Entrepreneur Works is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that offers access to affordable loans, business training, and one-on-one guidance to hundreds of entrepreneurs each year, empowering small business owners from all walks of life to prosper and build sustainable communities. Through their various programs and services, they help small business owners develop stronger financial habits and increase their economic mobility.
Comcast is proud to support Entrepreneur Works’ Small Business Digital Accelerator Program through a $75,000 grant from the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. The grant allows Entrepreneur Works to lead a three-year program with 30 participants, assisting 10 entrepreneurs per cycle.
Current recipients have been thrilled with the program. Erika Hovland Bahij received an email in 2022 that opened doors for her and the firm she founded, Bryn Mawr, Pa.-based school leadership program, Rose and Redwood. “I was preparing to launch a new program for my company, and I received an email about an opportunity with Entrepreneur Works about social media presence, growing the brand and connecting with your audience,” Erika said.
Over eight one-on-one consulting sessions, participants learn about digital marketing strategies, tools, and common practices. The goal of the program is for participants to develop a marketing plan with goals, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
“This funding is crucial,” said Leslie Benoliel, President and CEO of Entrepreneur Works. “The Comcast grant allows us to experiment and innovate in an area where we see a need with our small businesses and magnifies the need for entrepreneurs,” she said. “The timing is very fortunate for Entrepreneur Works.”
Another participant in the Accelerator Program is Wanda Banks-Green, founder of the marketing firm Zag Branding Solutions, based in Lansdowne. She has worked with Entrepreneur Works since 2013 to utilize other programs focused on providing access to capital and flexible microloans.
Wanda’s involvement in the Small Business Digital Accelerator Program in 2022 elevated her business and her digital marketing understanding. “I learned what you should and should not do through the program. Understanding that, doing the entire process and learning allowed me to hire someone to do these things for me,” she said.
Earl Boyd, Entrepreneur Works Director of Entrepreneur Services, is thankful for the support of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation.
“Comcast had an objective as it related to being able to provide certain services to small businesses, and we wanted to support that for our community,” said Earl. “This program aligns directly with the missions of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and Entrepreneur Works, allowing local entrepreneurs to achieve their goals,” he added.
“By equipping entrepreneurs and small business owners with the skills, digital resources, and opportunities they need to thrive, we can empower them to create their own success and achieve long-term growth,” said Bill Bronson, Director of Community Impact for Comcast’s Freedom Region.
Erika and Wanda continue to develop and strengthen their digital marketing strategies as they learn new tools and skills.
“I saw an 800% increase in social media followers,” Ericka said, “And, I think about a 400% increase in engagement on my social channels since the end of the program. The one-on-one consulting and hands-on experience allowed me to really learn digital marketing and introduce it into Rose and Redwood.”
This partnership shows how corporations in the private sector can support small businesses in our local economy. Through this program, Comcast will continue experimenting with other innovative programs where support in the entrepreneurial community is needed.
The Small Business Digital Marketing Accelerator Program finished its inaugural year a few months ago. Its first round of participants continues to strengthen their digital marketing strategy.