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Entrepreneurial clients find support in New York

The IRC in NY’s Economic Empowerment program hosted a five-part business workshop series in the office throughout October and early November. Participants at all stages of starting their businesses attended to learn the ins and outs of the entrepreneurial field in New York City. Participants also had a diverse range of business interests in sectors such as import/export, retail, direct service, hospitality, fashion, food, and socially minded endeavors. The workshop topics taught participants about defining their businesses, legal structures and licensing, marketing, finding/securing funding, and completing a business plan. Each session was taught by guest speakers specializing in the business development field.

The “Defining Your Business” workshop was hosted by Manal Kahi, Co-Founder of Eat Offbeat catering company and graduate of Columbia Business School. This workshop assisted participants in completing a business model canvas which is a strategic template for developing business models. The next workshop discussed legal structures of businesses, licensing, and permit requirements. The workshop was hosted by Tshering Gurung, Manager of Business Development at the Business Center for New Americans (BCNA).  Fatima Duran, Director of Operations at WeWork, facilitated the workshop on marketing your business. Ms. Duran’s workshop focused on developing a marketing strategy based on the customer base. Participants were asked to organize their marketing strategy around the four P’s: product, pricing, promotion, and providers. The workshop was also visited by a special guest speaker, Diane von Furstenberg, the fashion designer and international businesswoman, who was visiting the IRC’s headquarters and New York resettlement office and asked clients questions about their business models and marketing strategies and coached them on thinking about their products/services from the perspective of potential customers. 

Fatima Duran, Director of Operations at WeWork, facilitating a workshop on business marketing.

Photo: Meredith Whitefield/IRC.

The next workshop was hosted by Tshering Gurung, BCNA, Alyssa Campbell, KIVA NYC Program Lead, and Florencia Giordano, Program Manager Women Entrepreneurs NYC. The speakers discussed different funding options available to small businesses in NYC, as well as other free resources available to those interested in developing small businesses. These services included business counseling, workshops, personal financial coaching, and business mentorship. The final workshop had participants utilize all the information learned during the prior four weeks in the creation of a draft business plan. This workshop was hosted by IRC staff Maria Sigalas, Economic Empowerment Specialist, after Maria noticed a number of clients were interested in building their own businesses. Through these workshops IRC clients had the opportunity to learn about developing successful small businesses from experienced professionals in the field!

The IRC in NY is proud of our clients’ ambition and drive to enter the New York entrepreneurial field and stand ready to support them on their economic journeys. If you would like to support the IRC in NY’s economic empowerment programs and clients, please click here.