Here’s a real City immigrant entrepreneur success story: Showky Kaldawy Sr. came here from Lebanon with $21 in his pocket. He started an auto-repair business in Queens, which his son, Showky Kaldawy Jr., took over as president. When they needed to expand, they got help from NYCEDC and NYCIDA, stayed in Queens and grew their business.
Hiyaw Gebryohannes is the creator of Taste of Ethiopia prepared foods, which are produced at Hot Bread Kitchen in La Marqueta. Seeing that New York City – where one should be able to find just about any type of food that’s craved – distinctly lacked Ethiopian culinary offerings, Hiyaw decided he would make his own. He features his home-country favorites, which are surprisingly simple for how flavored and colorful they are. Read more on NYCEDC’s blog.
Taste of Ethiopia is one of the winners of the NYC Fancy Food Show Contest and is headed to Washington D.C. on June 17th to participate in the NASFT 2012 Summer Fancy Food Show. Find out more about NYCEDC’s initiatives to support immigrant entrepreneurs.
Congratulations to the four winners of the first-ever NYC Fancy Food Show Contest, developed as part of NYCEDC’s ongoing effort to strengthen the City’s food manufacturing industry!
- Chulita’s Famous: A Latin spice company that operates out of the BAO Organic Incubator in Long Island City.
- Morris Kitchen: An artisanal syrup company that operates in Williamsburg.
- Davidovich Bakery: An all-natural bakery that produces bagels and baked goods from old world recipes with a new retail outlet in Woodside.
- Taste of Ethiopia: An Ethiopian ready-to-eat meals manufacturer operating out of Hot Bread Kitchen’s incubator at La Marqueta, East Harlem.
All four NYC-based food manufacturers will receive an all-expense paid package and support to showcase their products at the NASFT 2012 Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C. June 17-19, where they will give the world a taste of New York City at North America’s largest specialty food and beverage event. Find out more.
Last night, NYCEDC, the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, and Baruch College announced the winner of the Competition To Help Reach Immigrant Ventures and Entrepreneurs (THRIVE), the City-sponsored competition which generates financially sustainable business plans to address the challenges faced by immigrant entrepreneurs in New York City.
The Queens Economic Development Corporation was selected as the winner and will receive $100,000 to further expand their foreign language home improvement contractor training program. Business Outreach Center Network, which piloted a program to increase access to financing for immigrant entrepreneurs, was named the runner-up and will receive an additional $25,000 matching grant from the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. Find out more.
Photo credit: NYCEDC
This past month, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation (REDC) hosted 17 entrepreneurs at a Business Financial Management course in Korean at their Flushing location. As part of our goal to build business capacity in immigrant communities, NYCEDC partnered with REDC to translate and conduct NYC Business Solutions courses in Mandarin and Korean. This is one of five partnerships over the past year with community-based organizations (CBOs) across the City to provide free business courses in non-English languages. NYCEDC is working with NYC Department of Small Business Services, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and multiple CBOs to expand business assistance courses into additional languages (including Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Spanish, and Russian) and geographies.
Find out more about our programs to support immigrant entrepreneurs in NYC.
Photo credit: REDC
Building Business Capacity
Over the past year, NYCEDC has partnered with NYC Department of Small Business Services and community-based organizations across New York City to provide free business courses in many diverse languages. These classes range from Business Planning Basics for emerging entrepreneurs to Business Financial Management for existing businesses looking to grow. As the year comes to a close, we would like to thank our partners at NYC Business Solutions, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, Make the Road NY, Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, and the Haitian American Business Network for helping us support more than 150 of New York City’s immigrant entrepreneurs.
This Week at NYCEDC
This week at NYCEDC:
- We cheered at Facebook’s opening of a new engineering office in NYC
- We broke ground on the first phase of Willets Point in Queens
- We listened as Golden Krust’s Lowell Hawthorne shared his immigrant entrepreneurship story
- We applauded Pixable’s demo at the November NY Tech Meetup
- We heard Mayor Bloomberg recount his start as a tech entrepreneur on TechCrunch
- We gazed at a map of New York: City of the Future and projects across the boroughs
- We looked at Black Friday spending in New York City
- We marveled at the development of Manhattan’s Far West Side
- We asked you to turn out for Small Business Saturday and support local businesses
- We enjoyed Foursquare’s visualization of your Thanksgiving travels
Have a great weekend, NYC!
Watch this video as Lowell Hawthorne, President and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, gives powerful remarks about his own journey as an immigrant entrepreneur from Jamaica, starting and growing America’s largest Caribbean franchise chain. He was a featured speaker at NYCEDC’s recent Food Manufacturer Business Expo at Baruch College. Learn more about NYCEDC’s initiatives to support immigrant entrepreneurship in New York City.
Today’s read: The New York Times highlights the growing success of immigrant entrepreneurs across the City, despite language barriers.
Immigrants are a significant and important piece of the City’s entrepreneurial economy, as immigrants account for 49% of all self-employed workers in New York City. In addition, foreign-born workers comprise about 70% of those working within the food manufacturing industry. Food manufacturing provides a key source of employment and entrepreneurial opportunity for individuals with limited education or English skills, according to this 2007 study (PDF) of the citywide economic impact of food manufacturing in NYC.
NYCEDC has a number of programs and initiatives to support both immigrant entrepreneurs and the food manufacturing (PDF) industry, including two kitchen incubators, The Entrepreneur’s Space in Long Island City and Hot Bread Kitchen operated facility at La Marqueta; a food manufacturer business expo to support immigrant-owned businesses in NYC; a new series of free NYC Business Solutions courses in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Russian, and Haitian Creole; and Competition THRIVE, a business plan competition designed to address the challenges faced by immigrant entrepreneurs, including access to credit, financial management, language barriers, and access to business networks. Learn more by visiting Immigrant Entrepreneur Initiatives on the NYCEDC website.