“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” New Yorkers often say. New York City aka The Big Apple is a birthplace of dreams for some and a sobering wake-up call for others. However, for nine small business owners, the city’s bright lights are shining just fine.
NYC Boss Up has announced its inaugural list of grantees who will receive $20,000 to support their entrepreneurial endeavors and free business development classes. All winners are also current inhabitants of New York City Housing Authority residences, which provides affordable living to those needing assistance. Selected from a pool of 279 applicants, each applicant was required to pitch their business proposals and plans for growth in a Shark Tank-style competition to a panel of judges at the Brooklyn Museum. To guarantee fairness, the panel employed the help of a standardized rubric to select the strongest submissions.
The Boss Up Program was founded by the Ron and Kerry Moelis Family Foundation, which has donated $1 million to further the mission of fostering positive and enduring change in the tri-state area and helping individuals and families build generational wealth. “Even if you have a great idea, getting a successful businessoff the ground is incredibly challenging, and this program is designed to provide some of our city’s budding entrepreneurs with a boost by helping them financially and strategically,” Moelis said in a statement.
Winners in this initial round of funding include Sarah Adams of West Indian Foods, Tamika Walker of Blac Beuty No9, Jaquay Wilder off ATBPartySupplies, Michael Watson of Fable Jones Studios, and Michelle Covington of Liyah Michelle Collections. All winners were awarded $5000 upon winning the competition and an additional $15,000 upon completion of business development classes aimed at helping the entrepreneurs grow and maintain their business’s success.