The Business Institute

The Chamber’s signature strategy for increasing entrepreneurial excellence in African American businesses in Western Pennsylvania is our Business Institute. The Business Institute serves as a national model for developing and sustaining profitable minority-owned enterprises. This is in response to a national study conducted on sustainability and the tools needed to move a firm to the next level of engagement. The Institute offers workshops in communications, financial and accounting and tax matters, business modeling and strategies, information technology including social media, law and legal matters, marketing, and other topics of importance for doing business in Western Pennsylvania. The mission statement for the Business Institute is to tap the expertise of the business, academic, and healthcare leaders to provide Chamber Members and small business owners the training, coaching, and leadership development needed to strengthen their business acumen to achieve entrepreneurial excellence and compete in the global marketplace.

The Institute is guided by Chamber values of entrepreneurial excellence, empowerment, self-sufficiency, and life-long learning to identify and illustrate information of critical importance to Chamber members and Business Institute participants. Business Institute offerings carry these values through our focus areas into didactic and experiential exercises that increase learning and understanding of the realities of doing business for minorities in our region. The four foci are:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Law, legalities and legislation

Experts in business, industry, healthcare, technology, and the law provide basic principles, new developments, strategies in leadership and management, current thinking and advanced methods in business practices to bring the aims and values of the Institute to fruition with its participants.

The Business Institute features the

  • expertise of industry and academic leaders who provide the coaching, leadership development, and business acumen needed to achieve entrepreneurial excellence.


OUR VISION: The Business Institute is a national model for developing and sustaining profitable minority owned enterprises.


OUR VALUES: In executing the Business Institute mission, we are guided by the Chamber’s values of: entrepreneurial excellence, empowerment and self-sufficiency, life-long learning, innovative thinking, meaningful linkages and partnerships.

Since implementing the Business Institute in 2004, there have been over 100 workshops with more than with a total of 2,700 entrepreneurs and business owners in attendance to learn from the experts. Feedback garnered from Chamber members in a recent survey, while encouraging, still underscores the need for continued business development. As noted by 74% of survey respondents, the Chamber is important in helping their businesses generate new revenue streams. Additionally, 75% of respondents cited having received business or contracts directly from Chamber events. The Chamber continues to seek opportunities that will augment the Business Institute Programs and amplify these survey results by giving minority business owners the necessary resources and technical assistance to move them to the next level of engagement through a continual update of the business landscape and meaningful partnerships.

“Striving to Achieve Economic Parity”