NORTHWEST PHILADELPHIA >> Northwest Philadelphians clearly have the entrepreneurial bug. Whether it is becoming a merchant or self-employed professional or just a side hustle to supplement stagnating wages, many are looking for ways to increase their income.

This was never more evident than when registration went out for The Business Center’s members and stakeholders mixer, which was one of the first business events to kick off 2018, at Linda’s Vegetarian Village, 6381 Germantown Ave. in Mt. Airy.

The agenda was straightforward, according to organizer Pamela Rich-Wheeler, of Mt. Airy. The guest speakers were Donald Kelly, known as the “sales evangelist,” and legal expert Bernard Williams. Rich-Wheeler gave an overview of the recentaccomplishments that The Business Center has had in helping locals start or sustain their business enterprise.

“The members and stakeholders mixer was great,” Rich-Wheeler said. “The speakers gave critical insights of the importance of having legal representation and a business structure for your small business. They also explained the five biggest mistakes that businesses make in selling a product or service, respectively.

“This was the first event of the year for The Business Center. The event gave members, prospective members and stakeholders an opportunity to network while enjoying a healthy cuisine at Linda’s Vegetarian Village. They also learned about the upcoming grant deadlines and our upcoming business plan course that starts on Jan. 29,” she said.

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The next local business event will be when the nonprofit Mt. Airy USA partners with Power Up Your Business, Community College of Philadelphia’s Corporate Solution, and SCORE Philadelphia to present a series of business workshops.

The Get Your Business Online workshop will be held at the 7165 Germantown Ave. in Mt. Airy Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. Pre-registration was required, and as of press time, it seemed a full house had already registered.

If one was not able to attend The Business Center event or get a seat at the Mt. Airy USA workshop, there is no need to fret. There will be a slew of other business-oriented events in the area this month.

One can still register for the followup Building a Social Media Strategy session for small businesses being hosted by Community College of Philadelphia at the college’s Northwest Regional Center, 1300 W. Godfrey Ave. in East Oak Lane, Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“The Power Up Your Business program is a free neighborhood-based approach to support small business owners in Philadelphia,” said Selma Copper, administrative associate for the program. “This gives businesses the tools you need to grow your business and help your community thrive. We offer a series of workshops for small businesses to help run and manage their business effectively.”

For more information, call 215-496-6151 or visit

Then with the theme The Year of Empowerment: New Beginnings, the Northwest Economic Empowerment Business Summit is being planned. This event will take place at the Masjidullah Center for Human Excellence, 7433 Limekiln Pike in West Oak Lane, Saturday, Jan. 20, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It is being hosted by state Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald, of West Oak Lane, Stephen Kinsey, of Germantown, and Chris Rabb, of Mt. Airy.

“This is for current business owners or those looking to start a business,” Fitzgerald said. “If you are a previous business owner, now is the time to think about restarting and trying again.”

The day’s schedule includes workshops, a panel of business experts and door prizes. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served.

For more information, call 215-549-0220 or visit

Yet some Northwest Philadelphia residents are considering global opportunities. This is why the local chapter of the U.S.-Ghana Chamber of Commerce will be presenting a business forum on affordable housing investment opportunities in Ghana at the Imhotep Charter High School’s auditorium, 6201 N. 21st St. in West Oak Lane, Saturday, Jan. 27, at 2 p.m. The guest speaker will be Deputy Minister of Works and Housing the Hon. Freda Prempeh from Ghana.

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