Photos: Isseu Diouf Campbell
A month after launching BE NYC (Black Entrepreneurs NYC), an initiative aimed at advancing Black entrepreneurship in New York City, NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) hosted on November 9, 2019, a community forum targeting black aspiring and existing business owners in technology, healthcare, environmental sciences, and professional services.
The forum held at the Brooklyn Historical Society was an opportunity for black entrepreneurs to share their thoughts, meet other entrepreneurs, network, and learn about free business services.
The topics discussed included money, mentorship, networking, marketing, and affordable space.
Black entrepreneurs at the event expressed the need for more networking events based on business stage and type, access to funding other that credit line and mixed equity, incubators that would allow ideas and business to flourish but also mentors.
Even though black individuals account for more than 20% of New Yorkers, they own only 2% of NYC businesses.
Forensic CPA Rumbi Petrozello, in business for 4 years, thinks that something needs to be done.
“A lot of the conversations we hear are within certain parameters,” said Rumbi Petrozello. We are black entrepreneurs. Our issues are unique and we need to come up with solutions that work for us.”
The Brooklyn event was the second community forum hosted by NYC Department of Small Business Services to help create tailored programs for black entrepreneurs in New York City.
To learn more about BE NYC, visit nyc.gov/benyc.