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Panelists Jocelyn Jones-Arnold, Ramier Jones, Moderater Jeanette Bavwidinsi, Milaj Robinson, and Tiffianie Talley-Baines. Photo: Rodrigo Campos-Sánchez/AL DÍA News
Panelists Tiffianie Talley-Baines, Ramier Jones, Moderater Jeanette Bavwidinsi, Milaj Robinson, and Jocelyn Jones-Arnold. Photo: Rodrigo Campos-Sánchez/AL DÍA News

Philadelphia has young entrepreneurs destined for stardom

Mayor Kenney named Aug. 8 through Aug. 14, 2022, to be 'PHL Youth Week' in Philadelphia, honoring young changemakers across the city.

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The 'Dollar & A Dream' event in Philadelphia was a space for young business owners, youth-led grassroots organizations and local influencers to receive information about how to fund, manage and sustain their brands.

Today, young Philadelphians are facing challenges of education, civic participation, public safety, gun violence and financial futures. To combat the issue, City Rep Sheila Hess proclaimed that Mayor Jim Kenney officially declared Aug. 8-14, 2022, to be 'PHL Youth Week' in Philadelphia. 

She urged citizens to commend the great work done by young folks who call Philadelphia home. 

As part of ‘PHL Youth Week,’ a panel discussion between four young local entrepreneurs took place at the Philadelphia Library on Thursday, Aug. 2022.

The panelists were Jocelyn Jones-Arnold from the city's grants office. Milaj Robinson a student from Morehouse College, member of the mayor's internship program and the founder of the 'Youth Creating New Beginnings program. Ramier Jones, a local business owner of 'Move different Apparel' and Tiffianie Talley-Baines from Chase Bank, and was moderated by Jeanette Bavwidinsi. 

"Philadelphia is a fantastic city and so are the panelists today who are near and dear to me," Jeanette Bavwidinsi, Executive Director of The Youth Commission, said.

Each panelist spoke about their own business experiences, yet Jones-Arnold informed everyone that she is available for business aid. 

"I didn't have a sturdy team I could rely on when I started my organization. It was just me and my co-CEO," Robinson said. "We got a lot done. However, our academic and social lives, including our organization, overwhelmed us. Yet, we always looked at it as a business. I told myself I have a life-changing opportunity and it is something that I need to keep moving forward." 

Jones, like Robinson, is a panelist, yet one who runs a clothing line for years.

"I started my business with no capital investment. My biggest thing with starting the clothing line was the power of presells. I first sold 20 shirts I didn't have and of course, I gave the customers their shirts when I had them. That is just how presells work," Jones said. "And before I knew it, the risks were gone. I am happy I took the many risks I did."

Talley-Baines currently works for the Consumer banking company 'Chase Bank,' yet once owned a small business. 

Throughout her years as a small business owner and entrepreneur, she’s picked up many key lessons along the way. 

"You must be committed to the process and, at times, be willing to take risks," Talley-Baines said. "When I owned my business, I had a lucrative job. I saved money, started this business and then it grew faster than I had anticipated. I had to decide whether I would continue with my corporate job, which was secure or continue with the risk. And at that stage in my life, I wasn't ready to take that risk. Instead, I was looking forward to knowing what would be deposited in my account every two weeks, loved my great medical benefits and so forth." 

Jones-Arnold shared the value local libraries have on current and aspiring business owners.

"The library is free and is a fantastic resource for businesses, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Everyone has access to it whether it's coming up with a budget or understanding how to start a business," she said.

Jones-Arnold is not an expert in entrepreneurship or businesses but feels she knows many people, and can help guide people to resources and information anyone may need. 

Bavwidinsi wishes for no one to face failures but rather successes. However, she believes one can learn so much from failures and only needs to move forward. 

"You are all young, so you have enough time to recover and snap back if you see failures. I think that being persistent, believing in yourself, asking for help and finding mentors is a major key to success," Bavwidinsi said.

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