Wednesday, April 14, 2021

NEW YORK – NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris today announced “BE NYC Startup Intensive,” an instructional course to provide Black entrepreneurs with resources and support they need to launch and grow successful businesses.    
The course will consist of two distinct tracks - the first will support all Black entrepreneurs and the second will be tailored for Black women entrepreneurs. Each track will have its own application and selection process. In total, BE NYC intends to reach more than 100 Black entrepreneurs through this program. 
“It is critical that we provide Black entrepreneurs with the tools they need to launch their enterprises,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Racial Inclusion and Equity Taskforce. “The BE NYC Startup Intensive will continue to build on the City’s efforts to increase the number of Black owned businesses and close the racial wealth gap.”  

“The pandemic has exacerbated the challenges faced by Black entrepreneurs in starting and operating their businesses," said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. “In response, BE NYC is launching the City’s first instructional course to equip Black entrepreneurs with the tools they need to create stronger businesses and lift up their communities."  

“Black entrepreneurs are often faced with structural barriers such as limited access to capital and professional guidance that can extinguish their entrepreneurial pursuits,” said Kenneth Ebie, Executive Director and Chief Development Officer of Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC). “The BE NYC Startup Intensive will feature a research-based curriculum rooted in the unique perspectives of successful Black entrepreneurs who will help participants develop the skills, strategies and resources needed to launch successful and sustainable businesses.”  
According to BE NYC’s landmark report, Black entrepreneurs cited the challenges of lacking specific knowledge to run a business and reliable resources when starting and operating a successful business. BE NYC Startup Intensive seeks to address these challenges by offering a no-cost, 11-session instructional course to assist Black entrepreneurs with launching and sustaining the businesses of tomorrow.   
With the guidance of experienced facilitators, business experts, and a network of supportive peers, participants will: 
  • Learn techniques to overcome barriers such as limited access to capital, atypical work experience, and continuing education needs 
  • Master the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and refine their business concepts 
  • Identify the components of a strong business plan 
  • Gain the knowledge and skills they need to launch a profitable business, including identifying existing opportunities, organizations, and resources 
  • Network with entrepreneurs and learn about funding opportunities 
To qualify for BE NYC Startup Intensive, entrepreneurs must have a specific business idea or have recently launched a business, have at least two years of work experience, and have conducted initial market research for their business.  
Applications for BE NYC Startup Intensive are now open. Applicants can select the "general track" or the "women entrepreneurs track" to identify their interest. To learn more and apply, visit  
BE NYC Startup Intensive is one of several programs – including BE NYC Mentors, the BE NYC/MasterCard Digital Doors webinar series, and Shop Your City: BE NYC - that the City has launched as part of a broader commitment to close the racial wealth gap and support Black-owned businesses.   

BE NYC Startup Intensive was designed and will be facilitated by D. Bernard Webster of OPEN DOOR LLC and Tuesday P Brooks of AJOY. 
"Seeing the City invest in one of its greatest assets - Black businesses and entrepreneurs - is not only exciting and innovative, but vital to New York City's economic recovery," said Gayle Jennings-O'Byrne, Co-Founder, WOCstar Fund and BE NYC Cabinet Member.  
“For too long, Black entrepreneurs have had to build their dreams on a foundation of hope and determination, many lacking knowledge of critical legal, financial and business strategies to support their success. With the launch of BE NYC Startup Intensive, we hope to turn that page for hundreds of Black businesses in New York City,” said Paul T. Williams,, Jr., Attorney and Business Strategy Consultant, Co-Founder of Brown Hatchett & Williams, LLP and Williams Strategy Advisors and BE NYC Cabinet Member.  
"All entrepreneurs and small business owners - whether you are a team of one or lead a team of many - need brainstorming partners; need to up-level their skills; and benefit from learning what works for others as they endeavor to build efficient, profitable, and sustainable businesses. The BE NYC Startup Intensive is designed to do this and more," said Jacquette M. Timmons, President + CEO, Sterling Investment Management and BE NYC Cabinet Member.  
"Black Entrepreneurs have historically been under-resourced and I commend the work of BE NYC in helping to disrupt the status quo. The BE NYC Startup Intensive Program has a robust approach to business development which in turn will increase each participant’s capacity as they revolutionize the world,” said Jeff Lindor, Founder of The Gentlemen's Factory Inc and BE NYC Cabinet Member.   
About BE NYC  
BE NYC, launched by the NYC Department of Small Business Services in 2019, is a first-of-its-kind model in a major American city to help address the racial wealth gap by empowering Black entrepreneurs. Through strategic public-private partnerships and innovative programs, BE NYC provides pathways to achieve systemic change by providing equitable access to financing, strengthening professional networks and advice, scaling Black businesses for long-term success, and preparing Black entrepreneurs for opportunities in high-growth industries. For more information, visit   

About the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)  
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.