After going all-virtual last year due to COVID-19, Philadelphia’s annual Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week is back (partly) in the flesh next week, starting on the morning of Oct. 4 with an in-person opening celebration.
The event, now in its 37th year, is designed to highlight minority businesses, and help connect them with resources that can help them grow — a mission that organizers said is especially relevant right now.
“COVID had a really devastating impact on all small businesses, and for businesses that are minority-owned, who are already having basic issues in terms of access to capital and access to opportunities, COVID hit them even harder,” said Iola Harper, who leads the Office of Economic Opportunity, which is organizing the event. “So we really want to try to preserve the businesses that are left, and we want to try to lift them up and make sure that they have revenue so that they can continue to operate and that they can scale and grow.”
In keeping with that mission, the theme for this year’s MED Week is “Unmute Your Opportunities” — a reference, Harper said, to the perpetual problem of people talking while muted on Zoom meetings.
“‘Unmute Yourself’ kind of turned into a media opportunity because we really do want to make opportunities open, transparent, and available for businesses,” she said.