rom the former Philadelphia television studio that broadcast Dick Clark and American Bandstand in the mid-1950s, The Enterprise Center sends out its own message: It’s working to be a focal point for accelerating minority entrepreneurship in the world. The center does so by operating a number of business-development programs, business events and training courses annually.
Subaru of America Foundation funds The Enterprise Center’s award-winning youth entrepreneurship program. The program helps high-school students learn about business by starting their own. According to Lee Huang, Executive Vice President of The Enterprise Center, “The program allows the center to mentor promising talent, much as athletes from the inner city are systematically brought into professional sports.”
The entrepreneurship program has two phases. The first year, students go to the center to learn about business. They put together a business plan that they must present in a competition in order to return to the program a second year. Winners follow through with their plans, registering their businesses with the state, opening a business banking account and using the center’s facilities for their work.
One such entrepreneur is Michael Owen, a junior at University City High School in West Philadelphia. Michael now runs his own company, the Philadelphia Automobile Consulting Corporation. For a fee, he helps clients determine what kind of vehicle best suits their needs. People who need a vehicle but are too busy or not well-versed in the automotive industry can take advantage of the service. Clients fill out a questionnaire, which Michael uses to determine three vehicles for them to consider. He personally consults with his clients to explain the vehicles and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
The Enterprise Center was founded in 1989 by the Wharton Small Business Development Center. Read more about it at