The Network is comprised of large-business CEOs who are paired with minority CEOs to share advice and counsel, as well as, networking and business development opportunities
The Purpose of CEO Access Network of Greater Philadelphia (Network) is to create an informal network of relationships between large business CEO’s and minority entrepreneurs in order to drive business and create economic opportunity for urban businesses and residents. The Network is comprised of large-business CEOs who are paired with minority CEOs to share advice and counsel, as well as, networking and business development opportunities. In its third year, the Network consists of 44 alumni members and 13 current pairings.
Minority CEOs should have an existing business with at least three-year sales history with approximate annual sales in the most recent year of at least $500,000 and have demonstrated an increase in annual revenue in the prior year. The Network is only open to for-profit businesses that provide goods, services, technology, capital or resources to create jobs, wealth and a predictable rate of return to investors and owners.
The Network meets four times per year for a breakfast meeting. The meetings last no more than 90 minutes and adjourn no later than 9:00 a.m. The meetings serve as a networking and business development breakfast. Each meeting features brief presentations by large business/minority CEOs on their activities, business opportunities, etc. There may also be a guest speaker presenting on a topic of interest to the group and its goals. Each year there will also be at least one “alumni” gathering at which current Network partners can interact with partners from the previous Network “classes.”
A minority CEO will be partnered with a large-business CEO to share advice and counsel, as well as, provide networking and business development opportunities. In addition, the large-business CEO may want to introduce their Network partner to new social networks. The expectation is that the CEO partners will have interaction outside of the Network meetings themselves. The pairings should be done in such a way as to create opportunities for the minority business. It is expected that these pairings will last approximately one year for the purposes of the Network program, with the hope of establishing an enduring relationship for the partners moving forward.
A recent study by the Urban League of Philadelphia on the State of Black Philadelphia reported on urban challenges such as low median household income, unemployment, high poverty rate, and lack of small business growth. These challenges reflect the urgent need to improve economic conditions in our city and throughout our region. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce believes that job and business creation through entrepreneurship are critical in helping to address these issues. By creating a vehicle for local urban minority entrepreneurs to build relationships with established CEO’s through the CEO Access Network, the business community can help move Greater Philadelphia forward in its quest to become a world class region.