The 2023 Philadelphia Forty Under 40
This year’s Philadelphia Forty Under 40 features a wider array of professions than ever, reflecting the myriad ways young Philadelphians are making an impact in their neighborhoods and throughout the region. These young achievers are politicians and strategists, attorneys and entrepreneurs – but also influencers in media, the arts, social and environmental advocacy and hospitality. Whether native Philadelphians or enamored transplants, they share a passion for the city, its people and the effort to shape its future.
Vice President of Communications, The Enterprise Center
Elizabeth Felt is an anthropologist who realized her calling lay outside academia. “I saw myself going to a meeting once a year, presenting to the five people in the world who cared about what I was doing,” recalled Felt, 39. “I realized I was happier being out in the world, talking to people.”
Talking is what Felt does as communications chief for the Enterprise Center, a nonprofit small business accelerator that works primarily with communities of color. After leaving her Ph.D. program at Temple a decade ago, she joined the organization as a community development associate through AmeriCorps, collaborating on a neighborhood plan for Walnut Hill.
More recently, Felt helped direct the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency’s Coronavirus Response and Relief Center, helping small businesses navigate the pandemic. Her work draws on a social consciousness honed during her childhood in the economically depressed Western Pennsylvania of the 1980s, as well as “my anthropological skills – designing questionnaires, talking to people in the neighborhood, surveying and looking at land use,” she noted.
She’s currently focused on attracting greater investment for development projects, especially around the Enterprise Center’s West Philly neighborhood. “I fell in love with the entrepreneurial mission,” she reflected. “And I love being part of something with a substantive, lasting impact that’s representative of neighborhood voices.”