Philadelphia Named A GEW USA Startup City

Jessica Wray Bradner | November 03, 2016
Photo Credit: Flickr | Bob Snyder


In the United States, Philadelphia is recognized as one of the most fundamental cities in U.S. history, and has become a hub for economic growth and cultural innovation. Philadelphia is home to Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Liberty Bell, and the iconic original Philly cheesesteak. The city has evolved from nurturing the revolutionary spirit of the Founding Fathers, to encouraging the entrepreneurial mindset of startup founders.

Philadelphia’s startup culture has grown over the past few years, and local government and community organizers have made a concentrated effort to globalize the city not just in tourism, but also in entrepreneurship and business development. This will be the first year Philly has organized an official campaign during Global Entrepreneurship Week, a year after it was named a World Heritage City.

Danielle P. Jeter, co-president of YP Social Meetup, is one of the lead organizers for GEW Philly. She said Philadelphia has become a unique place for entrepreneurs to start and scale because of its diversity and the city’s focus to not only providing an environment for startups to do well, but also providing a fun, culturally rich and globally focused place to live.

“Our entrepreneurs range from kids as young as 5-years-old, up through seasoned professionals and older adults,” said Jeter. “It’s a very diverse landscape. Philly in general is a very diverse place. There are tons of different ethnicities and culture groups represented here.”

She said social entrepreneurship in the city is a key part to the local ecosystem.

“We are a very innovative hub,” Jeter said. “There are a lot of social entrepreneurs here. Philly has more than 250 non-profits, and a lot of the entrepreneurs are mission-based.”

She said she has seen a drastic change in the resources and the different agencies that are available to provide what entrepreneurs in the area need to grow their businesses. Many of those organizations will be participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Jeter and her other organizers decided to bring Global Entrepreneurship Week to the city because not only is she interested in creating a regional impact, but in creating a connection between Philadelphia and other cities in the United States – and abroad. The global celebration of GEW, she hopes will help Philly’s entrepreneurs realize their own international opportunities.

“They should prepare themselves on a global scale because of technology and how rapidly everything is innovating,” Jeter said. “We wanted to provide something for buddings entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners and those who are newly started in business to help them think early on about a global platform and how they can do something globally in their business.

One of the main GEW Philly events will be the opening ceremony on Monday, Nov. 14, where they will be hosting a global music fest. Jeter said because the city has a vibrant music and art ecosystem, the committee wanted to celebrate music and art entrepreneurs. The opening reception will include live musical entertainment representing different cultures from around the world, an awards ceremony, networking, mingling, drinks, and food. GEW co-chair Harold T. Epps, commerce director for the city, will be in attendance, as will entrepreneurship awardee and international disc jockey DJ Aktive.

The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, an organization that connects new immigrants in the region to businesses and communities, will host an import-export workshop and networking session that will help entrepreneurs learn about international trade.

For more events, visit You can also follow the city’s GEW campaign on Instagram and Snapchat at @gewphilly.

GEW Philly sponsors include:  

  • Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
  • Jefferson University
  • Department of Commerce of the City of Philly
  • City Controller’s Office of the City of Philly
  • Enterprise Center
  • Host for Opening Ceremony is Coda Lounge
Jessica Wray Bradner
Jessica is a former multimedia journalist with a background in print and online media. At the Global Entrepreneurship Network, she creates daily... About the Author