The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) announced last month that the city has exceeded its goal for providing services to women entrepreneurs across the five boroughs.
The initiative, called WE NYC, has served over 6,000 women entrepreneurs since its launch in 2015, surpassing its original goal of serving 5,000 women in three years.
WE NYC connects aspiring and established women entrepreneurs to the resources, education, and community needed to build thriving businesses. The no-cost services provided by WE NYC include mentorship opportunities, financing assistance, and pro-bono legal clinics.
“We launched WE NYC with the goal of closing the entrepreneurial gender gap and helping women, communities, and our local economy thrive,” said SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop. “New York City is the best place to be a woman entrepreneur.”
As part of the program, nearly $1 million in loans were made through WE Fund: Crowd, the city’s first-of-its-kind crowdfunding program launched in fall 2017.
Women entrepreneurs can raise zero-interest loans of up to $10,000 and the city will contribute the first 10 percent. Over 12,000 lenders from around the world have already contributed.
WE NYC also provided 225 hours of direct mentoring through WE Connect Mentors, and over 1,300 hours of workshops on topics ranging from financial counseling to leadership training.
“Attending the WE NYC seminars has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone,” said small business owner Marisol Linda Diaz. “Why not take advantage of all the free services that are available?”