The Impact of Philadelphia’s Craft Capital

On November 7, 2019, approximately two-dozen individuals with leadership roles in civic organizations, real estate development, higher education, craft and maker businesses met to discuss the economic impact of Philadelphia’s artisanal sector, and consider policies that could encourage further growth in the field. The meeting was jointly hosted by CraftNOW Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, and the Arts + Business Council of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Available here are the recent report commissioned by CraftNOW Philadelphia and prepared by Econsult Solutions entitled The Social and Economic Benefits of the Craft and Maker Sector in Philadelphia: A Preliminary Analysis, and the presentations delivered by Adam Kenney, Director of Pittsburgh-based Bridgeway Capital’s Craft Business Accelerator, and Andrew Dahglren, a Philadelphia-based designer/maker and instructor at University of the Arts.

The Social and Economic Benefits of the Craft and Maker Sector in Philadelphia

CraftNOW and Econsult Solutions


MonMade, Craft Business Accelerator and Bridgeway Capital

Adam Kenney


The Makers Scene in Philadelphia

Andrew Dahlgren


Attendees were asked in advance to consider the following questions for discussion:

 – Business Development Policies: Based on Pittsburgh’s Craft Business Accelerator and existing city/PIDC programs, what additional public or private policies could be effective in expanding business opportunities for makers?

– Real Estate Development & Placemaking: Have the recently-created shared workspaces generated “spillover” benefits in their neighborhoods? Should the City seek to encourage artisanal businesses within a specific “design district” vs. multiple locations?

– Craft Tourism: What steps could be taken to increase the level of craft-based cultural tourism in Philadelphia (studio tours, retail, restaurants, hotels) both by out-of-town visitors and residents?

– Workforce Development: Is there a workforce development opportunity in the craft and making sector oriented to Philadelphia’s disadvantaged populations (e.g., the under-employed; those not attending four-year colleges; returning citizens, etc.?)

– Research: What additional research should be undertaken to better understand the current status and growth potential of Philadelphia’s Artisanal Economy?