August 1, 2022- Jersey City, NJ – Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) launched its first Summer Entrepreneurship Institute in partnership with the Frank J. Guarini School of Business at Saint Peter’s University and was sponsored by Wells Fargo. The two-week entrepreneurship course, held July 11-21 and instructed by Victor Salama, Executive Director of GNEC, hosted 18 high students from West Orange HS, Weequahic HS (Newark), Jose Marti STEM Academy (Union City), St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City), Hudson Catholic Regional HS (Jersey City), Weehawken High School (Weehawken) and Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School (Newark). The Institute focused on idea generation, marketing, financials, and business planning.

“Wells Fargo is a proud supporter of the Summer Entrepreneurship Institute because we believe there is a growing need for students to have access to trusted experts who can teach them the process of learning by doing, whether it’s creating a business plan, writing a budget or developing a compelling pitch,” said Tomas Porturas, Senior Social Impact & Sustainability Specialist at Wells Fargo. “Each of these students were here to invest in their own futures, but by participating in this program, they were also investing in the future of our communities and our local economies here in northern New Jersey.”

While students learned how to develop business ideas and form teams, they prepared to pitch continuously for an hour and a half in an interactive showcase. They pitched their ideas to the delight of community partners, sponsors, family, friends, and Saint Peter’s University staff on the last day of the course. Guests were given Peacock Pesos, a form of investment currency with the university’s mascot, to invest in the businesses of their choice.

“The GNEC-Saint Peter’s Summer Entrepreneurship Institute was a great success, providing hands-on practical learning and inspiring the next generation of innovators, change-makers, and problem-solvers, and plans are already underway to hold the Institute in 2023,” stated Mary Kate Naatus, KPMG Dean of Frank J. Guarini School of Business.​

The three teams that garnered the highest level of interest from invited guests were awarded cash prizes, with the first place team receiving $1,000, second place $750, and third place $500. Students who completed all coursework receive 3 college credits from Saint Peter’s University.

“At GNEC, we believe that helping entrepreneurs grow economically stable businesses is critical to closing the racial funding gap, and that’s why we provide capital and resources to businesses from underbanked and underserved communities,” stated Victor Salama. “Investing in our communities’ youth early on is the first step in reaching that larger goal.”

For more details about GNEC programs, events, and services, please visit

About GNEC:
GNEC is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) launched in 2005 in Newark, New Jersey. GNEC’s mission is to provide business capital, consulting, and coaching to entrepreneurs from underserved and underbanked communities in Newark and the broader New Jersey region.

About Saint Peter’s University:
For 150 years, Saint Peter’s University, inspired by its Jesuit, Catholic identity, commitment to individual attention, and grounding in the liberal arts, educates a diverse community of learners in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional programs to excel intellectually, lead ethically, serve compassionately and promote justice in our ever-changing urban and global environment. To learn more, please visit

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