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The Small Business Series


The Small Business Series (SBS) will showcase outstanding, Black-owned organizations across Philadelphia that align with the Whitney M. Young pillars of equality and economic empowerment. The series will uplift and support Philadelphia's Black businesses by awarding capital and providing increased exposure and visibility in the greater Wharton ecosystem.

The Small Business Series' inaugural year will set a precedent. It will become a staple for Philadelphia’s small business community and forge the connection to Whitney M. Young’s legacy and future impact in the business world.

For any questions or concerns, please contact the SBS team at sbs@wmyconference.com.



Congratulations to our winners!

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is a comic book store and coffee shop hybrid located in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. The idea for Amalgam was born in 2003 when the owner, Ariell Johnson, was still an accounting student at Temple University. 13 years in the making, Amalgam opened its doors on December 14, 2015. Since its opening Amalgam has garnered national media attention because of its commitment to representation and inclusion. Amalgam is the only black-woman owned shop of its kind, and the first black-woman owned comic book store on the East Coast.

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is a celebration of geek culture. A place for comic book fans, hardcore gamers, movie addicts, television connoisseurs, and zombie apocalypse survivalists to meet, and with their powers combined, change the world a little bit. We specialize in comics, toys & figurines, games, comic related magazines, apparel, coffee & espresso related beverages, and baked goods. A safe haven for all of geekdom! Pick your poison...and enjoy! Proudly serving Philly Fair Trade coffee!

Daddy University

Daddy University Inc. is the longest-running male parenting company in the United States. We educate fathers by providing information, services, advocacy, products, training and development. Daddy University was legally established in 2004 by Founder Joel Austin and Co-Founder Edward McGee.

We provide educational tools in ages and stages, a group setting for all fathers to join and share information and experiences. We offer emotional support, quality time suggestions, help with legal issues, and so much more. We also offer administrative and academic workshops to social services agencies on male engagement and involvement. We are clear in our mission that if we are able to educate fathers about the importance of their role and responsibility, then we will be able to cure many of the world’s problems. We have built this website as an inclusive foundation for fatherhood. We gather and provide information for fathers to cope with and understand almost any parenting situation. Daddy University, Inc. provides legal resources, training, parent groups, and statistics on the importance of father involvement in a child’s life.

Neighborhood Progress Fund

Neighborhood Progress Fund believes access to capital is the key to empowering entrepreneurs to play a leading role in the revitalization of their communities, regardless of their economic background. For twenty years, we’ve helped people in forgotten communities start and grow their businesses by providing loans and business development mentoring. Our approach makes all the difference — We lend a helping hand, too. Often our customers have been turned down by traditional lenders because they are not considered creditworthy. As a nonprofit lender, we believe determination and community impact are the best indicators of eligibility. The loans we make are commitments to the community, improving the local economy and creating jobs for residents. We give the opportunity many entrepreneurs need to prove their creditworthiness and achieve financial independence, all while taking part in the revival of the places they live and love.




Open Application Period

Oct. 4 - Oct. 31, 2021

Application Screening Process

Oct. - Nov. 2020

Top 20 Semi-finalists Announced

Late Nov. 2020

Workshop Modules for Top 20 Semi-finalists

Late Nov. - Dec. 2020

Delivery of Short Pitches by Top 20 Semi-finalists

Early January 2021

Top 10 Finalists Announced & One-on-one Office Hours with NVC Mentors

Mid Jan. - Mid Feb. 2021

Who is eligible for the Small Business Series?

To be eligible to participate in the SBS, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Small business (annual revenue of less than $1 million)
  • Black-owned
  • Philadelphia-based
  • 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees

Judging Criteria

Business Model

How sustainable is the business model? Is it unique and can its advantages be defended?


How large and loyal is the customer base? Has revenue grown over time?

Demonstrated Traction

Demonstrated Community Impact

How has the business engaged with and improved the Philadelphia community?


Does the team have the skills, strategy, and willingness to continue to expand the business? What are the business' future plans?

Growth Potential

The strength of an application submission will be assessed against the following four category areas:

Apply Now!

Selected NVC finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their new venture in front of a panel of esteemed judges and compete for a chance to win up to $175,000 in non-equity financing and other in-kind prizes to springboard their businesses

Industry Practitioners

Our Judges

Mercedes BentPartner, Lightspeed Venture Partners
Brittany DavisGeneral Partner, Backstage Capital
Erik Moore WG '96Founder & Managing Director, Base Ventures
Elliott RobinsonPartner, Bessemer Venture Partners
Jason ScottHead of US Startup Developer Ecosystem, Google
Alice VilmaManaging Director, Multicultural Client Strategy, Morgan Stanley

Selected NVC finalists will have the opportunity to connect for two one-on-one sessions with our NVC mentors to further refine their pitch and seek additional business guidance on their ventures

Industry Practitioners

Our Mentors

Kofoworola AgbajeInvestor, Quona Capital
Frederik GrocePrincipal, Storm Ventures | Co-Founder BLCK VC
B.A. SillahManaging Partner, Kola Global Advisors
Jarrid TingleManaging Partner, Harlem Capital
Brittany HenryInvestment Associate, Impact America Fund
Alpha to Omega Termite and Pest Control

5821 Haverford Ave        Philadelphia, PA 19131 www.aqpest.com


Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

2578 Frankford Ave, 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA 19125 www.amalgamphilly.com


ARTrageous Brush & Flow

6345 Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144 www.artrageousbrushandflow.com


Balancing Life & Kids, Inc.

818 Alexander Ave                    Drexel Hill, PA 19026 www.balancinglifeandkids.com


Boateng Psychotherapy & Consultation

1226 S. Broad St              Philadelphia, PA 19146 www.akuakboateng.com


Bodyrock Bootcamp

3858 Lancaster Ave         Philadelphia, PA 19104 www.bodyrockbootcamp.net


Buddha Babe Co

7101 Emlen St                 Philadelphia, PA 19119 www.buddhababe.us


Career Services by Elle, LLC

5444 Arlington St           Philadelphia, PA 19131 www.ellecareerservices.net


Chestnut Hill Cleaning Company

7701 Crefeld St               Philadelphia, PA 19118 www.chestnuthillcleaning.com


Civic Capital Consulting

7300 City Ave, Suite 360 Philadelphia, PA 19151 www.civiccapitalconsulting.com


Custom Arts Studio, LLC

438 East Hortter St, Side Door Philadelphia, PA 19119 www.customartsstudio.com


D&P Financial Services

6941 Limekiln Pike          Philadelphia, PA 19138 www.dnpfinancial.com


Daddy University Inc.

1500 JFK Blvd, Suite 1410       Philadelphia, PA 19102 www.daddyuniv.com


Dear Laney

1241 Carpenter St           Philadelphia, PA 19146 www.xodearlaney.com


Diaspora Educational Services, LLC

150 W. Abbottsford Ave   Philadelphia, PA 19144 www.diasporaeducationalservices.org


Dreams Ice Cream Factory At Glenside

33 E. Glenside Ave               Glenside, PA 19038 www.dreamsicecream.com


Dreams Lash Bar

4161 Ridge Ave               Philadelphia, PA 19129 www.dreamslashbar.com


Duafe Holistic Hair Care Inc.

3129 N 22nd St               Philadelphia, PA 19132 www.duafehairsalon.com


Joshua’s Catering

804 Oak Lane,                 Philadelphia, PA 19126 www.joshuasevents.com






Grandmas Hands, LLC

4627 Baltimore Ave       Philadelphia, PA 19143


Grant Blvd

3605 Lancaster Ave             Philadelphia, PA 19104www.grantblvd.com


Greener Little Seeds, LLC

2534 Amber St                 Philadelphia, PA 19125  www.greenerlittleseeds.com


Hair Vyce Studio

4828 Baltimore Ave        Philadelphia, PA 19143 www.hairvyce.com


Hairs 2 U Wig Bank

760 S. 4th St                   Philadelphia, PA 19147 www.hairs2u.org


Haitian House

1415 McKinley St               Philadelphia, PA 19149


Hakim's Bookstore & Gift Shop

210 S. 52nd St                 Philadelphia, PA 19139 www.hakimsbookstore.com


John Graves Productions

1214 South St                Philadelphia, PA 19149 www.johngravesproductions.org


Just It's Electric, LLC

3900 Ford Road, Suite 5 Philadelphia, PA 19131   www.justitselectric.com


Kingdom Social Media

7551 Malvern Ave           Philadelphia, PA 19151   www.kingdomsocialmedia.com


Lash Bash

1716 Sansom Street, 2nd Floor Philadelphia PA 19103 www.lashbashsalon.com


Le Mandingue African Restaurant

6620 Woodland Ave           Philadelphia, PA 19142   www.lemandinguephilly.com


Learning Garden Philly

734 South St                  Philadelphia, PA 19147www.earlyliteracyacademy.com


Loving Heart Behavior & Rehabilitation Services Inc.

543 Bloomfield Ave                   Drexel Hill, PA 19026 www.lovingheartbehavior.net


Lucky Thirteen Candle Company



Marsh + Mane

529 S. 4th St                             Philadelphia, PA 19147   www.marshandmane.com


Mel's Butter Blends

3675 Market St, Suite 200 Philadelphia, PA 19104 www.melsbutterblends.com


Mister Relaxation Spa & Lounge

6325 Germantown Ave   Philadelphia, PA 19144 www.misterrelaxationspa.com


National Marian Anderson Museum & Historical Society

762 S. Martin St             Philadelphia, PA 19146 www.marianandersonhistoricalsociety.weebly.com

2022 Applicants

Nicole Enterprizes Fitness & Apparels, LLC

290 Westbrook Drive     Swedesboro, NJ 08085


Neighborhood Progress Fund

1300 W. Lehigh Ave, Suite 100       Philadelphia, PA 19132  www.npfp.org


One Art Community Center

1431-39 N. 52nd St          Philadelphia, PA 19131   www.oneartcommunitycenter.com


Paradise Gallery, LLC

41 S. 52 St                                 Philadelphia, PA 19139


Pet Parent Allies

672 W. Johnson St           Philadelphia, PA 19144 www.petparentallies.com


Pure OrganiKs



Rage Philly, LLC

1101 Ivy Hill Rd, Unit 2   Philadelphia, PA 19150   www.rageroomphiladelphia.com


Reaching Nirvana, LLC

Sarah Car Care Inc.

7147 Lynford St               Philadelphia, PA 19149   www.sarahcarcare.com


Senoj Clothing

1609 South St                     Philadelphia, PA 19146   www.shopsenoj.com


SMART Fitness Personal Training & Exercise Studio

2499 N. 50th St, Ground Floor Philadelphia, PA 19131   www.smartfitnessstudio.com

Solara Natural Hair Designs

7359 Ogontz Ave             Philadelphia, PA 19138   www.solaranaturalhairdesigns.com


The Dress Matters

1024 N. Providence Road         Media, PA 19063 www.thedressmatters.com


The Haus of Soul

1516 N. 5th St                  Philadelphia, PA 19122www.petrasherbinfox.com/haus-of-soul-studio


The Pink Lady Hair Studio

6009 Chestnut St             Philadelphia, PA 19139 www.square.site/book/K6R742XS5W6C8/the-pink-lady-hair-studio-phila-pa


The Sable Collective

1400 N. American St                 Philadelphia, PA 19122  www.thesablecollective.com



3675 Market St.                Philadelphia, PA 19104     www.tribaja.co


Workaholix Media Consulting

3675 Market St. Suite 200 Philadelphia, PA 19104 www.workaholixconsulting.com


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