Thursday, March 6, 2017


Since its 2016 Launch, the WE NYC Initiative Has Connected Over 1,500 Women to Resources and Support to Build and Grow Thriving Businesses Through Providing Over 140 Hours of Direct Mentoring

New York – The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today announced 30 new Women Entrepreneur NYC (WE NYC) mentors and a new director who will help budding women entrepreneurs grow and build a thriving business. WE NYC is the City's answer to the entrepreneurship gender gap; although there are over 360,000 women entrepreneurs in NYC, men own 1.5 times the number of businesses, have 3.5 times the number of employees, and generate 4.5 times the amount of revenue. WE NYC aims to help offset this gap through their mentorship program in which mentors share their expertise during small group and individual weekly in-person sessions. The new cohort of WE NYC mentors is made up of 30 successful businesswomen from a variety of industries that reflect the diversity of New York City.

"WE NYC is boosting our City's local economy by empowering women to build successful businesses that uplift communities and generate jobs across the boroughs," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "We're connecting promising women entrepreneurs with the female founders of successful companies who can use their past experiences to offer mentorship and advice."

WE NYC mentors are carefully selected by SBS based on their background, expertise, and passion for helping other women entrepreneurs achieve. The following women are founders of their companies and have joined WE NYC as part of the 2017 mentor cohort.

  • Dr. Corrine Graham, Graham International Consulting and Research, Inc.
  • Ramona Cedeno, FiBrick Financial Services
  • Aileen Gemma Smith, Vizalytics Technology
  • Vanessa Best, Precision HealthCare Consultants
  • Eleni Gianopulos, Eleni's New York
  • Geri Stengel, Ventureneer
  • Liz Gutman, Liddabit Sweets
  • Malla Haridat, New Designs for Life, Inc
  • Ellie Kassner, W.H. Kassner, Inc.
  • Wonder Lee, Wonder Lee 123
  • Aquila Leon-Soon, Advance Talent Solutions Inc.
  • Christine Rico, CFO on Speed Dial
  • Juliana Uribe, Movilizatorio
  • Dayna Sessa, Datanomy
  • Aileen Gemma Smith, Vizalytics Technology
  • Karen Taylor Bass, TaylorMade Media, LLC.
  • Jen Glantz, Bridesmaid for Hire
  • Malene Barnett, Malene B
  • Deepti Sharma Kapur, FoodtoEat
  • Alejandra Chaparro, 17 Entertainment INC.
  • Cheryl Gentry, Glow Global Events
  • Evelyn Rogers, A Taste of Honey INC.
  • Krista Barnett, BootBand LLC
  • Leith Hill, Ellary's Greens
  • Lynn Gray, Campus Scout, LLC
  • Valarie Contrino, Contrino Travel INC.
  • Alice Chin, Your Other Half
  • Yin Lin, SheWorx
  • Nicole McGarrell, Sunny Day Marketing Inc.
  • Joanne Roberts and Peggy Doyle, Now Next Media, LLC

Those interested in receiving guidance and inspiration from our WE NYC mentors can visit to learn more or participate.

WE NYC Success

Alejandra Chaparro recently founded a public relations, social media and content management company, 17 Entertainment, Inc. Ms. Chaparro sought assistance from WE NYC on how to better her business and entrepreneurship skills. She was connected to Diana Franco, serial entrepreneur and now WE NYC's Director, who helped her successfully navigate the business world, develop business skills, improve her confidence, and grow as an entrepreneur. She learned the importance of time management and how to narrow the focus of her company's services, which led her to landing new contracts. Her positive experience with the mentorship program inspired her to join the 2017 cohort of mentors, stating the following.

"I am extremely grateful for this program and for the changes I've seen in my business," said Alejandra Chaparro. "Now it's time to give back and make the difference. I have the potential to improve someone's business and life perspective. Empowering women to make their dream come true or go to the next level is part of my mission and this program gives me the opportunity I have been waiting for."

About WE NYC

WE NYC developed tailored programs based upon research and direct feedback from women entrepreneurs to better connect upcoming women entrepreneurs with the resources, education, and community they need to flourish. Over the past year, WE NYC successfully launched ongoing workshop series and mentorship program that provide women with a variety of tools and resources to be successful in developing their business.

WE NYC services are free and open to all women throughout the five boroughs. For more information visit

About the Department of Small Business Services

SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building thriving neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit our website.