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Black Entrepreneurs of Philadelphia Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Jordan DiPietro
1 winner$2,800
Application Deadline
May 31, 2021
Winners Announced
Jun 30, 2021
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

From small businesses to venture-scale companies, entrepreneurship is an impactful and enduring way to move communities forward, but the funded entrepreneurs in the US do not reflect the diversity of our country.

Although African Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population, just 1% of start-ups receiving venture funding have Black founders.

The Black Entrepreneurs of Philadelphia Scholarship exists to help create more equal opportunities for Black entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia community. 

The scholarship is open to students in any field of study. To apply, you must be a current or aspiring Black entrepreneur who is currently located in or around the Philadelphia area.

In addition to the scholarship award, the winner of the scholarship will also have the opportunity to learn directly from Jordan DiPietro, the creator of the scholarship and an experienced entrepreneur. This 1-year mentorship could include face-to-face meetings, zoom calls, and the potential to hone in, craft, and get direct feedback on your business plans.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Entrepreneur, Vision, Ingenuity, Impact, Ambition
Published December 24, 2020
Essay Topic

Tell us a bit more about your journey with entrepreneurship. What inspired you to be an entrepreneur? What do you hope to achieve? What challenges are you facing?

200–1000 words

Winning Application

Bakari Clark
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PA
When I think of my purpose in life, I think of my mother’s words about being the change I hope to see in the world. Through volunteering at community gardens and educating myself both in the classroom and during my free time, I had discovered that one of my purposes in life is to help bring awareness to the environmental injustices here in the United States and to come up with sustainable solutions to solve them. During my time in college, I have been given the opportunity to study subjects in environmental justice and found that according to the USDA’s Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food report, approximately 23.5 million Americans currently live within a food desert. With many of these neighborhoods lying in communities of color, food deserts are often connected to a higher risk of health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. As socioeconomic statistics like these continued to surface, I began to see more clearly how much of a luxury it is to have access to healthy food choices; yet, it has been the question of how to turn this access into an available commodity for all, that has driven me to become a part of the change that my mother once spoke to me about. My first step to making an impact that will help to alleviate environmental injustices such as these is through my internship at an urban farm called Philly Forest, which is based in West Philadelphia. While working at Philly Forest, I have been given the task of growing and preparing the produce that goes off to the Germantown Farmers Market every Saturday where we sell our fresh fruits and vegetables alongside other vendors. Furthermore, I have been given the responsibility of looking over and coordinating our urban forestry sector as well! During my time working with this urban agricultural start-up, I have seen how important it is to create more green spaces within our city. For example, we currently have 18 trees that will be planted within neighborhoods that have a lower tree canopy coverage than what can be seen in the more affluent areas of Philadelphia. This can ultimately have a significant impact on the health of the residents in the communities with fewer trees since this causes the heat island effect to occur. When it comes to my own entrepreneurial goals, I envision myself continuing this mission through the use of urban ecology and urban planning. I plan to have my own urban farm within our city that will not only focus on making fresh produce more accessible to all but will also act as a model of what environmental equity truly consists of. In order to work towards this goal, not only am I getting hands-on experience at a local farm here in Philadelphia, but I am also currently a student at Temple University, aiming to receive my bachelor’s degree in Community Development and urban and environmental planning. However, before going any further with my future career and educational goals, I must first find the funding to help get me there. Unfortunately, my family and I are not in the financial position to fund my next steps of obtaining my education at Temple University from our pockets. With me being the third child to go off to college, neither of my parents can afford to help me the way they have helped my first two siblings in the past, and I completely understand that. Therefore, in order to still achieve my goals, I continue to work hard to relieve this stress off of my parents by maintaining a 3.97 GPA and applying for scholarships. This is why I am here today, because not only do I truly believe that my impact in my career field of environmental planning and urban agriculture will be one of great significance but also because I know that in order to do so, I must step up and ask for the help I need to achieve all that I have in-store for myself.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 31, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jun 30, 2021.

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