Della Clark | Jimmy Murray Community Leadership Award
Della Clark's vision for minority entrepreneurship is not about counting the number of successful businesses but about making businesses count. Since 1992, Ms. Clark has brought this vision to fruition as President of The Enterprise Center - an organization at the forefront of the Greater Philadelphia region's entrepreneurial ecosystem, guided by the mission cultivate and invest in minority entrepreneurs to inspire economic growth in communities. The Enterprise Center accomplishes this by accelerating the capacity of minority business enterprises to compete in any marketplace through business education, management support, access to capital, and procurement opportunities.
Motivated by her belief that business success is a team sport, Ms. Clark epitomizes the core values of collaboration and economic growth that drive the outcomes of The Enterprise Center as operator of a Pennsylvania and New Jersey MBDA Business Center and a US Department of Transportation Small Business Transportation Resource Center. Under Ms. Clark's leadership, businesses have obtained more than $870 million in contracts, $209 million in the financing, and created 3,221 jobs through the PA Minority Business Development Center. Minority- and women-owned businesses have secured more than $30 million in loans to start, grow, and succeed through The Enterprise Center Capital Corporation. Clark led efforts to create the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises, a 13,000+ square-foot food business incubator and hub of community health and nutrition resources in West Philadelphia, now in its 10th year of operation.
One of Ms. Clark's notable accomplishments was raising the $2.5 million necessary to renovate The Enterprise Center's headquarters in West Philadelphia, which bears historical significance as the former WFIL-TV studios and birthplace of "American Bandstand."
She is now embarking on bridging the capital gap for minority enterprises and launching a new fund, Innovate Capital Growth Fund, a Small Business Investment Company. The goal for Fund 1 is $50 million and the investment thesis is: to build the balance sheet and scale minority standout companies to create wealth and a new model for future investments.
Clark currently serves as a board member for the Philadelphia Equity Alliance, University City District, and Bridge of Hope CDC and serves as a Trustee of Drexel University. She is also a proud Eisenhower Fellow.
Clark was recognized in August 2022 with a Lifetime Achieve Award by the Philadelphia Business Journal. She is one of Philadelphia's most Influential by the Philadelphia Magazine and is also one the Philadelphia Tribune's most Influential African American Leaders for over 10 years.