Philly assists black small-business owners with networking

Jack Drummond in full screen, Mayor Kenney, off to the right

Jack Drummond, head of the Black Male Engagement Office of Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The city of Philadelphia is lending a hand to help a group of men start networking. Many of them are not used to interacting on a business level.

Jack Drummond, who leads Philadelphia’s Office of Black Male Engagement, said the office is trying to bring together small-business owners so they can share their experiences.

“What we would like to do is strengthen the education, strengthen the networking, around people who own businesses in the city, primarily black men in the city,” Drummond said.

Kamal Rhodes, founder of the group Artists to Culture, said collaboration is key to expanding small businesses and supporting the communities that support the business.

“Putting it to good use within the community and things of that nature,” he said. “We’re just trying to inspire people to give back and work with one another.”

Drummond said working together will improve small businesses.

“One of the major downfalls of the folks who own businesses is that they are only able to employ themselves and aren’t employing other people who look like them,” he said. “That’s one of the things we are looking to promote.”

Through networking, small-business owners can draw upon each other’s strengths, expand their education in the business field, break through the silo situation and support each other, Drummond said.

The groups work with current and aspiring business owners.

The Office of Black Male Engagement was established by Mayor Jim Kenney to focus on closing the opportunity divide for men and boys of color.

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