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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, July 7, 2012


DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES BEGINS THIRD YEAR OF STRATEGIC STEPS FOR GROWTH, A PROGRAM TO HELP MINORITY AND WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS GROW THEIR BUSINESS

Nine-Month Premier Management Training Program Provides Skills, Training and Professional Networking Opportunities to NYC Entrepreneurs

New York - The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at New York University (NYU) Leonard N. Stern School of Business launched the third  year of Strategic Steps for Growth, a premiere management training program for minority and women business owners. It incorporates an award-winning curriculum developed by Interise, a Boston-based nonprofit, which is also currently offered in 32 U.S. communities. The program provides a clear path for accelerating growth through entrepreneurial education, connections, and access to new markets. The NYU Stern Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation hosts the program, with Senior Associate Director and professor Cynthia Franklin facilitating the class sessions. To date, the 41 Strategic Steps for Growth graduates have collectively secured over $24 million in new government contracts, over $1.6 million in new financing and created over 100 new jobs.

Participants work with business experts and fellow entrepreneurs to clearly define a pathway for their company’s growth. They learn the strategic skills needed to run a growing business and using their own business as their case study, by the end of the program, each will create a custom three-year Strategic Growth Action PlanTM. The program also provides participants with a business network that offers support for every aspect of their business operation going forward.

To be eligible for the program, businesses must be certified with the City as a Minority- or Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE). In 2005, Mayor Bloomberg signed Local Law 129 creating the M/WBE program to help certified businesses access contracting opportunities and build capacity. Since passing Local Law 129, the number of M/WBEs certified to do business with the City has grown from 700 to more than 3,400, with firms receiving more than 40,000 City contracts valued at $2.7 billion.

This year, the following 16 entrepreneurs, that in 2011 collectively generated $21 million in gross annual revenue and employ over 620 New Yorkers, will participate:

BP Architecture – architectural firm specializing in commercial and residential new construction development, adaptive re-use and historic preservation.

C. James Plumbing & Heating – family-owned provider of quality plumbing, heating and sprinkler services in business over 40 years.

Curtis & Ginsberg Architects – award-winning design practice in commercial, urban, multi-family, and institutional developments.

H & N Insurance Agency & Financial Group – family-owned and operated brokerage that tailors insurance and financial products and services for individuals and organizations.

High Achievers – a leading provider of special education services to non-public schools throughout New York City.

House of Little People – family-owned early childhood learning facility founded in 1976 that provides continuity of developmental care from infancy to pre-school age.

Kings Security Services – service provider of experienced, armed security and fire guards.

Millennium Maintenance and Electrical Contractors – full service electrical contractor in NYC specializing in energy-efficient lighting and design.

North American DF – print and promotional product solutions provider.

Seagull Service Corp.  – provides general construction, construction management and self-performing trade services.

Sitters Studio – provides childcare services through their staff of artists at clients’ sites or at group daycare location and featured in several business publications.

Stealth Communications Services – provides high-speed Internet access, Ethernet transport (data transmission), and peering/interconnection services.

Sunshine Best Cleaning –provides commercial cleaning services to residential and commercial entities.

Thaumaturgix – IT consultancy servicing projects through full life cycle.

The Green Spa & Wellness Center – Brooklyn-based green spa and wellness center that also offers green skincare products and was voted “2012 #1 Wellness Center in America” by Dayspa Magazine.

The Leading Niche – a strategy and operations consultancy that services corporate, non-profit and government clients.

Strategic Steps for Growth is launching a new Media and Entertainment Program which will begin this fall. Applications are being accepted through July 13. This new program is specifically designed for small businesses in the media and entertainment industry. Interested candidates can get more information and apply online at www.nyc.gov/strategicsteps.

About the Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. For more information on all of SBS’ services go to www.nyc.gov/sbs.

About the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
The Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation was founded in 1984 at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business to create new knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation, to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders in the business and social sectors, and to provide intellectual leadership for the business and academic communities. For more information about Berkley Center programs and activities, visit stern.nyu.edu/berkley.

About Interise
Interise stimulates economic revitalization in lower income communities by providing a diverse group of small business owners with entrepreneurial education, new networks, and access to markets. The Interise community creates jobs, grows businesses, and develops community leaders. Interise is based in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information about Interise, please visit http://www.interise.org/.



  Contacts: Merideth Weber (SBS), mweber@sbs.nyc.gov, 212-513-6318
Carolyn Ritter (NYU Stern Berkley Center), critter@stern.nyu.edu, 212-998-0624
Stacy McNary (Interise), 617-350-6335
 

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