Philadelphia: Freedom to Grow for Minority Business Enterprises

The city of Philadelphia is a finalist for this year’s City Accelerator project, which is focused on helping cities promote economic equity.
by The city of Philadelphia | May 1, 2019 AT 10:00 AM
(204 ratings)

The city of Philadelphia is a finalist for this year's City Accelerator project, which is focused on helping cities promote economic equity.

You can help select this year's City Accelerator participants! Check out the cities' pitches, and then let us know which ones you think should be a part of this important program by giving them a star rating and leaving your comments below!

You have the option to view the pitch full screen here for optimal viewing, but be sure to return to this page to give it a star rating and leave comments below!

What is the city proposing?

Philadelphia’s goal is to significantly increase response rates to contracts by MBEs, with a particular focus on local MBEs. The City will initiate and implement strategies to target specific challenges, and grow partnerships with key stakeholders to inform the development of a strategy that could be scaled citywide over the longer term.

VIEW OTHER CITY PITCHES

For a detailed description of the mission and purpose of the City Accelerator’s cohort on promoting economic equity, click here.

Public response is one of several criteria being used by the City Accelerator to select cohort cities. The number of ratings or comments by themselves do not determine final status or selection.

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The City Accelerator wants your feedback. Ask a question or share your thoughts on the problem and the proposed approach - and we welcome your comment on what a solution would mean for city residents

Be part of the campaign for civic innovation at the City Accelerator, presented by Citi Foundation.

AACCGP

On: 05-16-2019

Go Philly!!

Anon2

On: 05-14-2019

A great pitch in such a wonderful and diverse city!

Mark D Roms

On: 05-14-2019

This looks great and informative. Important topic and I like to know how City of Phila tackles it.

Rob Robinson

On: 05-14-2019

People more actively support what they help to create. Engagement with potential MBEs on what they need will be key involvement.

Mark W

On: 05-14-2019

Proud of Philly civil servants for making this pitch and that equity is approached as a team effort, across City programs and services, regardless of area of focus and expertise (tech, purchasing, operations, policy)

M Blackson

On: 05-14-2019

Great pitch.. Very well thought out and solid strategy.

Sharmain Matlock-Turner

On: 05-11-2019

Sharmain Matlock-Turner

Anon

On: 05-10-2019

Proud that Philadelphia is looking at equity at all levels, including its own procurement. The purchasing power of Philadelphia is huge, and can have an enormous positive impact on an equitable and inclusive economy if implemented thoughtfully. I'd like to see the city proactively engage women business owners and business owners of color in refining and implementing its strategy to ensure that it continues to serve the needs of the city as well as the business community its trying to serve. Partnering with local business organizations is a great strategy to not only get more authentic / transparent / candid feedback from the business community, but also bolster the organizations serving these business.

Anonymous

On: 05-10-2019

Great pitch!

Dr. Daniel Lee

On: 05-10-2019

As an MBE in the city that has contracted with several departments, I find that this plan addresses some of the issues but it needs to be robust in the following areas: financing should be extended to venture capital connections for MBEs. Traditional lines of credit that force us to personally guarantee loans is too burdensome. Venture capital networking events and pitch opportunities would be helpful. Next, contracts under 100k require a significant amount of insurance which doesn’t make financial sense based on the value of the contract, reducing the insurance requirements would make these contracts more accessible to MBEs. Finally, I like the sheltered business model, as long as, the model creates opportunities for policy changes to increase creativity and rates reflect market value experiences. Many of the service contracts are woefully under funded compared to other areas which reduces the likelihood of professional service firms, like myself from contracting with the city because of higher reimbursement rates in other communities. As I close, I support the initial model and strongly recommend that the team consider hosting a focus group to hear the real issues and politics embedded in the city contracting process which can be discouraging and leave companies deflated at times.

Anonymous

On: 05-10-2019

Good pitch - recognizes th problems but delineates growth and enterprise. Would like to know what type of jobs are being created in this gig and service economy and are these jobs turning into careers

Anonymous

On: 05-09-2019

Great concept

Anonymous

On: 05-09-2019

The city employees leaving feedback and including their name are brown-nosers looking for more brownie points from the boss. Ding-dong the witch is dead.

Anonymous

On: 05-09-2019

Elected officials now need the courage to oppose unions and others that have benefitted from these structural inequities for years.

Anonymous

On: 05-08-2019

This is very much needed in the City. Getting the public & private industry to utilize MWDSBE businesses and help them grow beyond the boundaries of Philadelphia is critical to success.

Anonymous

On: 05-08-2019

I love that Philly includes people with disabilities in M/W/DSBE! Great proposal and excellent work.

Christian

On: 05-08-2019

This is a very solid plan. I can't wait to see what's next.

The Builder.

On: 05-08-2019

This is really good; way to go!

Andrew Buss

On: 05-08-2019

Comprehensive and diverse outreach is key to any competitive procurement.

RT

On: 05-08-2019

Aside from the City there needs to be a commitment from institutions (such as hospitals and universities) to working with diverse businesses. If industries in education and healthcare are procuring over $5.3 bil in goods and services every year - they should make a commitment to making sure a good portion of those goods and services come from MBEs that reside in the City of Philadelphia. The Mayor said he believes the power of the city comes from its diversity - so why not hold these major corporations and institutions accountable to make sure what they do reflects the City's diversity? There is no reason that Philly is in the top 10 largest cities - but the poorest! It's embarrassing... there should be more employment AND procurement opportunities offered to people of color. I'm happy to see so many of the existing strategies listed and the City recognizing where they have failed. But, in regards to the proposed strategies, I hope the team that has been put together will have enough power to hold the City accountable in seeing that those six strategies actually happen.

Katherine Barlow

On: 05-08-2019

I think this is a great opportunity to grow some of Philly's most amazing businesses.

Varsovia Fernandez

On: 05-07-2019

Philadelphia has a great need for minority business enterprise participation enhancements. This is a great way to enforce efforts and accelerate economic growth across Philadelphia's neighborhoods.

Robert Scancella

On: 05-07-2019

A thorough thought-out plan for addressing a critical need in Philadelphia

Corey

On: 05-07-2019

Properly scale the first image (the center city skyline from the el's pov is compressed; it looks amateur).

Rebekah Ray

On: 05-07-2019

In the "proposed strategies" (second to the last page) I would like to see more specifics about how technology can be used to identify, collate, curate and evaluate the opportunities, the application process and the awarding of contracts. It would strengthen the pitch to offer one or more specific growth industry(ies) as pilot (s) where there is a strong presence of MBEs and there needs to be more supported access. Based on data results, create a process to capture and

Nick Frontino

On: 05-07-2019

Important work and a well thought-out plan for addressing a critical need in Philadelphia!

Confidential

On: 05-07-2019

I work for a Certified WBE firm. We have been working as a sub on Philly contracts since 1989. Our payment time for monthly invoices varies from 45 to 90 days. As a small business, waiting longer than 45 days for payment is difficult. In the proposal, I see a lot of what you want to do, but not so much on how to get it done. Adding some small business owners to focus groups for various tasks might be helpful.

Meg Shope Koppel

On: 05-07-2019

This strategy builds on an existing foundation but identifies short-term tactics to accelerate minority and women-owned businesses success with city procurements.

Anonymous

On: 05-07-2019

The Pitch looks great. Now let's make sure that we do all that we say we will do to support MBEs in the City.

Megan McFadden

On: 05-07-2019

Increasing opportunities for MBEs in Philadelphia is critical for the vitality of our city today and in the future. Thanks to the City for this proposal and I hope we have the opportunity to bring the accelerator to Philadelphia.

Confidential

On: 05-07-2019

Our company is a Certified WBE. We have worked on many City projects both as a prime and a sub so we have substantial experience with the current M/W/DSBE program(s) We have also worked on many projects nationally, both as a prime and sub. Based on this substantial experience I comment as follows: #1 Your data stating that only 30% of local entities are on the certified list is validation of a major flaw in Philadelphia's certification program because many cities limit city work and especially M/W/DSBE participation to certified entities who are local residents, local tax payers, with a local office, local licenses, local employees and with local qualifications and experience. Baltimore and Cleveland being just 2 of many. These limitations if set forth here in Philadelphia would substantially increase work for local entities and citizens. Literally the goal should be 100% of certified entities being Philadelphia based. #2 Before being eligible for a City contract, either as a prime or a sub, there should be validation of qualifications and cash flow to undertake the work. This suggests a mentoring program and adding to the certification process a peer review of qualifications. #3 We have experienced under capitalized M/W/DSBE failures on projects even with the pay the M/W/DSBEs first and the current "audit" process. Based on this experience, I suggest that the City require the primes to in turn provide their M/W/DSBEs with the working capital needed to undertake the work, perhaps even providing advance payment of the projected last 2 - 3 months invoice amounts so that the City's 60-90 day actual payment terms of work in progress and then the paid when paid agreements between Primes and M/W/DSBEs would be mitigated by this retainer concept. The City could fund this retainer protocol so as not to place all of the risk on the Primes. #4 There should be a preference for M/W/DSBEs who have succeeded on a City project in the past, and a "black mark" on those who have failed in the past.

richard Horstmann

On: 05-07-2019

Fantastic

Sarah Bowen

On: 05-07-2019

I fully support Philadelphia's proposal. This plan lays out a way to achieve better diversity in contrating. The economic benefit of Philadelphia contracts should benefit all Philadelphians.

Brian

On: 05-07-2019

Proud of the City for developing a solid plan for increasing opportunities for minority-owned businesses.

Rob Platten

On: 05-07-2019

With the highest rate of poverty among large cities we need to do many many things to disrupt the cycle of poverty, and can learn from others how they have made progress and what programs really work versus those where money and effort are thrown away. Poverty, hopelessness, drugs, and crime are all part of pattern that we need to work our way out of.

Julie R Stapleton Carroll

On: 05-07-2019

Go Philly!!

Jamie SBDC

On: 05-07-2019

Philadelphia understands how important it is to provide immigrants and minorities with opportunities for economic self sufficiency through entrepreneurship! Immigrant businesses give our city its real flavor and make it a place worth living in and visiting.

Mariya

On: 05-07-2019

Great plan and truly needed service for our city!

Stephanie

On: 05-07-2019

Solid plan. Lot of existing resources to draw upon to reach the city's potential.

Kaci

On: 05-07-2019

The storymap is clear and gives great information about the state of inequities in Philadelphia, and City of Philadelphia efforts to increase opportunities for minority-owned businesses.

Giana Lawrence-Primus

On: 05-07-2019

This will be great opportunity for our city to demonstrate its commitment toward inclusive growth! Go Philly!

Anonymous

On: 05-07-2019

Yes. go for it

Paula M

On: 05-07-2019

Hopefully minorities and low-income communities will benefit from this initiative. This is what our city needs more diversity in planning and spending.

Anonymous

On: 05-07-2019

As the City continues to promote inclusiveness and minority owned business this is vital to the City of Philadelphia.

Kevin E

On: 05-07-2019

The work on this story map submission is fantastic, props to the City of Philadelphia for presenting their submission so clearly!

Anne Fadullon

On: 05-07-2019

This Accelerator adds to Philadelphia’s storied history as a leader in innovative and revolutionary thinking. Proves history continues to be made every day!

Jennifer Rodriguez

On: 05-07-2019

Supporting minority business growth is imperative for building wealth in Philadelphia. Research suggests that modest growth of 1-2 employees in small businesses could eliminate unemployment in the inner city. Entrepreneurship is the most efficient path out of poverty.

Herman Nyamunga

On: 05-07-2019

Philly is ranks second as a major city with the highest level of poverty, lowest tech jobs for minority 2.5% so winning this contest will be a positive thing for the city

Lisa Summers

On: 05-06-2019

Great plan! Philadelphia is ready to make big strides in equitable economic growth by leveraging procurement opportunities!

Kathleen

On: 05-06-2019

Sounds great!! Perfect fit for Philly!!

Maari Porter

On: 05-06-2019

The City Accelerator will be an important initiative in helping Mayor Kenney meet his vision for Philadelphia as diverse, dynamic and inclusive economy that benefits all residents.

Christina Dougherty

On: 05-06-2019

Wonderful effort and very much deserved to Philadelphia!

Craig Heim

On: 05-06-2019

Great plan for a great city on the move!

Lauren Swartz

On: 05-06-2019

Yes! We absolutely need this and can execute a plan like this. Go Philly!

Mitch

On: 05-06-2019

Impressive

Mitch

On: 05-06-2019

Mitch Little

Anonymous

On: 05-06-2019

Philly is constantly improving

Beth Jurman

On: 05-06-2019

It is a fabulous opportunity and approach for the City to work together and show what we can do.

Anjali Chainani

On: 05-06-2019

Given Philadelphia's vision for inclusive growth and racial equity, this city is an ideal candidate for the City Accelerator!!!

Libby Peters

On: 05-06-2019

Love it. Go Philly!

Ellen Hwang

On: 05-06-2019

This is a challenge that the City of Philadelphia and the broader community are ready to tackle together. Philly is positioned incredibly well to pioneer and lead in this effort.

Marisa Waxman

On: 05-06-2019

So important and a great approach!

Patricia Fitzgerald Hoffman

On: 05-06-2019

Wow! Great proposal and exciting opportunity!

Hans Kellner

On: 05-06-2019

A great plan that Philly needs!

Anonymous

On: 05-06-2019

Excellent plan! Looking forward to the process and results.

Iola Harper

On: 05-06-2019

Outstanding theory and seems workable in the 18 months!

Amber Hikes

On: 05-06-2019

Brilliant visuals and an even more brilliant growth plan. Awesome work, Philly!

Anna Breece

On: 05-06-2019

Wonderful pitch. Philadelphia’s excellence indeed stems from its diversity, and MBEs.

Sylvie Gallier Howard

On: 05-06-2019

Go Philly!

Adrian Adams

On: 05-06-2019

Visuals are great and the impact is even greater!!!

Aviva

On: 05-06-2019

Philadelphia is poised to make big strides in equitable economic growth by leveraging procurement opportunities!