Funding the Hustle

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Venture Cafe Philadelphia

3675 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Resolve Philadelphia, The Enterprise Center, University City Science Center, the Sustainable Business Network, and the West Philadelphia Promise Zone have come together to host a special edition of Venture Cafe Philadelphia. Funding the Hustle is an engaging and interactive event focused on accessing capital for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancing creatives.

While this event will pay particular attention to West Philadelphia hustles, we encourage participation from our larger Philadelphia community. Through a series of panels, lightning talks, one-on-one activation opportunities, and a design thinking workshop focused on the needs of West Philadelphia businesses and entrepreneurs, we’ll explore the basics of funding your hustle, from traditional lending products to alternative financing mechanisms like crowd-funding and impact investing, to how to balance your hustle with your day job when you’re just starting out.

This event is free to attend. Complimentary food and drinks will be served.


3:00 - Finance 101 (1 hr)

4:00 - Hacking Your Hustle (1 hr)

4:00 - Design Jam (2 hrs; concurrent to Hacking Your Hustle / Lightning Talks)

5:00 - Lightning Talks (1 hr)

6:00 - Micro Sessions (3x 20 min)

7:00 - Generosity Marketplace (1 hr)

Office Hours, Activations, and Info Tables

3:00 - Activations ( 4 hrs; headshots, LinkedIn headline-writing, Interactive surveys and focus groups)

3:00 - Pop-up Newsroom (5 hrs)

3:00 - Office Hours (2 hrs; marketing, QuickBooks, human resources)

5:00 - Partner Org Info Tables (2 hrs)

Program Details

Finance 101
This session on the basics will kick off the program. During this session, you will explore the vernacular used around capital/finance, the different financing models that are commonly used by small businesses and start-ups, and tips to understand your business’ financial situation.

Hacking Your Hustle
This session will feature tips and insights from experts who will address a range of topics including: balancing day job/school/family and your hustle, partnering for growth, when to write a business plan and how to get started, scaling services/production, pricing your professional services, accounting tools, and proving your services.

Design Jam
Informed by pre-session participation about the challenges faced by West Philadelphia entrepreneurs, this design jam will tackle some of the obstacles using the design thinking process. After a short overview, we’ll break out into teams to come up with prototypes that we hope will result in both quick and impactful wins for West Philly businesses.

Lightning Talks
This session will feature West Philadelphia entrepreneurs and business owners sharing 5-minute presentations featuring stories, perspectives, and best practices, from a range of professionals doing business in the neighborhood.

Micro Sessions
Short, back-to-back sessions focused on marketing your hustle (building a presence, getting clients, how to network), creatively funding your hustle (crowdfunding, community investing, leveraging Opportunity Zones), and scaling your hustle (when to hire, funding your expansion, when and to how to bring in a professional).

Generosity Marketplace
You'll have the opportunity to offer up services, opportunities for collaboration and partnership, as well as your organizational needs in support of your hustle. “Items” that might be found in the Generosity Marketplace include “Offer: An hour-long conversation about how to best use Twitter to market yourself as a freelance writer,” or “Need: Affordable headshots for my cleaning company employees.”

Pop-up Newsroom
In December, The Philadelphia Inquirer launched Made In Philly, a series that aims to highlight millennials from underrepresented communities and showcase the work they are doing to shape their communities. Young journalists of color from this project will be present to hear your ideas for people we should write about and how news coverage of Philly needs to change.

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Venture Cafe Philadelphia

3675 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

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