The B Smart small business training program is an entrepreneurship program offered by Drexel University and Vested In. The 10-week program consists of a weekly workshop that supports local business owners building their existing capacity and budding entrepreneurs planning their business ideas. Each workshop is held on a Saturday morning on Drexel's campus with curated subject matter experts throughout Philadelphia covering topics such as:
- Legal Incorporation for Small Business
- 9 Essential Steps for Business Planning
- Technology Toolbox for Business
- Financing + Capital for Business
- Small Business Pricing Strategy
Up to three working sessions are held in the computer labs at the Beachell Family Learning Center KEYSPOT at the Dornsife Center to allow program participants a hands-on opportunity to complete their business plans. It is at these working sessions that graduate students from Drexel’s Lebow College of Business provide volunteer business coaching services to help B Smart participants prepare for the Pitch Competition at the conclusion of the program. Businesses and entrepreneurs present their business concepts to invite investment from WPFSI and a panel of judges, which includes Drexel Procurement, PIDC, and other program partners. Upon securing an investment from VestedIn, Drexel’s faculty and staff from the Close School of Entrepreneurship offer business coaching to optimize this business loan to improve enterprise capacity. To learn more about the B Smart program or virtual business coaching, email Kevin Williams at BFLCDornsifeCenter@drexel.edu.
B Smart Program Partners
Bryn Mawr Trust has been providing funding and financial services to small businesses in the Philadelphia region for over 130 years. BMT supports local entrepreneurs with a variety of loans and lines of credit to help grow and develop their businesses, as well as customized risk management programs, business insurance and other financial services.
Drexel University is a comprehensive global research university and one of America’s 15 largest private universities. The Bennett S. LeBow College of Business is among the elite 20 percent of business schools to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and educates 2,800 undergraduate students, and 1,020 graduate students. The Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship is the first entrepreneurship school in the nation to reside outside of a business school. Offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees, the Close school is on the cutting edge of entrepreneurship education. The Drexel Dragons Volunteer program from the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement advances Drexel's commitment to civic engagement by promoting volunteer work among staff members. Many of the coaches for the B Smart program come to us through the Dragon Volunteers program.
Vested In, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, was founded to provide economic development leadership and resources to the West Philadelphia Empowerment Zone (EZ). Often referred to as the “Economic Engine” for the community, VestedIn has had a significant impact on the development of the neighborhoods comprising the EZ. VestedIn’s robust financial services provide capital to the business community to enhance business attraction, retention, and expansion while facilitating residents’ ability to maintain their properties.
The West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative is a network of business stakeholders that together form a single entrepreneurship engine that accelerates growth for local small businesses. The Collaborative believes that the best way to strengthen a community is by helping residents achieve self-sufficiency by starting new businesses and supporting existing businesses with the access to opportunity, resources, and connections they need to grow and hire.
Entrepreneur Works is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening local economies by helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. They offer access to services such as microloans, business training, and one on one guidance to hundreds of entrepreneurs throughout Philadelphia each year.