PHILADELPHIA — Local government and business leaders will kick off the 36th Annual Philadelphia Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week on Monday, October 5, at 9 a.m. Every year, MED Week highlights minority businesses and connects them to resources that can help their firms grow. Throughout the week, organizations from across the region will host virtual workshops, events, and webinars around this year’s theme, “Preparing For The Next Normal,” which reflects the challenges businesses have faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

MED Week 2020, which runs Monday, October 5 through Friday, October 9, features more than 40 events, including educational workshops and webinars, interactive panel discussions, one-on-one coaching, and more. The annual celebration of minority businesses is co-chaired by the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce, The African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ & DE, The Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency Business Center (MBDA) Business Center, Women’s Business Enterprise Center, and the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC).

“MED Week is a critical vehicle to encourage economic equity in Philadelphia by having government and partner organizations come together to share and provide resources, best practices, training, and connections to local minority businesses,” said Iola Harper, Deputy Commerce Director for Entrepreneurship and Economic Opportunity. “In the difficult economic times ahead, it is especially critical that we do everything we can to ensure local diverse firms are equipped with the information and resources needed to succeed.”

Some of this year’s 40+ MED Week events include:

  • MED Week Virtual Kick-Off Event (October 5). The kick-off awards ceremony will honor Councilman Derek Green and MED Week Founder Bilal Qayyum for their advocacy in supporting the development of Philadelphia’s minority businesses. This year’s keynote address will be from Uva Coles, President of Inclusiva, who has over 25 years of experience in the field of diversity and inclusion. Following the ceremony, the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) and its partners will preview the more than 40 virtual workshops offered throughout the week, focusing on sustainability and how minority and disadvantaged businesses can successfully pivot during these fragile economic times.
  • Preparing for the New Normal: Transitioning for Success (October 5). This virtual webinar, hosted by Pierce College, will feature professional entrepreneurs who will share strategies and personal experiences for transitioning their small businesses during the current global pandemic. Attendees will be able to ask questions, win “virtual door” prizes, and learn tips to become COVID-ready as they prepare to reopen or retool their business.
  • Be Your Own Boss: How to Start a Business in Philadelphia (October 7).  This webinar, presented by the City’s Office of Business Services, provides entrepreneurs with relevant information about how to start a business, including how to determine the appropriate legal structure, register with the IRS, use bookkeeping best practices, and operate in the city.
  • Contracting with the Streets Department (October 7). This virtual event presented by the City’s Streets Department will provide local and regional minority businesses the opportunity to meet with project managers, primes, and subcontractors to discuss the department’s contracting requirements, processes, and ongoing and future projects.
  • The City of Philadelphia’s Diverse, Local Business Contracting Initiatives (October 9). This virtual event highlights new initiatives launched by the City to encourage local and diverse businesses to win contracts. The new Local Business Purchasing Initiative is reducing the hassles in applying for some contracting opportunities. Attendees will also learn about the City’s new Contracts Hub website, where users can easily search an aggregated list of opportunities to do business with the City.
  • Is Your Business Rebuild Ready? (October 9). A virtual event for small, diverse design and construction businesses interested in working on the City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild program, to improve neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries.

For additional information, including the full list of workshops and events, as well as event times and links to register, visit