Minority and Women entrepreneurs still struggling in 2012

L-R: Quenia Abreu, President & CEO of the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Councilman Robert Jackson, and Ann Rascon, Department of Small Business

By Isseu Diouf Campbell

There was a lot of frustration in the room during the State of Women in Business Roundtable on March 27, 2012, presented by the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

The roundtable was set up for minority and women entrepreneurs to voice their issues and concerns to Ann Rascon, deputy commissioner of the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity at New York City’s Department of Small Business, and members of the New York City Council and the city’s Housing Department.

The discussion, dominated by women in the construction industry, centered on difficulties for minority and women business enterprises to have access to city and state contracts. Even if a certification was set up by the city to facilitate the process, there are still challenges especially for Black women, who receive the fewest number of contracts.

Other challenges include competition from contractors based in other cities or states, construction companies using fraudulent practices to win bids, unrealistic estimates proposed to win bids, and lack of synchronization between the city agencies involved in the whole process.

Photos of the event