Johnson, community engagement coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies.
For the third workshop, PIDC’s, Marla Hamilton, served as the moderator at the Community College of Philadelphia for a panel discussion on Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a program for small businesses in which participants gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing, and employee management. In addition, They receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan that will take their business to the next level. For the workshop, graduates of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses shared their experiences and lessons learned from the program that assisted them on their journey as business owners.