Delaware County Hosts 3rd Annual Forum Empowering Minority Entrepreneurs

Senator Tim Kearney and state Representative Gina H. CurryImage via Pennsylvania Senate Democrats

DELAWARE COUNTY, PA — A resource fair at Delaware County Community College (DCCC) on Saturday, February 24, 2024, aimed to promote economic empowerment and diversity in local communities. The 3rd Annual Black & Diverse Business Forum, hosted by Senator Tim Kearney and state Representative Gina H. Curry, catered to minority entrepreneurs and business owners.

The forum has been a recurring event for three years, providing a platform for local businesses to gain insights from industry experts. This year, the forum featured over a dozen panelists who discussed various aspects of entrepreneurship, including business basics, certifications, and strategies for accessing capital. The importance of robust marketing and social media strategies was also highlighted.

In addition to the expert panel discussions, the forum hosted a business round-robin panel. Representatives from 14 local businesses and organizations gave attendees a glimpse into specific opportunities available to Black and diverse businesses in their companies.

Senator Kearney expressed his pride in hosting the forum for the third consecutive year, emphasizing the importance of supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners of color. “This forum is one pathway that helps them access free resources and opportunities to thrive, ensuring that their voices and contributions are valued and amplified,” said Kearney.

Echoing Kearney’s sentiments, Rep. Curry expressed her excitement at the turnout. “The great part about what Senator Kearney and I are doing is connecting different people from all over our district with free resources that can help them thrive in their businesses,” she said.

This year’s keynote speaker was Patricia Banks, CEO and Founder of Girls Auto Clinic and the Shecanic brand in Upper Darby. Banks, an engineer turned auto technician, shared her entrepreneurial journey and underscored the importance of leveraging local resources. Her auto repair shop, founded in 2017, caters to women and is staffed by women, a unique business model that has garnered national attention.

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Banks credited SCORE, a resource partner of the Small Business Administration, as instrumental in her business’s success. “Being someone that didn’t know anything shouldn’t make you afraid. It shouldn’t intimidate you that you don’t know money or business. There are absolutely resources and businesses that are out there and want you to succeed,” Banks told the attendees.

The event, sponsored by Wawa, was hailed as a success by Senator Kearney and Rep. Curry, who thanked everyone involved in its organization. The 3rd Annual Black & Diverse Business Forum exemplifies the ongoing efforts in Delaware County to provide minority entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed, fostering economic diversity and empowerment.

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