LGC conceived, developed and is currently executing a groundbreaking program for young and aspiring entrepreneurs called The Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship (IHHE), a 2016 Knight Cities Challenge catalyst grant winner. The institute uses the ethos of hip hop’s greatest impresarios as a guide to develop and bring to life an innovative and nontraditional curriculum that will be taught as a nine-month, tuition-free program for Philadelphians between the ages of 18 and 32.
LGC was one of 37 Knight Cities Challenge winners for the IHHE program and was selected from more than 4,500 applicants. Our proposal was Knight’s top-rated submission for the 2016 challenge as it reflected the foundation’s mission to support transformational ideas that engage communities.
The program aims to level the playing field for ambitious, nontraditional youth who, due to a variety of barriers, are too often denied access to the knowledge, resources and networks necessary to take entrepreneurial ideas from concept to reality.
LGC’s responsibilities include: Development of the brand, all accompanying visual and messaging assets, building the staff, generating Institute awareness, cultivating partnerships, recruitment and project leading and management.
Three strategic waves of printed and digital materials served as recruitment materials along with informational program mini-brochures. They featured entrepreneurs well known to the target demographic, including Freeway, Gianni Lee and Jasmine Solano. The materials were designed and disseminated strategically via digital outlets of our community partners – including YouthBuild, University of Pennsylvania, Community College of Philadelphia, Dornsife Center and Taller Puertorriqueño – street teams and tabling at numerous events and community locations, such as various YMCA locations, recreation centers, block parties concerts, barbershops and salons.
Articles and interviews were featured in media outlets including CNN, Generocity, HipHopDX, All Hip Hop, Knight Foundation Blog, Hip-Hop Wired, Philly.com, plus Eavesdrop Radio, Reality is Real and DSTRCT9 podcasts. Influential social media accounts with over 15 million followers garnered over 40 million unique impressions.
LGC developed and maintained all facets of IHHE’s website – ihhe.org – and social media assets – @theIHHE. LGC directed, produced, edited and published multiple IHHE Insight videos featuring Philadelphia-based entrepreneurs telling their stories and compelling potential applicants to apply. Videos were published on the IHHE website and on featured entrepreneurs’ high-traffic social media accounts.
LGC leveraged its robust network to hire staff to serve as point-people and create internal committees for the following key areas: marketing, curriculum development, design, copywriting, PR, recruitment of applicants, community partnerships and social media