22 Women Founders and CEOs to Mentor Aspiring Entrepreneurs this Year

Over 1,000 Women Entrepreneurs Connected to Valuable Mentorship Services Since 2016

New York – NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop today announced new opportunities for women to support women through mentorship. Through the program, called WE Connect Mentors, 22 women founders and CEOs will offer mentorship sessions to aspiring women entrepreneurs. The new mentors come from a range of industries including tech, fashion, and financial services. WE Connect Mentors has already connected over 1,000 women entrepreneurs with expert advice and support from more than 40 mentors since 2016.

This announcement was made last night, during National Mentoring Month, at an event recognizing the 2018 cohort of mentors and welcoming the new mentors. WE Connect Mentors is part of Women Entrepreneurs (WE) NYC, a women’s entrepreneurship initiative launched by SBS.

“Mentorship, especially from those who have had similar experiences, has proven to be a valuable and effective tool for success,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “This National Mentoring Month, we’ve launched new partnerships with women CEOs and founders of diverse and impactful companies to enhance opportunities for women entrepreneurs across the five boroughs.”

WE Connect Mentors hosts small group in-person mentorship sessions. 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 2019 mentor cohort:

  • Nadia Marsi, Founder & CEO, Perksy
  • Alexandra Zatarain, Co-Founder & CMO, Eight
  • Parisa Wang, Founder, Parisa Wang
  • Bertha Jimenez, Co-Founder & CEO, RISE Products
  • Blair Lauren Brown, Founder, Blair Lauren Brown
  • Verónica Cabezas, Co-Founder, Genostyle
  • Victoria Flores, Founder, Luxbeauty Club
  • Bisila Bokoko, Founder & CEO, BBES International
  • Juanita Galvis, Co-Founder & Head of Social Impact, The Assemblage
  • Sophia Chang, Author, Raised By WU-TANG
  • Cheryl Clements, Founder & CEO, Pie Shell
  • Karen Mitchell, Founder, True Indian Hair
  • Yai Vargas, Founder & CEO, The Latinista
  • Agustina Cervera, Founder & Architect, SpearheadNY
  • Ramona Cedeno, Founder & CEO, FiBrick Financial Services
  • Alejandra Chaparro, Founder & CEO, 17 Entertainment, INC
  • Cheryl Gentry, Founder & CEO, Glow Global Events
  • Corrinne Graham, Founder & CEO, GRAHAM International Consulting and Research Inc.
  • Geri Stengel, Founder & CEO, Ventureneer
  • Malla Haridat, Founder & CEO, New Designs for Life
  • Krista Barnett, Founder & CEO, BootBand
  • Sarah Valdovinos, Co-Founder, Walden Green Energy

We Connect Mentors Success

Krista Barnett first received WE Connect Mentors services in 2016 to help her grow her business, called Boot Band, which offers an attachment providing extra width for tall-length boots to accommodate women of all sizes. As a mentee, she was connected with an adviser who worked as an executive at a major department store. Krista has since leveraged this connection and is currently working on launching her product on this major department store's website. As a mentor for WE Connect Mentors, Krista is now dedicated to sharing her experiences and knowledge with aspiring women entrepreneurs.

“I recommend that every woman entrepreneur participates in WE Connect Mentors,” said Krista Barnett. “The lessons and information gained in the sessions are truly invaluable. The women who participate in the program are so eager to learn and help and have a deep knowledge base. I am happy to be a part of WE Connect Mentors.”

Those interested in receiving guidance and inspiration from our WE NYC mentors can visit

“As chair of the City Council’s Committee on Women, I am delighted at the news that hundreds of aspiring female entrepreneurs have had the opportunity to learn firsthand from women business leaders via WE NYC’s mentors program,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “Women across our city now have a new set of tools to turn their dreams into reality and contribute to our local economy. I want to thank NYC Small Business Services and the Mayor’s Office for all their efforts – through the innovative WE NYC partnership, we are advancing women’s financial and social empowerment.”

About WE NYC
WE NYC, launched by the NYC Department of Small Business Services in 2015, delivers tailored, research-based programs for women entrepreneurs to better connect them to the resources, education, and community they need to flourish. WE NYC services are free and open to all women throughout the five boroughs. Since its launch, WE NYC has served over 6,000 women entrepreneurs in NYC.

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 vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.