The Enterprise Center, the West Philadelphia minority entrepreneurship organization, recently opened applications for ELevate, a one-year accelerator for growing businesses. It plans to host 20 entrepreneurs whose businesses have already made sales, with a goal of creating 20 jobs each year, said program director Ken Rosso.
ELevate will focus on the following industries: Beauty/Hair, Construction, Creative/Fashion, Food and Retail and will provide office space, mentorship and training.
The coworking space is in what used to be the Enterprise Center’s KEYSPOT computer lab, part of the public-private network of federally-funded public computer centers. The KEYSPOT funding ran out — and stopped supporting labs — at the end of the summer of 2013. The city was able to fund their own 24 KEYSPOT labs, as well as 10 privately managed labs, said KEYSPOT program manager Ashley Del Bianco. It’s not clear how many of the other 46 labs are still open.
As for the Enterprise Center, the organization decided to close their lab because they decided it wasn’t the best way to accomplish their stated goal: to serve entrepreneurs, said Lorna Peterson, who oversaw the KEYSPOT program at the Enterprise Center. It wasn’t a matter of funding, she said.-30-
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