Honoring New York City’s Women Entrepreneurs From Harlem To Hollis

In a letter today from New York City Commissioner NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Jonnel Doris addressed the small business community, stating:

This International Women’s Day comes at a bittersweet time. Recent news has been dominated by statistics showing the true toll that this pandemic has taken on women.

Between February and March 2020, 25% of women-owned businesses were either temporarily or permanently forced to close.

Between February and March 2020, 25% of women-owned businesses were either temporarily or permanently forced to close.

Millions of women have been driven out of the workforce; the steepest decline since WWII and an imbalance that will take years to correct.

Despite this grim news, I look to our recent past and remain optimistic about our future. Prior to the pandemic, we saw women-owned businesses growing at a staggering rate, with firms owned by women of color increasing by 43%. That’s nearly five times faster than all other businesses.

Despite this grim news, I look to our recent past and remain optimistic about our future. Prior to the pandemic, we saw women-owned businesses growing at a staggering rate, with firms owned by women of color increasing by 43%. That’s nearly five times faster than all other businesses.

New York City is also home to the largest concentration of women-owned businesses nationwide. These businesses are vital to our city’s economic growth – and in 2019 employed 321,000 people, generating $71 billion annually.

New York City is also home to the largest concentration of women-owned businesses nationwide. These businesses are vital to our city’s economic growth – and in 2019 employed 321,000 people, generating $71 billion annually.

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At SBS, we’ve worked tirelessly for the last five years to close the gender gap through Women Entrepreneurs NYC (WE NYC), and we’re ramping up these efforts even more.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve hosted more than 120 events, mentor sessions, and workshops, and provided more than 7,000 services aimed at helping women-identifying entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.

With more than 17,000 participants joining us for WE NYC programming over the last 5 years, we’ve seen this community’s tenacity and passion first-hand.

We applaud women like Myriam, who opened her grocery store in the midst of the pandemic to ensure her community had access to fresh, healthy food.

We thank women like Joanne, who expanded her retail business to include a food court, making room for entrepreneurs like herself who were struggling throughout COVID.

And we stand with the many more women who are still adapting and overcoming the challenges that this past year brought.

Visit we.nyc to see the full suite of resources available to women entrepreneurs, as well as our upcoming virtual events, workshops, mentorship opportunities, and advising sessions.

If you’re in need of work, our Workforce1 team can help connect you with a new career. Visit nyc.gov/getwork to learn more.

We are here to work for you, and alongside you.


About Harlem World Magazine

Harlem World Magazine is about living your best life and style around the block and around the world of Harlem.

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