Imagine you are a brilliant, starry eyed, 18 year old kid from an impoverished community who has the audacious dream of pursuing a career in the music business. Where do you start? That’s a pretty loaded question and with limited resources it can seemingly be impossible to realistically answer it. So, former music manager, Tayyib Smith, and marketing expert, Meegan Denenberg, decided to create the Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship in Philly in order to help solve that problem.
The class meets up for one weekend each month for a 9 month period and is completely tuition free. The course shies away from looking for “the next big MC” and instead focuses more on topics like business structure, staffing, business proposals, finding funding, marketing, budgeting, value proposition, and pitching. Designers and teachers of the curriculum include prominent musicians, creative professionals, business people, and technologists.
$308,640 in seed money was earned for the institute via the Knight Cities Challenge – a challenge that asks participants to submit their best idea to make the city more successful. Subsequently, over 300 applications were submitted by young people interested in the program. Upon receiving the grant, Denenberg stated,
“The next generation of great leaders needs to come from underrepresented communities, and the IHHE is uniquely positioned to help launch their careers…Far too often, young people with real ambitions are overlooked by existing educational and business communities and programs…”
Philadelphia is known to be a place with tons of creativity energy that is often trapped behind the deep cultural inequality that haunts the streets. With a focus on education and social justice, IHHE is on a track to making a huge difference.
written by Devin Robinson Jr.