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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 4, 2014


NYC DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES, CITI, AND ETSY ANNOUNCE LAUNCH OF NYC CRAFT ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM

Program Provides Under-employed, Low-Income Adults With Micro-Business Training to Help Sell Crafts Online For Supplemental Income

SBS, in partnership with Etsy and Citi, have announced the launch of the NYC Craft Entrepreneurship program, modeled after a pilot program that took place in September, 2013. With a contribution of $155,000 from Citi Community Development, the program will expand to all five boroughs, take place on a quarterly basis, and be offered in a variety of languages. NYC Craft Entrepreneurship provides micro-business training to underemployed, low-income adults with existing artistic skills to help supplement their income and sell their product to new markets. The program utilizes Etsy’s platform for selling creative goods as a real-world learning lab, and leverages SBS’ expertise in helping small businesses start, operate, and grow, and connecting New Yorkers to jobs.

“Based on the success of the pilot class, the NYC Craft Entrepreneurship program will provide an opportunity for New Yorkers in all five boroughs who have a passion and talent in a craft to sell their product online and earn supplemental income by creating their own business,” said Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “I thank our partners, Etsy and Citi Community Development, for their support, and for helping connect low-income New Yorkers to jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.”

“We feel so fortunate to have worked with SBS to launch one of the first pilot Craft Entrepreneurship programs, and we are thrilled that Citi's contribution allows the program to be expanded this year,” said Dana Mauriello, Director, New Business Opportunities, Etsy. “Supplemental income through micro-entrepreneurship makes a real economic impact and offers an immediate solution for those facing fewer opportunities in NYC.”

“In New York City, 15.2 percent of people are underemployed - those who are willing and able to work, but have been unable to secure full time employment,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance. “The NYC Craft Entrepreneurship program will provide participants with the kinds of training – such as financial management and online marketing – that will enhance the way they use this technology to start a new business, gain access to new customers and secure a regular income to build assets.” 

“The NYC Craft Entrepreneurship program was a very positive experience,” said Ingrid Gonzalez, founder of IngMade and a participant of the pilot class. “I greatly benefited from being taught by experienced Etsy sellers, connecting with other craftspeople, and learning the business steps necessary to launch my own shop, IngMade.”
The NYC Craft Entrepreneurship program is taught through five-class sessions on a quarterly basis, and taught by experienced instructors who are also successful shop owners on Etsy. The curriculum covers topics such as entrepreneurship, branding and marketing, product photography, business strategy, and growth. A new addition to the curriculum includes financial education and opportunities for coaching provided by the New York City Office of Financial Empowerment.

Eligible applicants must have at least one handmade craft item ready to sell, commit to attending four weeknight classes and one Saturday class, reside in New York City, have never made any sales on Etsy.com, have a credit card and checking account (necessary for sales transactions), and have regular access to a computer with an internet connection. 
For more information or to apply for the next class, go to www.nyc.gov/workforce1

About the Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to start, operate and expand 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 Etsy
Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. Our mission is to re-imagine commerce to build a more fulfilling and lasting world. Etsy is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more at www.etsy.com.

About Citi
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi



  Contact:

Merideth Weber (SBS), mweber@sbs.nyc.gov, 212-513-6318
Nikki Summer (Etsy), nsummer@etsy.com, 646-729-8660
Kamran Mumtaz (Citi), kamran.mumtaz@citi.com, 212-793-7682

 

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