In a time when anti-immigration rhetoric is scaling new heights in the US and the EU, there is a bright spot in the U.S. migration story. A New York City pilot program teaches first-generation high school students financial literacy and entrepreneurship. It is a win for all communities involved.Continue reading “First-Generation NYC Students Develop Business Skills to Help Harlem Business Owners”
Aileen Lee, Founder, Infinite Goods, explains the difference between fast and sustainable fashion. Lee’s love for retail, the planet and humanity started at an early age growing up in North Carolina at her high school part-time retail job.
Full disclosure: My cousin Tom is married to Monique Bonnet, the founder of Chateau Suau.
Around 2007, she noticed her workers were developing rashes, runny eyes, and other symptoms. After a few conversations she learned they were impacted by the pesticides that treat the grapes. Most vineyards still use toxic pesticides today. She said, “That’s it. We are going organic.” At a huge cost, they lost almost three years of production to convert their more than 150 acres into an organic vineyard.Continue reading “Spotlight: Chateau Suau Leads Bordeaux’s Organic Reign”
Last fall we had the pleasure of speaking with entrepreneur Bara Wahbeh, Co-founder and CTO of Akyas Sanitation, from his home in Amman, Jordan.
Wahbeh, with his team of four, created a sustainable toilet system after Wahbeh worked in Izmir, Turkey. For many months he witnessed thousands of displaced Syrian people live in make-shift camps around the city. With no access to food, healthcare, education or work opportunities, he witnessed thousands spiral into unimaginable poverty. To hear his inspired story, please watch the origin story below.Continue reading “Sanitation Entrepreneur Takes on War and Climate”
Alexis McSween, Founder and CEO, Bottom Line Construction and Development LLC, received terrific news in early March for her decades-long crusade in building affordable housing in her Harlem community.
Through a two-year entrepreneurship and leadership program offered by the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center, she was nominated and awarded New York State’s 2020 Female Entrepreneur of the Year.
McSween is a role model and mentor to everyone she meets.
She experienced bouts of homelessness as a teenager. Making ends meet as a livery driver, she drove a friend to an EMT exam. At the suggestion of her friend, she took the exam. She was accepted. That experience, and years of hard work, put her on the path to become a registered nurse and a homeowner.
After years of nursing and renovating homes on the side, she dove into construction full time with a focus on providing affordable housing in her community.
The video below highlights McSween’s exceptional leadership skills and the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center. It was completed March 13, the day New York City ordered many non-essential workers to “shelter-in-place”.
Almaz Ghebrezgabher, Co-Owner, Massawa Restaurant, is feeling a great sense of relief. After 30 years of cooking and managing the East African, Massawa Restaurant, with her husband, Amanuel Tekeste, she is expanding the restaurant, and turning the business over to her four children.
She has trouble articulating her happiness and feelings of accomplishment but when we watch her on the video, we share in her joy.Continue reading “Former Eritrean Taxi Driver Turns Her Successful Restaurant Over To Her Sons”
Africa is a region that has long been on the radar of the international investment community. With the rise of mobile finance, agriculture and according to the UN, a labor force of 225 million young people ages 15-25, which is expected to 450 million by 2055, the continent is ripe for opportunities. Continue reading “Is Investing In Africa For You?”
Serial entrepreneur and Managing Partner, One Way Ventures, Semyon Dukach, creates a VC fund to support immigrant entrepreneurs. Continue reading “VC Fund Supports Immigrant Entrepreneurs”
Eddie Martinez started working in a barbershop in Brownsville when he was thirteen. His boss decided to retire and offered the then 18-years-old Martinez the chance to buy the business. Martinez jumped at the opportunity. Continue reading “The Barber of Brownsville Doubles As Guru To Local Kids”
Six months ago we watched 13 entrepreneurs pitch their startup idea to three seasoned journalists from Crain’s New York Business. The winner was Ally Downey, CEO and Co-Founder of weeSpring with runners-up, Perk.la and Try The World. We recently caught up with them to find out how they are doing since the competition.