Wayne Junction’s new center for Innovation and Manufacturing boosts local enterprises like yours
The name “Wayne Junction” hearkens back to when the area was a railway hub connecting the neighborhoods of Logan, Nicetown and Germantown in North/Northwest Philly. This location was key during Industrialization, when trains ran through all day and night, bringing raw materials to the factories here, where they were turned into products to be shipped back out through the city, state, and beyond.
Wayne Junction’s story played out like so many other manufacturing areas, after the boom was over: closed workshops, white flight, divestment in the communities left behind, diminished safety and quality of life. Not so fast! In 2015, SEPTA completed a $31.5 million revitalization project that created a state-of-the-art regional rail station; three years later, the Philadelphia Historical Commission added Wayne Junction to the city’s prestigious Register of Historic Places.
Since then, the neighborhood has seen a burst of new art and development that’s fostered a real sense of community enterprise. This entrepreneurial spirit is manifesting new opportunities for women and people of color, with the area’s first Innovation and Manufacturing Center, spearheaded by The Business Center (TBC), a local non-profit serving Philly’s northwest section and beyond.
“Our goal is to make sure that underserved businesses have a seat at the economic table,” said Pamela Rich-Wheeler, TBC’s founder and executive director at the new Innovation & Manufacturing Center’s groundbreaking in Wayne Junction. The IaMC will provide on-site assistance and support for small business owners in various stages of development in a new facility coming together at 4537 Wayne Avenue, in a busy stretch of old and new commercial and residential development (not far from Attic Brewery).
The IaMC advances (and complements) TBC’s current curriculum, which offers business planning, coaching, networking, mentorships, and a variety of other in-person and virtual opportunities for adults, youth, and seniors. When the IaMC’s labs, classrooms, and offices open this Spring, they’ll welcome TBC’s first cohort, a Health and Beauty business accelerator.
APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN! Local Health and Beauty brands are encouraged to apply for specialized, professional enrichment to help with revenue strategies, packaging, and the ability to scale. Complete the brief form at thebizctr.com, deadline to register is February 27th, for more information see website for details. TCB’s Adult Small Business and Youth Entrepreneurship memberships are open, as well, with a robust schedule for 2024.
Questions? Please call 215-247-2473 (ext.3) for more information. Let TBC know what you need to start, sustain, and grow your minority business. You’ll be surprised at how much support is available, and what a difference it can make. Follow @TheBizCtr on Facebook for events and updates.
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TBC has been serving Northwest Philadelphia’s minority business owners since 1999, “building community one entrepreneur at time”. They have a dedicated team who work directly with clients to identify needs, formulate plans, overcome obstacles, and gather the support needed to succeed. Lots more details and context in their latest Impact Report which highlights real member stories (and counts a litany of accomplishments). 🌟🏆🥇
The new IaMC will soon bring next-gen business and manufacturing to the old bones of the city’s industrial revolution. Keep your eyes peeled for the ribbon cutting this spring, and meanwhile please click the links in this post for further reading.
TAKES A VILLAGE: The IaMC project is made possible thanks to key stakeholders and partners including Senator Art Haywood, State Rep Darisha Parker, Councilmember Cindy Bass, Mosaic Development Partners, Snowbot Philly, Phila Commerce Dept, Wazzalah Naturals, Phila Industrial Development Corporation, University City Science Center, The Department of Community and Economic Development, and a host of corporate sponsors too numerous to mention. 🙏🙏🙏 Congratulations to everyone for a worthwhile and impactful undertaking.
PICTURED (l – r): Pamela Rich-Wheeler, Executive Director, The Business Center for Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise (TBC); Tiara Durham, Director of New Ventures, University Science Center; Yvonne Boye, Deputy Commerce Director, Office of Neighborhood Economic Development, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia; Ron Williford, President, Philadelphia Financial Consultants, Board Chair, TBC; Camille Simpkins, Relationship Manager, Business Lending, PIDC; Leslie Smallwood Lewis, COO, Mosaic Development Partners, JV, LLC and Rich Olaya, Pricipal, OZ Collaborative.
Photos of TBC’s groundbreaking by @Captured.By.Ria