Get to Know IBA, Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce

by Lashay Smith
June 26, 2024

Categories: LGBTQ, Partner Spotlight,

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The population of LGBTQ+-owned businesses and organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area continues to grow, and resources for businesses and organizations are needed more than ever. PIDC partner Independence Business Alliance (IBA) serves as Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ business resource hub, helping bring to life the dreams and aspirations of entrepreneurs in the LGBTQ+ community. 

We asked IBA a few questions regarding their mission, history, current programs and how everyone can help support LGBTQ+ businesses and entrepreneurs.

Q: Can you provide an overview of IBA’s mission?

A: The Independence Business Alliance is the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce for the Greater Philadelphia region. IBA provides connections, opportunities, and resources to LGBTQ+ businesses, professionals, and allies in the Greater Philadelphia tri-state area. In collaboration with our members and partners, we expand economic opportunities, advocate for diverse spaces, and promote inclusive leadership.

When we champion LGBTQ+ diversity, inclusion, and equity, it’s not only the right thing to do for people, but also the best thing to do for the bottom line. Whether you’re a large company wondering how to include LGBTQ+ folks in your hiring practices or in your diverse supplier chains or a small LGBTQ+ business owner looking for the opportunity to grow and thrive, chambers like ours are here to provide you with the resources you need to connect and succeed.

Q: Tell me the story of IBA’s founding. When was the organization founded and why?

A: Growing outward from an idea at a meeting with five individuals in 2007, the IBA has become a thriving chamber with more than 300 members and 18 high-level corporate partners. Our founders realized that LGBTQ+ chambers had been forming across the country in similarly situated cities and knew that Philadelphia’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community and business scene could support a chamber here. Since then, we’ve grown in number of members, the way we look at diversity, and the scope of what we believe chambers can do.

In the past year, the IBA has hired two more full-time staff to join the newly minted CEO – an Operations Coordinator and our very first TransWork Administrator. Our budget reflects the growth in reach and influence we’ve experienced as we engage with government contracts and more corporate entities than ever.

Q:How many members does the IBA have? And how many full-time staff?

At any given time, the IBA typically has around 300 members. Those 300 members span from small business owners, to entrepreneurs just starting to build out their businesses, to the LGBTQ+ community members in the workforce, to our corporate partners, community stakeholders and partners. We aspire to foster an environment of equitable access to economic empowerment for local, vibrant LGBTQ+ communities and those who support equality, so with those values in mind, our membership and network is rich in diversity.

The IBA has 3 full-time staff members. Zach Wilcha is the IBA’s CEO, Maggie Morrin serves as Operations Coordinator, and Sydni-Perry Anderson is our TransWork Administrator. We always want to brag about TransWork so continue reading to learn more!

Q: Can you share some key programs or initiatives that IBA is currently working on?

A: We are lucky enough to have many generous corporate partners that support our work in a variety of ways. One way we like to meaningfully engage with our corporate partners throughout the year is through employee resource groups (ERGs). We have recently ignited our ERG effort to convene, support, and provide specific programming for local LGBTQ+ ERGs throughout the region and we’ve seen great energy around this. 

We held an ERG panel in the spring and are currently planning an ERG Summit that will take place in the fall. This work with ERGs in our region helps us bring together our corporate partners, IBA members who are changemakers in their workplaces (by advocating for more affirming and inclusive workplaces), and even ties in our dedication to supplier diversity by offering our local LGBTQ+ owned businesses the opportunity to network with folks at larger entities that have the power to hire diverse business owners for a number of their operating expenses.

We’ll also be excited to say more about a program we’re launching for technical assistance of businesses very soon.

Q: What are some of IBA’s biggest accomplishments so far?

A:The IBA is exceptionally proud of our TransWork program. TransWork connects transgender and non-binary job seekers and entrepreneurs with a network of supportive employers and business partners. Launched in 2018, TransWork is the first of its kind to be run out of a Chamber of Commerce. Since its inception, the program has grown to encompass 1,400 job seekers, providing essential resources and opportunities for career growth and skill development for trans people. TransWork engages with entrepreneurs, by empowering individuals to turn their innovative ideas into successful businesses and connecting them to the larger network of resources at the Chamber, as well as employers, by building bridges between talented individuals and inclusive workplaces. We have provided training and educational resources for workplaces and nonprofits.

We are also proud of the work of the Diverse Chambers Coalition. Together, with the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, and the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, we formed the Diverse Chambers Coalition in 2021. The purpose of this partnership is to work collectively, as a community, to meet the unique challenges minority business enterprises face when they engage with our local economy.

We’re mostly proud to have built a community that shows up for themselves and supports each other. It’s been exciting to see the people that come to our events succeed by making connections. We’ve even had people come out as a result of the comfort they feel from the community that they meet at our events.

Q: How can Philadelphia-based organizations (like PIDC) support IBA’s mission and the LGBTQ+ business community more effectively?

Collaboration and advocacy are key to the success of not only the IBA but the LGBTQ+ business community at-large. We certainly cannot do this work on our own and at the heart of the word “community” is the idea and practice of togetherness. The IBA welcomes (and thrives) off of collaboration, whether that is participating in events and educational sessions, partnering on panel discussions, or having open conversations about how our missions align.

The other piece is advocacy. The IBA advocates for diverse spaces and inclusive leadership. We simply cannot do this on our own. We need folks in different spaces to also be a voice for the LGBTQ+ business community.

Q: What can our city’s residents do to support their community’s LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and business owners?

Seek out LGBTQ+ owned businesses to utilize all year round. Engage with the local LGBTQ+ organizations, like the IBA,  that are working every day to uplift and support the community in a variety of ways.

Q: Anything I didn’t ask that I should have?

A: You can learn more about the IBA at and on social media platforms: Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. Do you have specific questions or want to join the IBA? Connect with us at .


Foster diversity and encourage equity in Philadelphia by supporting the IBA. Learn more about IBA.

Learn more about the financing and business support offered by PIDC.

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