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LCG CEO welcomed into CEO Access Network
On behalf of Board Chairman David L. Cohen and President & CEO Mark Schweiker, Paul Lima was welcomed to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s CEO Access Network program. He is one of eleven impressive minority entrepreneurs participating in this year’s program. Mr. Lima remarked that he, “…[was] honored and hope[s] to be able to give back to the community and support future generations of minority entrepreneurs.” This year’s new group of CEO’s marks the continuing growth of entrepreneurial minority businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area. For more information, please see below.
The CEO Access Network of Greater Philadelphia
The Purpose of CEO Access Network of Greater Philadelphia (Network) is to create an informal network of relationships between large business CEO’s and minority entrepreneurs in order to drive business and create economic opportunity for urban businesses and residents. The Network will be comprised of large-business CEOs who will be paired with minority CEOs to share advice and counsel, as well as, networking and business development opportunities.
Minority CEOs will have an existing business with at least $2 million in annual sales and have
been in business for at least three years. The Network will initially be formed with 20 members (consisting of 10 pairings). The Network will only be open to for-profit businesses that provide goods, services, technology, capital or resources to create jobs, wealth and a predictable rate of return to investors and owners.
The Network will meet three to four times per year for a breakfast meeting. The meeting will last no more than 90 minutes and should adjourn no later than 9:00 a.m. The meetings will serve as a networking and business development breakfast. Each meeting will feature a guest speaker presenting on a topic of interest to the group and its goals. There may also be brief presentations by large-business/minority CEOs on business opportunities, etc.
A minority CEO will be partnered with a large-business CEO to share advice and counsel, as well as, provide networking and business development opportunities. In addition, the large-business CEO may want to introduce their Network partner to new social networks. The expectation is that the CEO partners will have interaction outside of the Network meetings themselves. The pairings should be done in such a way as to create opportunities for the minority business. It is expected that these pairings will last approximately one year for the purposes of the Network program, with the hope of establishing an enduring relationship for each Network partner moving forward.
A recent study by the Urban League of Philadelphia on the State of Black Philadelphia reported on urban challenges such as low median household income, unemployment, high poverty rate, and lack of small business growth. These challenges reflect the urgent need to improve economic conditions in our city and throughout our region. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce believes that job and business creation through entrepreneurship are critical in helping to address these issues. By creating a vehicle for local urban minority entrepreneurs to build relationships with established CEO’s through the CEO Access Network, the business community can help move Greater Philadelphia forward in its quest to become a world class region.